Talking Points 6 February


It’s a big week for elections in the Middle East.

The Iraqi elections were “ the most boring event in Iraq since the war” according to this blogger. Nouri al-Maliki has emerged as the winner of the provincial elections. Improved security and peaceful elections have strengthened the Prime Minister’s popularity. Is this the first sign of Iraq becoming a true democracy? Good news for Iraq but is the real winner the US?

World have Your Say is in Israel next week for the elections. Madeleine will be posting some more information on our trip soon, but we’ll be hoping to speak to representatives from some of the parties in the race.

The far right Beintenu Party, is gaining massive popularity according to the polls. Will a far right government paralyse the peace process?

One story that grabbed my attention – Women in the US are set to surpass men on the nation’s payrolls for the first time in history. The number of women in work has seen little change in recent months owing to their traditional roles in the public sector, in contrast to men who are heavily represented in manufacturing, construction and banking. So is the economic crisis going alter traditional gender roles? Is a female breadwinner about to become the norm?

Finally, it’s been a week (or two) of marches and protests around the world.

In this alternative analysis of the past week’s demonstrations, Frank Skinner looks back fondly at his first march. “I get all romantic when I hear of British workers on the march – all hand rolled cigarettes and embroidered banners” he says. Yesterday, black taxis in London brought the inner streets of the city to a standstill when they parked up in protest against illegal mini cabs stealing their business.

A question that comes up time and time again when the world erupts in protest is – what’s the point?

9 Responses to “Talking Points 6 February”

  1. February 6, 2009 at 13:08

    The Iraqi provincial elections marked a new dawn and a fresh start for us and for our Iraq… Those elections represented another ambitious and wide step towards the light at the end of the tunnel… In my opinion the biggest loser in these elections is “sectarian democracy”… This time we ordinary Iraqis didn’t vote for our religious, sectarian, or ethnic identities, this time we voted for the people whom we think will improve things in Iraq and lead this country towards a better and safe future, this time we ordinary Iraqis voted for Iraq… I and so many people I know have voted for Mr Al Maliki, and if you guys ask why, I bet that you’re gonna hear one answer from every Iraqi who has voted for him : “b/c he’s the one who brought peace and stability back to us”, I bet that you’ll never hear a single person who says “b/c he’s Shiite”… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  2. 2 Zainab from Iraq
    February 6, 2009 at 14:26

    Well The Iraqi provincial elections is not that boring but it’s that we feel as if we’ve been cheated..
    actually we find ourselves fighting alone.. we went to elections several times before.. yet nothing has ever changed.. what hurts me most is that people are always ready to take the risk of going to vote (believe me i saw many old people who couldn’t walk yet they went to vote) and on the other hand the candidates never care what people are doing..
    In fact i didn’t want to vote.. but i heard that my vote will be taking by one of the big lists.. so i decided to go.. and i vote fo a poor list that i know will not win. cuz i don’t have in mind a specific list.
    Before the election day i made a questionary to see whether people are going to the election or not and whom they will vote for.. and i was surprised to see all they people whom I know (including Kurdish) were ready to go to vote for PM Almaliki .. they said the one whom we know is better than the one whom we don’t know..means that they got rid of going from bad situation to worst so they decided to stick to their recent situation however bad it is.

    -Is this the first sign of Iraq becoming a true democracy? Good news for Iraq but is the real winner the US?
    i don’t consider this election as a sign of democracy at all..
    cuz one of the big parties have tried to buy the poor simple voters, or delude them by religious terms.. this party went to the extreme calling the election as “renewal of allegiance” (reminding me of Saddam’s election that was only a renewal of allegiance) Thank Allah this list did not win as a first list.

    These election are important but we need a real words from the parties.

  3. 3 Emma from England
    February 6, 2009 at 16:28

    The strikers who are upset that foreign companies are bringing in foreign labour is an uncomfortable spectacle. This country needs immigrants – most of whom are extremely hard working and productive. Many Brits work abroad too.

    I think these workers are really unhappy that the Government has messed up the UK’s economy so badly that jobs are being lost – that is the real issue, and I do think the ‘foreign worker’ issue is a distraction.

    We’re part of Europe, and just because times are bad, we can’t suddenly change the rules and start discriminating against different nationalities who are legally entitled to seek work in the UK.

  4. 4 Emile Barre
    February 7, 2009 at 12:26

    The right to vote is the most important thing. The results are up to the voters and how they react.

  5. February 8, 2009 at 14:46

    There are no chances of free,fare,and impatial elections under the supervision of present set up.

    Who is nouri al-maliki?
    he has been appointed by warior president some time after occupation,he is still in power with backing supprt of United States.In fact present iraqi government is working as American agent.

    Interm, impartial and independent set in centre is essential for free,fare,and impatial elections because no one can overlook the attribution and interfarence of foriegn powers \,gaining requisited results.

    But, in such circumstances, a stage drama can be played successfully,because there is no hurld in the way to approqch the destination already set by ….

  6. February 8, 2009 at 15:46

    There are many elements of democracy. Strikes and elections are both essential parts of it. Vote, but be prepared to show up in the public square if you or others are wrongly used. Holding elected officials accountable is often like getting a fair wage. Your vote is part of a contract, not just a one-way gift; but sadly, only if you have the energy and time to make it that way.

  7. February 9, 2009 at 04:31

    Let us hope with all our hearts that the Iraqi people end up having a good future for themselves and their children. You should be your own nation and each and every citizen should have a good life, and benefit from your nation’s resources.

    My most sincere best wishes,

    troop…… on the Oregon coast

  8. February 9, 2009 at 10:30

    Free ,impartial and fair election are not expected under the present foreign influence.

  9. 9 ~Dennis Junior~
    February 9, 2009 at 21:55

    Is this the first sign of Iraq becoming a true democracy? i hope that it is a sign of iraq becoming a true democratic country…

    Good news for Iraq but is the real winner the US? maybe, but…the real winner is iraq…

    Will a far right government paralyse the peace process? Probably, YES…As in the previous Far-Right government will paralyzed the peace process in the Middle East….
    So is the economic crisis going alter traditional gender roles? Yes…With some men being protected during the economic crisis….
    Is a female breadwinner about to become the norm? Probably yes!

    ~Dennis Junior~

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