Commentary on the present and future of culture, politics, economics, and social values................... "At any given instant/All solids dissolve, no wheels revolve,/And facts have no endurance." W.H. Auden.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Iraq and Group Democracy

Britain's Guardian reports an interesting change in the strategy of the Bush Administration in the upcomning Iraqi elections:

The Bush administration is considering reserving a few high-level posts in
the next Iraqi government for Sunni Muslims, regardless of how well they fare in
next month's elections, for fear that their exclusion could prolong the
country's military and political turmoil.

If accurate, this story indicates a major shift in US policy. Up until now, the Bush Administration has argued that Iraq must have US-style democracy. That is, an individual democracy, one-person-one-vote style, as it is practiced in the US.

Group democracy is quite different. It assures that an election will produce a distributuion of power that rewards all groups for participation in the election. That is not US practice. If you want to see it in operation, look at Lebanon. There the Maranite Christians are assured the presidency, the Sunni Muslims are assured the prime ministery, and the Shiite Muslims are assured the speakership of parliament. This practice is followed to allow all groups to cooperate in the politcial process with the assurence they will have a guaranteed role and a share of power. No group can be exluded in this system.

it is interesting that the Bush Administration may shift its Iraq goal from a US-style democracy to a style that was perfected in the Middle East, in Lebabon. Is that called a learning curve?

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