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    NY Times: Election Day

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    January 31, 2005
    Iraqi Election Held; First Step Toward American-Style Democracy Taken

    Powerful Lobbyists For Special Interests To Be Created Next Week

    Iraqis hailed the Iraqi election this past weekend as a "good first step" step toward a representational democracy, but, with a mixture of sadness, hope, and courage, acknowledged that more needed to be done. "We have much to do before we can claim the kind of successful representative democracy that America has," said Fawad Ghreib, an Iraqi election official. "For one thing, in this election we barely had any three-hour-long waits."

    Iraqis expressed disappointment that the election failed to produce a vote which could be settled by lawsuits. "I am afraid that the counting of ballots in all of Iraq is perfectly uniform," said a discouraged Hasseem Wasabi, a Baghdad resident. "Clearly we still have a very long ways to go."

    Iraqis hope to have hackable electronic voting booths in sixty per cent of the country by the time of the next election, with unreliable optical scanners in most of the remaining precincts. "We must remember that American Democracy wasn't built in a day," said Wasabi.

    Iraqi officials were also dismayed by the sixty per cent voter turnout. "That's certainly far too high," said Sam Jabouli, a poll watcher in Fallujah. "There are far too few disaffected citizens. But we are confident that as people see their government in action, we can halve that figure."

    Iraqi officials were said to be troubled that so little money was required to campaign for a government position. "We will not be able to enact a good campaign finance reform bill unless we can build campaign finance abuses," said Jabouli. "We are working on it."

    Posted by Tom Burka at 6:17 AM in News