Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Iraq Has a Government

Well it only took nine months, but Iraq has a government. Here’s the CNN report:



Maybe this is a stupid question, but can someone explain to me why it takes that long for Iraqis to negotiate the terms and conditions for a minority government? I know that the divisions between the Iraqi Sunni and Shiite communities run especially deep, and that lots of Iraqis have both the means and the inclination to try and settle their differences through extra-parliamentary means. But that doesn't explain why it takes them so long to form a government.  If anything, it makes it all the more mysterious because the costs of not forming one expeditiously are so high.

Suppose the Iraqi constitution provided that in the event that a government isn’t formed within, say, four weeks of an election, another election will be held. Wouldn’t the parties who’d gotten the most votes have more than enough incentive to work out a deal before they lost their chance to participate in the government? I find it hard to believe that any agreement that’s achievable couldn't be achieved within a single month.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It stands to reason that the longer the period between the election and the formation of a government the less impact that the vote count will have on the shape the government takes. The last time there was an election before the last one a civil war erupted in the interim.