Tuesday, January 25, 2005

صوت العراق Info on elections

صوت العراق

The community board is very informative. One posting states "Why I am voting for Al Umma Democratic Party". There are also little adverts from party members of the various coalitions, etc.

Thoughtful and concise. :-)

Monday, January 24, 2005

Iraqi Communist Party / Nation Union #324 الطريق : موقع الحزب الشيوعي العراقي

iraqi communist partyالطريق : موقع الحزب الشيوعي

The ICP (Iraqi Communist Party) is part of a coalition called Itihad al-Sha'ab, quite literally, "people's union", but in the list of contestants it is called "Nation Union"

This site was pointed out to me by the aliraqi.org community board (thanks nor!). They have a mixed bag of people represented on their ticket : Shi'as, Sunnis, Kurds, etc.

It should also be pointed out that calling the ICP 'communist' is inaccurate. They're more like Social Democrats in their thinking, but have retained the name, I suppose, because of the legacy of the party (oldest political party in the Arab world).

وطني Wattani.org #201


This is the website for the Wattani party, listed in English as Homeland Gathering.

There is a little bit on the party's mandate, but not much more than the usual rhetoric. I will contact them and see if I can get a candidates' list, platform, etc.

Green Party of Iraq, #124

green party of iraq

Those who are familiar with green parties in their respective countries (particularly Canada) will know, more or less what they stand for. If not, following the link above will tell you more. The links are on the right ("who we are", "contact us", etc.)

Apparently they are running under coalition #124, the Islamic Democratic Movement.

Who to vote for if you were Chaldo Assyrian

Zinda 21 January 2005

Fred Aprim from California gives a well rounded out argument for why Assyrians should vote for one of 3 parties:

204 : Al Rafideen National List

148 : Al Rafideen Democratic Coalition

139 : Assyrian National Gathering

"Consider voting for these three slates only: 204, 148, or 139. Do not vote for the Kurdistan list or other lists simply because there are ChaldoAssyrians on them. You have to compute how many candidates on each list have the chance to win and see on what slot is your candidate and go from there. Again, if the Kurds receive 40 or 50 seats in the Iraqi Parliament, the remaining candidates on their list, even if 1000 and all ChaldoAssyrians, will mean nothing because they will be out."

Friday, January 21, 2005

Al-Umma Democratic Party, #322


Riyadh Al-Hussein is running with the Al-Umma Democratic Party of Iraq (hezb al-Umma AL-Iraqiya Al-Demoqratiya).

too tired to read his website and what his platform is. Tomorrow, insha'allah

CBC Radio | The Current - Links to websites that would be useful to the Iraqi voter

CBC Radio | The Current | Whole Show Blow-by-Blow

As promised, the CBC's "The Current" has published a list of websites that would be useful for the Iraqi expatriat (in this case, Iraqi-Canadian).

This was put up in a response to lisener who questioned whether the Canadian media was doing its part in clarifying the actual political situation in Iraq, or just following the herd and reporting the calamities.

A half decent list, but still leaves gaping holes. Out of 22 links, only a handful are websites of actual parties or alliances, most of them mentioned here.

I'm thinking - if I actually got hired to research this, would I come out with this poor of a list ?

Thursday, January 20, 2005

UPDATE: القائمة العراقية | قيادة قوية... وطن آمن

القائمة العراقية | قيادة قوية... وطن آمن

This is the website for Allawi's coaltion, the Iraqi National Accord

Who to Vote for : Part 1

There are articles floating around the web discussing how little knowledge there is among Iraqis on parties and their platforms.

For example, consider this article by Der Speigel,


Problem is, the journalist does little to enlighten the reader as to how an Iraqi can shuffle among the 66 parties (or, more accurately, coalitions of parties) to choose the right candidate.

As for myself, I can only comment on a handful of parties that I know about:

United Iraqi Alliance, or United Iraqi Coalition. #169. Website http://www.vote169.com

This is a coalition of Shi'ite parties, mainly SCIRI (Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution in Iraq, headed by Abdel-Aziz Al-Hakim), the Da'wa party (headed by Ibrahim Ja'fari) and the Iraqi National Congress, headed by Ahmed Chalabi. There are 17 members / parties listed publicly, the rest are secret

Despite SCIRI's "revolutionary" title, Al-Hakim has been talking moderation for at least the past year, and distancing themselves from the form of theocratic government that Iran has.

Part of the coalition is Ahmed Chalabi's INC. Not many people seem to trust Chalabi, who has been guilty of embezzling the Petra bank in Jordan, has been in the pocket of the CIA for years, and has recently fallen out of favor with the pentagon for supposedly sharing sensitive information with the Iranians. Historian Juan Cole calls him "a world-class liar"

I shouldn't dwell too much on the INC, which would undoubtedly overshadow the other parties which have grown out of grass-roots movememnts and have been around for decades. The Da'wa party, for example, lost many of its leaders under Saddam's rule.

