The indispensable Arthur Chrenkoff weighs in with his fourth edition of Good News From Iraq. Here are just a few paragraphs, a tiny percentage of the whole:
IRAQI SOCIETY: The preparations for the democratic transition are on the way:
Iraqi officials organizing elections as the U.S.-led occupation hands over power have turned to Mexico, a country with its own history of cleaning up a bad electoral system. Authorities from Mexico and five other countries are sharing their experiences with nine members of the newly appointed Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq.
“They are willing to risk anything to bring a democratic process to their country,” says Carlos Valenzuela, an advisory member of Iraq’s commission, about the Iraqi electoral officials. The foundations of democracy are already there at the grass-roots and at the top:
With only days to go until Iraqi authorities assume sovereignty in their country, nearly sixty percent of the government has already been transferred to Iraqi control. The Coalition Provisional Authority reports that fifteen of Iraq’s twenty-six ministries are now under Iraqi leadership. All of Iraq’s provincial governments are operating independently, and about ninety percent of Iraq’s municipalities have functioning city or town councils.
The democratic bug is definitely spreading around Iraq, with the news that even the Shia upriser-in-chief, Muqtada al-Sadr, will be forming a political party to contest the elections next year.
Read it all: you won’t be seeing this in your local papers unless you hunt really, really hard.