Update [2004-12-31 11:50:39 by Armando]: Promoted from the diaries by Armando. Pretty unbelievable - the names of the people who you might actually vote for can not be released for security reasons. While it is obvious that the slates on which they are running will be the critical factor for determining voters' preferences, one imagines, it still boggles the mind. As a commentator notes - now there is a secret ballot.
This observation from Juan Cole just blows my mind:
Candidate name recognition doesn't appear very important, however. For security reasons, the actual names of most candidates on the 78 party or multiparty lists have so far not been released. This odd situation, in which the candidates are not known a month before the election, attests to how dire the political and security situation in Iraq really is.
I know the Bush administration has a lot of political capital tied up in not pushing back the date for the Iraqi elections. Pushing the date back would be an admission of failure, and the Bush administration would rather gnaw off their own arms then admit failure. But, at a certain point, don't you have to admit defeat, or become a laughingstock? I think having an election where the names of the candidates have to remain secret so they don't get assassinated
might be awfully close, if not right up to the edge, of that point. I guess it adds a whole new meaning to the phrase "secret ballot."
I also have a question for Kos readers. Who has the final authority on whether to hold the Iraqi elections on time, or to delay them? Is it Allawi? Or is it some other person or government body?