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Monday, November 06, 2006

Democracy Watch

The American government has certainly been talking up democracy over the weekend.

First, they've been promoting the sentencing in the Saddam Hussein trial as a victory for democracy:
"Saddam Hussein's trial is a milestone in the Iraqi people's efforts to replace the rule of a tyrant with the rule of law," Bush told reporters before leaving Texas for campaign stops here and in Topeka, Kan. "It's a major achievement for Iraq's young democracy and its constitutional government."
Because, in fact, in Texas, nothing says "democracy" like a series of executions. Hope they got the right guy!

Meantime, in an actual democratic process, Nicarauguans are on the verge of electing (or have already?) Daniel Ortega to the Presidency. Naturally, something dirty must be going on:
The U.S. Embassy said it was too soon to "make an overall judgment on the fairness and transparency of the process."

"We are receiving reports of some anomalies in the electoral process," including polling stations that opened late and closed early, the embassy said.
Meantime, election observers from anywhere else in the world believe the process has been fair.

So, to sum up, the calculus of the Bush White House is:
Results we like = democracy
Results we don't like = not a democracy
It will be interesting to see if that calculus holds up on Tuesday. It'll also be interesting to see if variance from polls to election day are any different in Diebold states than in non-Diebold states. A government that believes favourable results are the same thing as a democracy is a government toward which suspicion can only be healthy.

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