With this weekend's voter turnout percentage well into the 60's, Iraqis have put up electoral numbers rarely seen at any level of government in the United States. And unofficially, it appears that they voted to ratify the new constitution.
Kudos, budding small-d democrats.
Bush wants to shore up support for the Iraq war as more Americans question the wisdom of using military force to help bring democracy to the Middle East. Bush's job-approval ratings are at the lowest of his presidency.
``There's no question that having the constitution approved is an important step,'' said Bruce Jentleson, a professor at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. ``You'll see a little bit of an uptick for the administration, naturally, but I don't think this is going to turn the tide for them with the public on Iraq.''
Perish the thought. We've endured enough news cycles by now to know that public/media opinion of the administration ratchets down with bad news out of Iraq, but we no longer hold any illusions of its being a 2-way street.
Still, assuming ratification is achieved, it might be interesting to compare the timeline of this protracted quagmire (2 years 7 months from liberation to (presumed) Constitutional ratification) with similarly tumultuous points of inflection borne by other fledgling democracies.
Year of Catalyzing Event: 1776
Year of Constitutional Ratification: 1788
Lag: 12 years
Year of Catalyzing Event: 1910
Year of Constitutional Ratification: 1917
Lag: 7 years
Year of Catalyzing Event: 1922
Year of Constitutional Ratification: 1937
Lag: 15 years
Several thousand Constitutions along the way; mathematically untenable
Year of Catalyzing Event: 2003
Year of Constitutional Ratification: 2005
Lag: 2.5 years
Considering the Iraqi electorate is not made up of a homogeneous bunch of new world colonists, but rather an ethnically and religiously diverse populace judged by many to be destined for 3-way civil war, this milestone can be viewed as all the more cogent.
Update: The Armchair Analyst offers an interesting counterpoint:
... Indeed the speed at which the Iraq government has accomplished the task of writing a Constitution is encouraging. But we shouldn't read too much into the quickness. One might question whether or not long protracted consitutional debates might have stabilizing results. The US experience might prove evidential. Similarly, the innumerable constitutions of France might be in part due to the radical nature of their political shift.
Handcrafted by Flip on October 17, 2005 |
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