The election results are due any minute now, and I am happy. Not because I know who has won (I am not sure I have too strong a preference either way), but because it seems the results are so close, because 12 million people came out to vote and because we have a thriving democracy. Yes, its not perfect, people are suffering and services are terrible, but who would have imagined a few years ago that we would have election after election that have been, for the most part, peaceful. Allawi passed the baton on to Ja’afari, who then passed it to Maliki, and despite what the doom-sayers say, Maliki will relinquish the seat if the voters have demanded that he do so.
We have come a long way, and I, for one, am optimistic.