Half an Election
by CA Pol Junkie
The administration and its stooges like pointing out that 14 out of 18 provinces in Iraq are relatively peaceful. Kevin Drum points out that those four provinces happen to have about 50% of the population of Iraq. Bush is all for having the elections now regardless as an exercise in Democracy. Frankly, since the security situation is more likely to get worse, not better, we might as well hold the elections as soon as possible and get it over with.
For perspective, though, let's look at what would happen if such an election were to be held in the United States. Without 50% of the population, dominated by one political persuasion, the results would look pretty different. According to the Census Bureau, there are currently about 286 million people in the United States. What if half were in unsecured states not capable of holding fair elections? Let's exclude Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Those states combined have 143 million people, or half the population. Without that half of the population, John Kerry wins 252-10, with Bush taking only Arizona. The Democrats would control the Senate 29-12-1 and the House 128-92-1. The Red States wouldn't mind that, would they?
Iraq is having parliamentary elections with proportional representation, so every vote counts nationwide toward political party representation in Parliament. That means with low turn out from boycotts and violence in the 4 central provinces, the 14 quiet provinces will dominate the new government elected on January 30th. Somehow, I don't think the Iraqis of the 4 central provinces would think highly of being ruled by the outlying provinces after an unfair election, any more than the Red States would tolerate being ruled by the Blue States. On January 31st, the insurgency ends and the civil war begins.