Profiles in Citizenship

Turnout in yesterday’s parliamentary election in Iraq reached 62.4 per cent despite a concerted effort to intimidate voters and scare them away from polling stations.

Turnout in Canada’s federal election 2008: 59.1%




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Profiles in Citizenship

  1. Apparently we need scarier people manning our ballot boxes.

    • If Mick Foley says vote, you best vote.

  2. Eight and a half years ago:

    <blobkquote>Iraqi officials say President Saddam Hussein has won 100% backing in a referendum on whether he should rule for another seven years.

    There were 11,445,638 eligible voters – and every one of them voted for the president, according to Izzat Ibrahim, Vice-Chairman of Iraq's Revolutionary Command Council.

    The government insists the count was fair and accurate.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/2331951.stm

    • A Government claiming right to govern on 100% of the vote is as credible as a Government governing on 37.65% of the total vote. They both clearly do not have the support of their people.

      • So Hussein's tyrannical dictatorship, with its farcical sham elections, has as much democratic credibility with you as the current Canadian government? Good to know.

        • It is as contextually credible as the other. Context being the respective political systems at play enabling such a thing.

      • I'll support your point. If you leave out value judgments (obviously Canada's is a better system to live under – much more 'fair' and respectful to human life/dignity) it is still a system that allows a minority of people to rule over the majority with that minority's interests supported and forwarded to a greater extent by the state, with the resources of everyone.

        Taxes are mandatory but the decision making regarding spending is greatly tilted towards the interests of a small minority of people; whether it be party supporters, business interests, foreign interests…

    • What are you implying? Clearly Hussein was just a very popular guy.

  3. Canada is an older democracy, we don't believe in Santa Claus anymore.

  4. I dislike comparisons like this; the stakes in Iraq are significantly higher than they are here so while they should certainly be congratulated for going to the polls despite the pressure, I'm not sure if this is a good occasion to draw any parallels to our own situation. I mean, you do that you get comment's like Habitant's and D-R's, which completely trivialize the serious problems facing Iraq. It's frustrating to have to read crap like that.

    I mean, I'm all for doing things to boost turnout here, it's certainly something I think is a problem, but this comparison is pretty unnecessary.

  5. 52.9%.

  6. Don't it always seem to go
    That you don't know what you got till it's gone…

  7. But the polling booth is, like, FOUR WHOLE BLOCKS away, and the old people there smell bad…

  8. It is as contextually credible as the other.

    No, it isn't. The Iraqi government of 2002 had zero democratic credibility – it was a brutal, repressive dictatorship that staged fake elections. The Canadian government of 2008 had 100% democratic credibility, within the context of Canada's Parliamentary system, because the governing party won a plurality of seats in a free and fair election.

    • Again, Iraq had in place a system that enabled the ''electoral'' outcomes that occurred. Aye, boxes may have been rigged/stuffed, some may have also voted out of fear, etc… Nevertheless, that's the system it had.

      In Canada, we have a system in place that enables an outcome were leadership can be had with 38% of the total vote and less than 50% of the seats. Aye, some provinces, regions and ridings did not have outcomes mirroring the national outcome (Alberta, voted Conservative to the tune of 64.6% and in NL, 16.5% – Only 2 provinces wanted a Harper Government), some voted out of fear or fear based tactics (not in the same manner as Iraq) and, most didn't vote at all… You can call it a perfectly credible outcome of democracy, I say it is what it is…

  9. I thought you meant Alberta's turnout in the last federal election. (What Habitant was referring to).

    BTW, I imagine that the turnout in Alberta's next provincial election will be at least 75%.

    • Last election, in Alberta, 64.6% voted CPC (and 47.1% didn't vote at all).

      • I'm glad you agree with my 52.9% turnout figure, and I also agree with you that 35.4% of Albertan voters voted for a party that wasn't the CPC.

  10. My mother, who is from the Philippines (which, like Iraq, got its democracy at the barrel of American arms), once complained elections here were boring because nobody was shot.

  11. Oh my…..it would appear George Bush was on to something.

    That must REALLY get the goat of those who still prefer to blame him for all the world's woes.

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