Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Elections Are Not Democracy

Fareed Zakaria gets it right in this week's Newsweek column. He describes three prerequisites for democracy in Iraq: limited ethnic conflict, minimize problems stemming from easy oil money and respect for the rule of law. Iraq is not doing well on any.

"'The one precondition for democracy to work is a consensus among major ethnic, regional, or religious groups,' says Larry Diamond, one of the leading experts on democratization. This has not happened. Instead the Shia, Sunnis and Kurds are increasingly wary of one another and are thinking along purely sectarian lines. This 'groupism' also overemphasizes the religious voices in these communities, and gives rise to a less secular, less liberal kind of politics. "


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