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January 27, 2005

It's for Real Now

Somehow this is both breath-taking and cute:

At the Babylon Hotel tribal sheikhs in long gowns and Arab headdress gathered to hear politicians extol the virtues of Iyad Allawi, the interim Prime Minister, who was being touted as the only man with the strength and will to solve Iraq’s numerous problems.

Across town Kurdish voters were treated to large slices of chocolate cake, folk dancing and poetry readings praising democracy and reminding them of their duty to their nation.

Elsewhere street urchins were discovering that democracy can pay. They have been hired en masse to put up posters and billboards on every wall space available and probably paid a little extra to tear down the slogans of rival politicians.

Some of the campaigning methods are fairly crude.

One boy said that the police had given him a stack of posters of the Prime Minister and ordered him to put them up around his neighbourhood. The Iraqi Electoral Commission has received complaints that some parties have warned voters that they would “go to Hell” unless they supported their candidates. Others have used photographs of influential religious leaders, such as Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, in their campaign posters even though the Shia cleric is not running in the elections.

Viva.

UPDATE: Consider also.


the UNPOPULIST
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posted by Ace at 11:31 PM

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