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Wednesday, January 19, 2005 

Get out and vote!

This has got me all kinds of excited (I'm not sure why):

Another PhD student who's just started is an Iraqi, I knew that much before (but he is NOT the one who told me on the elevator that he was from Iraq, that's a different guy) but he came in today all smart, and turns out he's working on campaigning for the election! How cool is that! So he showed me the group he's campaigning for, The United Iraqi Alliance, which is #169 on the ballot, and even showed us a sample ballot (which was absolute madness. Trust me, Florida could not handle this bad boy.)

So then we sat down and had a long chat about Iraq, because up till now I hadn't met anyone from there who was friendly to me. He said he went there five years ago and then again last July. I asked him if it was better and he said it was "way better" except for the buildings, which I apologized for, oddly enough. (I will not apologize for my country as a whole, but I will express condolences for our choice to structurally demolish just about every town in the whole country, just so us Americans could get Shocked and Awed.) He said he thought a lot of people would vote, and he's working to get the 200,000 or so Iraqis in this country to vote, and also to explain the ballot to them, as there is not an English version available.

Apparently, they won't just be voting for one individual like we do in the states. They'll be voting for groups of people, hence his United Alliance title. This group includes people from over 23 political parties with 50% of the candidates being independent. Whew! I'm glad I don't have to make that kind of choice. And I'm not sure how that overlaps with tribes either.

It was just so interesting to have someone explain this whole mess to me, and for the very first time I saw and felt somewhat relieved about the War, like maybe somehow it will work out not totally awful. He was really excited too, "I mean, none of these people thought they would ever get to vote in their lives!" Wow.

Cool chick

Torrid Travels

In deep freeze

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