Wednesday, January 26, 2005
If white South Africans had refused to participate in that nation's first-ever free elections back in 1994, nobody on earth would have argued that their lack of participation invalidated the election results.
The argument that the elections are less legitimate if the Sunnis boycott has always been ridiculous. This extremely apt analogy makes that point clear. The only principled point is that a Sunni boycott may make that minority less willing to accept the elected government, and it may increase the chances for civil war. Fine. Most Western countries built their democratic institutions on the embers of a civil war. If that's what it takes for Iraq to become a real country with a real future instead of an artifact of European imperialism, so be it.
There seems to be quite a number of fairly common words slipping from the grasp of comprehension of the left: 'legitimate', 'count', 'fair', and now the very concept of 'election' is getting a little slippery.
By the way, Mr. Hawk, I bow to you. Getting linked by Tim Blair, that's fancy.
The Sunni boycott won't invalidate the election, but the ballot will.
Voting in the New Iraq