Iraq Elections 2014

The results of the 2014 election are now in. I favour the secular parties, but that is not what the Iraqi people are voting for. The top 3 parties are religious to some extent. So I think what needs to be acknowledged is that the Shiites need to be allowed to do whatever they want. They can vote for moderate Shia (Maliki) or radical Shia (Sadr and Muwatin) or secular Shia (Allawi).

The non-Shia parties need to passively support the best Shia party. That is far preferable to the religious Shia all allying together. If the top 3 parties (all Shia religious) ally it will create 157 seats out of the 165 needed to govern.

It would be better if the top Sunni party (Muttahidoon with 28 seats) and the Kurds (Kurdistan Democratic Party 25, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan 21, Gorran 9) with a total of 55 seats were to be passive partners of Maliki, giving 92+28+55 = 175 seats.

The long-term challenge is to get the Shia split on a left/right basis instead of hardcore religious, moderate religious and secular. And to get the Shia to support secularism too. As such, it is better for Allawi to remain in opposition so that he can say "I am the opposition to Maliki as I am secular, and you should vote for my secular party next time because it's better!" (and the only way to prove that is to elect him). The Sadrist and Muwatin provide another opposition party - that of strong Shia religion. Hopefully that "3rd pole" will be eliminated over time, but the scary thing is that they will get stronger with their message "strong religion is better" (and the only way to prove that is to elect them).

P.S. What we need is for Allawi to reach about 70 seats, to Maliki's 92, and then the Sunni Arab block vote of 43, and the Kurdish block vote of 55 can sweep in to anoint Allawi, with 70+43+55=168. But for now, Maliki is king.

P.P.S. As per this, the Arab Sunnis and Kurds should not make any demands on Maliki. Just cement him in power and let him do whatever he wants.

P.P.P.S. Just to be perfectly clear, the Arab Sunnis and Kurds should not even demand a single cabinet post. If Maliki chooses to give posts to the Arab Sunnis and Kurds, that is great, but the choice is his. He must feel confident about abandoning his ex-allies like Sadr.

P.P.P.P.S. In the long term we need 6 parties. Secular Arab Shiite Left, Secular Arab Shiite Right, Secular Arab Sunni Left, Secular Arab Sunni Right, Secular Kurdish Left, Secular Kurdish Right. The non-Shia need to hold their noses and support the most secular party they can in order to gain a majority, and after securing a secular party they need to start thinking left/right.

P.P.P.P.P.S. It looks like my favorite candidate, Mithal Al-Alusi, is back in parliament.

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