My thoughts on the Iraqi referendum

I've been giving some thought to the Iraqi constitutional referendum lately.

Perhaps it may not be well known to some of you, but if the Sunnis could manage to get a two-thirds majority, "No" vote in three provinces, they could veto the ratification of the Iraqi constitution. Some might see that as a scathing repudiation of the fledgling political process, but my current thinking runs contrary to that. If the Sunnis were able to pull it off... If they were able to block the ratification of the constitution, I see several good things that could come out of it. Firstly, the Sunnis would see that the political system that has been put in place does work and that it is not skewed against them. Affording them that realization would bring with it a large number of beneficial side-effects.

According to the process that's been laid out, if the initial constitution is vetoed in this way, the current constitutional assembly would be dismissed and a new election would ensue to pick their replacements.

Having seen that the political system does indeed work for them, perhaps we would see a greater level of participation from the thus far, disenfranchised Sunni minority. This greater level of involvement would lead to a greater level of representation in the assembly and a greater sense of involvement and ownership of the political process. People generally do not destroy the things they own. This greater feeling of ownership could very well blunt Sunni support for the "insurgency".

Conversely, if the draft constitution is ratified despite the overwhelming Sunni objections, they are liable to feel that a bitter pill has been shoved down their throats. This is liable to further disenfranchise them, feed their resentment and thus pour fuel on the "insurgency".
As much as I would like to see the Iraqi government taking shape and the Iraqi people leaving their uncertainties behind. I think, considering my previous thoughts, that I'm going to have to root for the Sunni "No" vote on this one. Unfortunately, that's betting on the long shot.

One thing I am rather certain about, is that neither outcome will appease Zarqawi and his rabble. Nothing short of a Muslim theocracy that enforces the strictest version of Sharia law ruling over the entire world would appease his ilk.

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