Random thoughts and insights – always shaken, never stirred

Two Excellent Elections

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The news is good. In Australia, Prime Minister Howard’s government appears to have increased its majority in Parliament, as Howard himself won a fourth term as Prime Minister. The margin of victory was much greater than polls or pundits expected, and let’s hope that’s a foreshadowing of November 2nd.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan voted in free elections that were mercifully free of violence. Reuters reported on one attack:

There were only scattered reports of election-related violence. In the biggest incident, 24 Taliban insurgents were killed in the central province of Uruzgan after a bombing raid by U.S. aircraft, provincial authorities said. The Afghan Islamic Press quoted residents as saying 14 residents were also killed, mostly women and children.

Tragic, but most of us expected it to be far worse. Perhaps things are not as bad in Afghanistan as Teresa Heinz (Kerry) thinks they are.

There were also some irregularities in that a special, indelible ink was intended to be used to prevent people from viting more than once, but many polling places apparently used ink that could be washed off. As a result, all 15 opposition candidates withdrew claiming fraud, but given the popularity of Karzai, this was likely planned all along. The election went forward and Karzai will likely prevail.

As one Afghan put it:

“This is one of the happiest days of my life,” said Sayed Aminullah as he cast his vote at Eid Gah Mosque in the capital. “I don’t care about the result. All I care is that we are having an election. This is a sign that things are improving for Afghanistan.”

Baby steps are what took place in Afghanistan this weekend, and while there was likely fraud, I suspect the end result will not be so close as to make a difference. Mr. Aminullah is absolutely correct – having a free election was the important thing.

This weekend was a victory for the good guys.


Written by martinipundit

October 9, 2004 at 11:58 pm

Posted in 2004 Election, Politics

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