Monday, October 04, 2004

Afghan elections just as silly as ours: let freedom reign

The Sunday Times notes: “Karzai cancelled his last election broadcast because of security concerns although Kabul Radio City, where it was due to be recorded, is less than a mile from the palace and across the road from the headquarters of the Nato led peacekeeping force.” “[T]he 18 candidates include a vodka swilling warlord who likes to crush his enemies with tanks but is running on a human rights platform; a poet returning from exile in Paris; a woman paediatrician and one man who submitted an old black-and-white passport photograph remarkably similar to the only known image of Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader.” And it’s still a better choice than Bush v. Kerry.

Something called International Foundation for Election Systems is passing out picture-only election literature described thus by the Sunday Times: “a series of pictures begins with a map of Afghanistan with a Kalashnikov at its centre and scenes of devastation. Then pictures of people voting are followed by images of Afghanistan with a sun in the centre radiating out to roads, hospitals, schools and wheat fields.” Yes, by all means encourage magical thinking about the electoral process. And, um, wheat? (If anyone comes across this, or indeed any Afghan election lit., please email me.)

It notes the problems in preventing voter fraud by putting indelible ink on people’s fingers when so many are amputees because of landmines.

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