Can't Fight The Cowbell: Consumer Confidence, Optimism For Future Rises | Main | Poll: 77% of Afghans Optimistic About Future; 83% View The US Favorably
December 09, 2005

WaPo: Iraqis Embrace Democracy

Even Moqtada al-Sadr is getting aboard the politics train:

[H]undreds of black-clad followers of the radical Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr -- who decried balloting 10 months ago as something imposed under American occupation -- beat their backs with chains and stomped across a large poster of former interim prime minister Ayad Allawi. Sadr's political wing has joined forces with the alliance of Shiite religious parties that leads Iraq's current government and opposes Allawi's secular movement.

As Iraqis nationwide prepare to go to the polls for the third time this year on Dec. 15 -- this time for a new parliament -- candidates and political parties of all stripes are embracing politics, Iraqi style, as never before and showing increasing sophistication about the electoral process, according to campaign specialists, party officials and candidates here.

"It is like night and day from 10 months ago in terms of level of participation and political awareness," said a Canadian election specialist with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs....

Evidence of political evolution is plastered all over Baghdad's normally drab concrete blast walls and hung on lampposts at nearly every major intersection: large, colorful, graphically appealing posters conveying a wide variety of punchy messages.

Television and radio airwaves are replete with slick advertisements costing anywhere from $1,250 per minute on al-Sumariya, a Lebanon-based satellite station focused on Iraq, to $5,000 per minute on al-Arabiya, a network based in the United Arab Emirates that is popular across the Arab world.

In one 30-second spot, a smartly dressed and smiling Allawi -- normally known for his brusque demeanor -- is shown seated on a stool in a dimly lit studio. "My faith is in Iraq," he tells the camera, to underscore his secularism.

Even the arrival of American-style negative campaigning is evidence of a growing political sophistication, the election trainers said. In recent days posters have started to appear in Sadr City, the vast Shiite slum in north Baghdad, bearing the slogan "vote for the Baathist slate," along with a composite photograph of a face -- half Allawi's and half Hussein's. Allawi was a member of Hussein's Baath Party until the mid-1970s, when he joined Iraq's opposition.

More from Iraq the Model, including an editorial cartoon spoofing the Iraqis' ad-happy campaigning.

If it's negative campaigning they want, they should disseminate this guest editorial al-Sadr did for me some time back.

Oh, and I'm tired of having that "Vote for Me" post at the top of the page, as I'm sure you are. I'll just include reminders to vote at the end of posts.


digg this
posted by Ace at 12:19 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
Professor Chaos aka gumdrop gorilla: ">Help me stay strong...there are pastries and bage ..."

Roy: "You all can laugh at this, but umm, shouldn't the ..."

Jen the original: "I don't know what his eventual record will be but ..."

Barack Obama is a bad, bad man: "Was really galls me about that article is his easy ..."

willow: "banana splits guy, and the great unwashed potty ha ..."

Brother Cavil, #FireSessions: "[i]You all can laugh at this, but umm, shouldn't t ..."

Donna and V. (sans amepesands at the present time): "Congressscrunt Stupid Hats will continue to get re ..."

IrishEi: "Who is KWB? ..."

willow: "and as George was my first Republican vote. Boy ..."

geoffb: "125," It gets Blade Runner in ways that fans get ..."

Professor Chaos aka gumdrop gorilla: "360 >>>So this really is a thing, not just an urba ..."

Cicero (@cicero): "[i]"Candid, pragmatic, and always fascinating, Joh ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64