This is a big time in Iraq. For the first time in hundreds of years, the
citizens of Iraq will take an active role in determining their own future
through election. While violence in some regions may reduce the turnout,
this is a monument event for these 22 million Iraqis.
However, the Iraqi election is big news in Chicago as well for a different
reason. Many Iraqis who left the country are registering to vote in these
election. This is happening in large cities across American and across
the world. This is just wrong. In fact, some political expert estimate
that between 20 and 40 percent of all votes cast in the Iraqi election
will be from outside the country. How is it possible for this population
to determine its own destiny if someone else is doing a large part of the
This is an issue where my beautiful intelligence fiancÃ©e disagree with me.
She believe that Iraqi dissidents, many of whom love their country, have
earned the right to vote. Additionally, these people are often more
qualified to make a choice for the good of the country than those who are
living there. Fair enough. I do not begrudge Iraqi-Americans because of
their decision to vote. If I was in their shows, I would probably vote as
well. However, my issue is that the new Iraqi Constitution gives them
this right at all.
When you leave a country to become a resident or citizen of another land,
regardless of reason, you give up certain rights. In some places, you
can't own land as a non-citizen, in many you can't hold public office and
in many countries like the US, you lose the right to vote. Its one of the
tough sacrifices you must make. Why is this? Its because in a true
republic, the governed and them only choose who governs them. And if the
leaders don't lead well, they are voted out of office in the next election.
By giving this right to vote to those who are living in the country, the
spirit of democracy in Iraq dies a little bit as well.