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January 17, 2005
Baghdadis Want To Vote: Reuters

Despite the doom-and-gloom predictions of the Western media and the American left about the upcoming Iraqi elections, Baghdad voters intend on turning out in numbers that would embarrass Americans:

Two-thirds of registered voters in the Iraqi capital say they will cast their ballots in the Jan. 30 election despite the threat of violence, an independent Iraqi newspaper survey found Monday.

A high turnout in Baghdad, a city of 5-6 million people, could raise the credibility of polls which are expected to be marred by suicide bombings by insurgents bent on sabotaging the vote in the country of 27 million. ...

The survey in the al-Mada newspaper, one of Iraq's most respected dailies, was conducted last week in eight main districts of Baghdad, one of the cities where insurgents are expected to launch attacks.

Based on a sample of 300 people, it found 67 percent of Baghdadis planned to vote. Twenty-five percent said they would not take part and nine percent were undecided.

In comparison, Americans just held our presidential election, one that received the highest turnout in 36 years. We managed to muster out a whopping 60.7% of our registered voters nationwide for our election -- and that was the best in over a generation. So far, I don't hear calls that our past nine elections should be invalidated due to their low turnout.

Many of the American Left want us to delay the Iraqi elections, despite the fact that (a) the interim Iraqi constitution requires the election to retire the interim government in place of a representative parliament, and (b) it would reward the terrorists who bomb and murder people by the score to put off an honest election. Too bad the American Left can't demonstrate the intestinal fortitude of the Iraqis themselves. In the same poll, only 23% of Baghdadis want the elections put off -- about half of what one would find in the birthplace of modern democracy. That result should shame those who call for the cowardly retreat in the face of the brutal attacks that have unnerved more Americans than Iraqis.

Don't underestimate the power and promise of self-government, especially for a people who have endured brutal and genocidal tyranny for most lifetimes. Don't overestimate the power of those who take their freedoms for granted and who appear to believe that democracy only works with Europeans. Increasingly, they have been revealed as defeatists and moral relativists who don't have much faith in democracy at all.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 17, 2005 10:45 AM

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