Iraqis Vote, Give Up Right To Complain
Millions of Iraqis voted today in the country's first free election in over fifty years in what some are calling a "massive reduction in the rights of the average Iraqi citizen," as voters who placed their ballot for any winning candidate (likely those in the Shiite majority) will unofficially relinquish "most or all complaining rights" while that candidate is in office, according to Dr. Timothy McPeral, an expert on elections and democracies.
"For many Iraqis, today was a hard day in their road to freedom, as they just gave up a freedom that they've had for the past fifty years while living under a tyrannical dictator: the freedom to blame their problems on someone else," he explained. "Now, when things go wrong, the ball's in the court of the people who voted in the majority."
Although there is no official law that will prevent voters from blaming forces other than themselves if anything should go wrong, McPeral says smug tones, unspoken accusations of being a hypocrite, and even questioning of patriotism will be used against those who do.
"You may hear, 'Well, don't blame me...I voted for the other guy,' as a way of someone letting someone else know that the blame rests on them, the voters," he said. "As despicable as it sounds, I also predict some will call the patriotism of their fellow men into question if they complain about the government."
"You just didn't get this kind of stuff under Saddam," he added with a sigh.
Indeed, Hussein himself, interviewed in the jail cell he currently occupies, lamented the fate of his people on their election day.
"People could always blame me for bad things in their life, and if I or my security forces heard them, we'd cut their hands off," he said, smiling faintly in reminiscence. "It was just a nice understanding we all had. Now, you've got some people picking one guy, and some picking another guy...argh! Craziness! Where is the forced order and silent, festering bitterness of a good old-fashioned dictatorship?"
Fortunately for Iraqi citizens worried about their new lack of freedom, McPeral did offer ways to get around the system.
"Not paying any attention to politics at all, then voting for someone based on the fact that they 'seem to have a strong resolve or inexplicably make you feel safer is a nice loophole to take," he said. "I would also suggest walking around saying wisely, 'All politicians are liars,' to make it seem like you are much smarter than everyone else, and actually have the key to running the country in your head the whole time, only you don't want to share it because you are too smart for that."
Still, many Iraqis are taking the news of the new era of restricted freedoms with heavy hearts.
"This could be goodbye to blaming the government for my poor salary," muttered one man under the watchful eye of an American soldier as he placed his ballot in the box. "I hope my guy loses."
"I'm starting to have second thoughts about this whole democracy thing," admitted another, who was immediately swarmed by eager writers and reporters from The New Yorker and The Washington Post.
Insurgent leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi called Sunday's voting a "triumph for the rebels."
"Now Iraqis have given up their freedom to complain, meaning I win!" he said in a statement. "When I said that the streets will run with blood, this is what I secretly meant."
Many Democrats were reportedly ecstatic when told the news, such as Senator Ted Kennedy, who exclaimed with relief, "God, for a second there I thought I had run out of things to complain about!"