Sunday, October 23, 2011

No, your right to vote doesn't matter

You just keep thinking that today as you see Tunisians going to the polls for the first time.

Here's a look at how voting went in one precinct:

The New York Times takes a look at why today's vote is being watched closely throughout the Arab world.
Millions of Tunisians cast votes on Sunday for an assembly to draft a new constitution, in a burst of pride and hope that after inspiring the regional revolt that is still shaking the Arab world, their small country could now lead the way to democracy.
“Tunisians showed the world how to make a peaceful revolution without icons, without ideology, and now we are going to show the world how we can build a real democracy,” Marcel Marzouki, founder of a liberal political party and former dissident exile, said as he waited in a long line outside a polling place in the coastal town of Sousse. “This will have a real impact in places like Libya and Egypt and Syria, after the fall of its regime. The whole Arab world is watching.”
After 10 months of anxiety and street protests since the sudden uprising that forced their former president, the autocrat Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, to flee the country, Tunisians standing in orderly lines to vote expressed confidence that, for the first time in their history, an honest count of their ballots would determine the country’s future.
The Guardian talked to various Tunisians to get a sense of what issue is most important to them.

Of course, voting means that there will be winners (and of course losers). Reuters explores which groups are expected to do well.

Islamists are expected to do well in Tunisia's first democratic election on Sunday, 10 months after the ouster of autocratic leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in a popular uprising that set off protest movements around the Arab world.

The Ennahda party will almost certainly win a share of power after the vote, which will set a democratic standard for other Arab countries where uprisings have triggered political change or governments have tried to rush reforms to stave off unrest.

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