The New York Times writes: The dispute over the election law centers first on the question of whether voters can cast their ballots for parties or individuals. Voting for individuals is preferable because it offers a more direct connection between politicians and their constituents and helps weaken ethnically based parties.
Staffod Clarry responds: Yes, but no individual is likely to be effective without group support. The corollary: individuals can be made ineffective by groups. Iraq is not there yet.
Iraq is a country deeply divided into groups and by groups (ethnic groups, sectarians groups, clans, tribes). In groups there is power to be constructive, or destructive. In individuals, without group support, there is limited opportunity to be constructive, or destructive.
The New York Times writes: The second, even more difficult issue, is who should be eligible to vote in Kirkuk. Mr. Hussein drove Kurds out of the region; Arabs now charge that the Kurdish regional government is flooding the city with Kurds to bolster its territorial claims.
Stafford Clarry writes: It is indeed rather amazing that this persistent specious argument has not yet been put to sleep. Facts say something else. Which residents have ancestral ties to the area whose families were forced to migrate? The corollary: which residents of Kirkuk have ancestral ties to some place else, but came to Kirkuk after others were forced to migrate in order to occupy their properties?