The Iraqi List, or Iraqiya (al-ga'imat Al-Iraqiya). #285

This is Iyad Allawi's coalition, which includes his Iraqi National Accord. There are also tribal chiefs listed, Moqtada al-Sadr's uncle (can someone explain this to me?) and some technocrats.

This party should do well, if only that they are the incumbents, and whoever's worked for the Iraqi goverment in the past months or benefited from them would probably vote for them. Also, it is easier for them to campaign and get their message across, since they would use the same infrastructure as when they call press conferences. In addition, the coalition seems like it has enough of a mix to appeal to a wide margin

Kurdistani Alliance list #130

Here, the two rival lions of the Kurdish north, Talabani and Barzani, hace united along with a list of lesser known Kurdish parties / movements, to create this coalition.

They will easily win a large majority of voters from the North. They have been running a semi-autonomous state up there since the beginning of the sanctions, and have run that part of the country efficiently.

UPDATE: This is their website, Helbijardin


Note: I don't speak Kurdish, and can't verify this site personally. A user by the name of Manhattan from Aliraqi.org sent this to me (Thanks Manhattan!)

Iraqi Islamic Party. #351

This WAS the Islamic Sunni party running for elections, and had pulled out in late December. Adnan Pachachi, a known elder politician, has joined other coalitions, supposedly. I don't know if it still falls under that name.

Iraqis, Iraqiyoon. #255

The interim president, ghazi Ajeel Al-Yawar, heads the list. There are also other government ministers on this list, as well as tribal leaders.

Peoples Union, #290

I think this is the party listed as "Union Party" or "hizb al-wahda" on the Contestants list. If so, this is the alliance of the Communist Party and Hikmet Dawood Hakim.

The communist party is the Arab world's oldest political party (established in 1935!), and probably the most oppressed in Iraq, given its long history and rivalry with whoever was in power at the time.

I've met a number of Iraqi communists in Canada, the U.S. and Iraq. Given their organizational skills and history, they should be able to win a few seats. Besides which, the communist manifesto always sound great in theory. :-)

Royal Constitutionality Al Shareef Ali Bin Al-Hussein (al-malakiya al-destoriya ) #349

I should mention the Monarchy movement simply because they were in power way back when, and may have some support from Iraq's 60+ demographic

Al Rafideen National List, #204

Important party, especiallly for expats since this is one of the Christian lists. A coalition between the Chaldeans and Assyrians.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

How it Works

Bear with me on this one - it is somewhat complicated and I'm being careful not to pass on any misinformation. If any of what I've written below is mistaken, please let me know as soon as possible and I will rectify it.

Inside Iraq, people will vote for a national assembly and a provincial council (the Kurdish areas will vote additionally for a separate Kurdish Parliament). Outside of Iraq, Iraqis will only be able to vote for the national assembly.

Across the country and in member voting countries, voters will have the same ballot for the national assembly. In Canada, by contrast, you vote for whoever is running in your district.

The system being used is called proportional representation. What does this mean? Generally, if a given party gets, say 20% of the vote, then that will be represented by the number of seats on a percentage basis : 20% of the 275 seats = 55 seats. Additionally, there is a mandate to have a representation of at least 25% women in the National Assembly.

Proportional representation, it is argued, is needed in Iraq to allow the smaller parties a stronger chance of winning seats. Conversely, candidates who may be very popular in specific geographical areas will dilute their chances to win seats.

Hence, the need for coalitions. A single candidate has litle chance for winning a seat if he/she runs as a single entity. Even if the candidate's platform is popular, one seat will need at least 40,000 votes.

More in-depth info can be found at http://www.ieciraq.org

This national assembly is considered transitional. The two key duties of the National Assembly is to 1) appoint government ministers, including prime minister, and 2) draft the permanent constitution of Iraq (which will be presented to Iraqis in a referendum).

List of parties in English and Arabic

Embassy of Iraq to the United States

The link above will take you to the 'links' section of the embassy's website.

If you click on link #7, your browser will download a pdf file of all the contestants, in English and Arabic (the OCV only has it in Arabic).

A note has to be made on translations. I had previously called the Shi'ite coalition the "United Iraqi Alliance", which is a fair translation of "Al-i'tilaf aliIraqi almowahad". The pdf file calls it the Unified Iraq Coalition, which is, admittedly, a more accurate translation.

Vote 169!

Vote 169!

The United Iraqi Alliance, Ayatollah Sistani's 'endorsed' party , has come out with an Arabic website for Iraqis living in the United States.

The Arabic comes out kinda funny on my browser, but it basically has information on the party's platform, as well as maps to the voting centers in the United States.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Iraq election flowchart

Iraq election flowchart
Originally uploaded by duraid.

Important websites

For a pretty definitive look at who the different parties are (with links), as well as links to the parties themselves, IEDs is good.

(note: MEMRI, which is referenced quite a bit on IEDs, is a right wing site that poses to be neutral - surfer beware!)

For the most authoritative look at what's happening in Iraq today, Juan Cole's website is excellent.

A very well researched website that posts articles on the web on the subject of Iraq - War in Context

Most importantly, for Iraqis outside of Iraq wishing to vote, you'll want to be looking at the OCV website.