Posted by: sean | December 19, 2008

Minority democracy

I’ve been swamped with grading before the holiday season (I’ll be going to America this weekend), so I apologize for the sporadic posting lately. I just came across an idea, however, in one of papers I’m grading that I felt compelled to share.

The paper is about Iraq in particular and the nature of American foreign policy in general, and while commenting on Iraq, one student wrote, “How can Iraq be a democracy if it’s ruled by a minority, a Kurd?”

Presumably, he’s talking about Talabani. Of course, he probably doesn’t know that the Prime Minister has much more power than the president in Iraq, but that’s not the point. I find it fascinating, although not really surprising, that his idea of democratic rule necessarily excludes minorities from being the head of state.

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