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Despite the steady drumbeat of mainstream media analysts, the Iraqi people actually look forward to the opportunity to vote in the upcoming elections. A poll conducted by the International Republican Institute, part of Congress' National Endowment for Democracy, shows that over 80% of Iraqis plan on voting:
The poll, conducted in late December and early January for the International Republican Institute, found 80 percent of respondents saying they were likely to vote, a rate that has held roughly steady for months.
The 64 percent who said they were "very likely" to vote represented a dip of about 7 percentage points from a November survey, while those "somewhat likely" to vote increased 5 points.
Western specialists involved with election preparations said they were struck by the determination and resilience of ordinary Iraqis as they anticipate their country's first free election in half a century.
"Despite the efforts of the terrorists, Iraqis remain committed to casting their vote on election day," IRI President Lorne Craner said in a statement. The organization, which is funded by Congress through the National Endowment for Democracy and the U.S. Agency for International Development, commissioned the poll, which surveyed 1,900 Iraqis in all but two of the country's 18 provinces. Poor security made two in the far north, Nineveh and Dohuk, inaccessible. The margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Another official at a different organization in Iraq told Karl Vick that the world will be "shocked" when they see the turnout for the parliamentary elections. Why would they be shocked? Could it be that the media has skewed the story on the determination of the Iraqi people to be free?
Could be ... after all, the Washington Post's editors managed to bury this story on page A13. Hope you can find it, Post readers. At least they covered it; as far as I can see, the New York Times didn't report it at all. Of course, I didn't get the chance to peruse its classified-ad section yet, either.
UPDATE: Edward Sisson corrects the record from the Post article, in the comments section:
Dear Capt. Ed, thanks for the reference to the National Endowment for Democracy, which I have the privilege of serving as pro bono legal counsel. I am commenting simply to note that the National Endowment for Democracy is an independent, non-government organization (a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation) and is not part of the Congress or of the Executive Branch. The International Republican Institute is a also a separate organization that receives grants from the NED as well as other sources, but is not part of the NED.
Thanks for the clarification and allowing me to correct the record!Sphere It View blog reactions
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