The Yellow Dog Blog

More meaningless ramblings from another guy you don't know

Thursday, January 27, 2005

UN on democracy..."yawn"

It seems that the head of election assistance from the UN is disturbed that US troops in Iraq may be too "overenthusiastic" in their promotion of this weekend's election. Carina Perelli, chief of the UN's Electoral Assistance Division, is concerned because the troops have handed out voter registration information to Iraqis and had the temerity to (gasp!) encourage them to vote. You see, according to Miss Perelli, "this is an Iraqi process."

Never mind that this was done at the request of the Iraqi Electoral Commission.

It's amazing enough that the UN has anyone on the payroll whose job it is to assist the democratic process at all. I suppose we should be thankful for small favors. But if the goal of the UN is to promote peace among the nations of the world, shouldn't they be working to promote democracy everywhere they can? Wouldn't help in registering new voters in a former dictatorship be a good thing, even if those helping are those mean old Americans.

But no, democracy may be nice, but let's not go overboard here. As Miss Perelli later said, Iraqis will have to “decide by themselves whether they consider that this election is important enough, is valid enough, is legitimate enough in order to risk their lives to go and vote.�

With advocates like that, who needs insurgents?

MORE: Give Perelli her due. The level and breadth of the participation in the election on Sunday seems to have had a profound effect on her:

``I have participated in many elections in my life and I usually say that the day you lose your ability to be moved by people going to vote, you should change your career,'' said Perelli, who had insisted for months that U.N. advisers would leave pronouncements on the election to Iraq's electoral commission. ``This was probably one of the most moving elections I have ever seen.''