Thursday, November 24, 2005

Surprisingly optimistic for a hopeless quagmire

From the IRI:

An International Republican Institute (IRI) poll conducted November 1-11, 2005, found that once again an overwhelming majority of Iraqis plan to vote on December 15 to elect a permanent national assembly, which will be called the Council of Representatives. Eighty-five percent of Iraqis plan to go to the polls to choose their representatives under a new constitution adopted on October 15 in a national referendum.

As the December elections approach, and Iraqis prepare to meet the third and final deadline set in the Transitional Administrative Law to establish a new government, optimism for the future remains high. Of those polled, 53 percent feel things will be much better or better in six months, 65 percent in one year and 72 percent in five years.

Confidence in the government also remains high. A majority of Iraqis, 55 percent, strongly approve or somewhat approve of the performance of the current Iraqi National Assembly. Fifty-six percent of Iraqis feel their new constitution represents the will of the Iraqi people. This is compared to only 15 percent who feel the constitution represents the will of only certain ethnic or religious groups or 13 percent who feel it doesn't represent the will of the Iraqi people at all. Sixty-four percent of Iraqis have a very favorable or somewhat favorable impression of the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq.

Freedom and democracy is the reason most given by Iraqis who feel the country is headed in the right direction. Iraqis also cite the existence of a nationally elected government, improved infrastructure and having a constitution as reasons why the country is moving in the right direction.

Better planning for the post-war Al-Qaeda ‘insurgency’ could have made the aftermath less bloody. There are no excuses for the behaviour of the Americans in Abu Ghraib.

Those are two legitimate criticisms of the Coalition. Once we’ve made them, let’s admire the achievements and attitude of the Iraqis. They’re more optimistic about the future of their democratic country than the race riot-ravaged French are about theirs.

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