Tuesday, February 15, 2005

A More Perfect Union: The latest Iraqi election results show religious Shiites with just under half the Parliamentary winnings, a little less than they were expecting. This is good, as it should help prevent one faction from dominating the new assembly and drafting the new constitution in their own image.

Some analysts have fretted that the religious Shiites may be to close to Iran. But so far the elected candidates aren't calling for an Iranian style theocracy. They have expressly said they want to work with the minority groups just elected, including the Kurds and secular Shiites.

The best news I've heard, though, is that the religious Shiites said they are willing to reach out to Sunni leaders who were not elected. Because so many Sunnis boycotted the election, they are underrepresented in the new Parliament. After they realized the error of their ways, they called for a new election (fat chance). Now they seem to be getting the next best thing, with input into the drafting of the new constitution, which is the most crucial thing that will come from the newly elected body.

So long as the constitution represents each side's interest and protects everyone's rights, that should give Iraq the best chance for peace and success in the years to come.


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