God takes a back seat (Economist)

The Economist reported on the 31 January elections for provincial government in Iraq. It finds encouragement in the initial outcome in favour of secularism, in that the Dawa Party (a Shia religious movement) benefited from joining forces with other to form the State of Law Coalition. The resulting campaign was non-religious and focused on national unity, law and order.

I expect neither the Dawa Party or the State of Law Coalition to lose all aspects of religiousity, but it appears to be a prudent move for political gain. A more secular political movement has been assisted by the blame of corruption under rule under religious parties such as the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council.

This begs the question whether religous parties can clean up their act. And it is indeed positive for democracy that there is a viable opposition to such behaviour deemed unacceptable by the people.

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