Bits and Pieces

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Get Out The Vote

I put forward an idea about two years ago at the Halbakery (unfortunately lost in a disk crash last October) that the Hands of Victory, a monument erected in Baghdad to celebrate Iraq's victory over Iran, should be replaced by the Hands of Democracy, a monument forged using the ashes from the voting slips of the first elections. The idea was uniformly denounced as naive and wishful thinking - denounced to such an extent that I eventually withdrew it.

This past Friday I visited a small warehouse in Ashton, a town a few miles from my home. As I approached the door a neighbour called to me to say that the warehose was closed for the day, as the manager had gone to Collyhurst to cast his vote. I posted a card to let him know I'd visited, and saw a notice posted in his door - it read Gone Votin'. Open Monday.

He fled his country in fear. He set up home in the UK and built a business. He took to his adopted country to the point at which he could humurously modify an English expression. Now, years later, he locks his doors and drives to the polling station to mark his thumb with indelible ink. Nobody thought it was possible - including me.

Today, as we hear that over 70% of his countrymen joined him at the polls, I'm happy to say I was wrong.

Cross-posted at Iraq Election Diatribes and the Command Post.
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