All The More Reason

Referendum in Iraq?
September 6, 2006, 10:08 pm
Filed under: Iraq, Uncategorized

In this roundtable discussion over at, Christopher Hitchens suggests that the Iraqi people, or their representatives, be asked about any kind of withdrawal of Coalition troops. Here’s a quote.

A possible solution — ask the Iraqis what should be done — is insufficiently canvassed. As a means of concentrating all minds, one could either propose a vote in the Iraqi parliament, or a national referendum, on the single question of a date for withdrawal to begin. Much might be learned from the analysis of the results, and we could remind people again that Iraq is the only country in the region, apart from Lebanon, where citizens are regularly called to the polling-booth. This was part of the point to begin with.

Jonathan Smith


2 Comments so far
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Are you mad? The last time we asked Iraqis something, they said all the trouble they face today is worth getting rid of Saddam and having a chance at a future. We can’t have them talking, it’s election time.

Comment by Raphael

We should not forget that the governing coalition was elected on a ticket that promised the maintenance the presence of American and British troops until such time as Iraqi forces were able to ensure security.

I’m not a big fan of referenda per se; they tend to be entirely political tools which detract from the business of government, rather than enhance it. However, I think this idea does have some merit. It would expose the lie that ‘the Iraqi people’ want rid of American and British troops, and that the insurgency is anything but a chauvinistic power challenge. However, the chances are that it wouldn’t actually change much on the ground. I’m not sure whether the exercise would be justified simply to reinforce a message that some numbskulls on the Left are too blinkered to realise already.

Comment by Michael P

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