Iraqi Constitutional waiting game

As we continue to wait for the final results I’ll point you to an article at “Back to Iraq 3.0”. He is a once-freelance now Time-affiliated reporter in Baghdad. He’s extremely familiar with Iraqi society and today has posted some interesting insight into what might or might not happen with the Constitution.

His conclusion is as follows… please read the whole thing, he reports on reaction from Shiite and Sunnis people in Baghdad and their feelings on what this vote was all about.

I do think that defeating the constitution might be best in the long run. It will embolden the Sunnis and give them a political win, motivating them to further involve themselves in the political process. This will force the Shi’ites and Kurds to deal with real elected representatives instead of appointed ones. Will this spell and end to violence? Of course not, but anything that allows the Sunnis to claim victory instead of forcing them to eat political table scraps is a big step in ending the Sunni-led insurgency.

The CBC meanwhile is reporting that initial reaction from the Iraqi government is that the Constitution has passed, but possibly by a narrow margin. We can’t know for sure until the final tally is revealed and verified.

Personally, I think Albrighton at Back to Iraq has a good point. Maybe the best result *is* a surprising defeat. It would show exactly what democracy is all about.. it would prove to all Sunnis that their votes *do* count and that they *do* have a political voice even though they are a minority. It would force the Shia and Kurds to seriously consider Sunni request for a strong federal government rather than the provincial “regions” that could help along the process of breaking up Iraq. It would prove to Iran that their influence was not the end-all-be-all… it would prove to Kurds that they actually have to show up in order to guarantee themselves a spot.

The danger in a no vote would be that it could lead to all out chaos. The Kurds could simply give up. The Shiites could simply impose their own constitution next time ’round.. and these could both lead the Sunni insurgency to flair into all out civil war against rival Shiite militia.

Whatever happens all we can do is watch and hope that Iraq takes a turn for the better.

2 replies on “Iraqi Constitutional waiting game”

  1. As I read the beginning of this post and reflected on the “wisdom” of the Time-affliated journalist, I thought well that’s interesting. A new recipe for making lemonade out of a lemon.

    Personally, the risk of rejection of the constitution and the high probablitiy of further instability and violence far outweighes IMO any benefit of a NO vote theorized by said writer.

  2. I would say there is a high probability of further instability and violence no matter what the result. If the constitution passes, Sunnis could claim (as some already have) that the vote was rigged or that their vote somehow did not count, thus fueling resentment towards the Shia and Kurds…

    Or.. if the Sunnis do reject the constitution, forces within them could use it as a rallying point to strengthen the insurgency and force the Shia and Kurds to bow to their will.

    There are plenty of scenarios…

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