Thursday, November 4

What Afghanistan and Iraq will need to do

Afghanistan has had elections. They are on the road to democracy. What will make it real, is an election which is a knock down, drag 'em down, dog-fight in the mud. Then, when it is over, the winner (especially if not the incumbent) smoothly takes over. Tempers cool and the process wins.

When they have had a deeply divided election like that of 1800, then it will be real. It will stick. It becomes part of the "ritual" of "how it is always done". A habit.

In 1800, John Adams was the incumbent. Thomas Jefferson ran against him in an extremely bitter campaign (yes worse than in 2004). After the election was over, Mr Adams stepped down (oddly enough becoming the Vice President), and Mr Jefferson took over. The whole world watched in wonder as the change took place. After that, following that example, after the election was over the process won. Two centuries later there was no question that after this election, as tepid in comparison but somewhat heated nonetheless, the winner would be President for the next 4 years.

Let's pray that these two young democracies in a few years get their chance and survive their real birthing pangs to join the ranks of the free world.