Several countries have had elections, are going through them or are about to hold them. Do elections bring change or maintain the status quo?
Like the Ancient Mariners’ song, Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink, there are elections everywhere but expecting any significant change is unrealistic. The Afghans had their presidential poll on April 5th but the result appears inconclusive leading to a second round. Initial reports said Abdullah Abdullah is in the lead with some 44% of the vote. He was essentially running against the outgoing (imposed) President Hamid Karzai although the latter could not officially run again.
The Indians are going through their long-winded election process that will end on May 12th and is expected to catapult the Hindu Nazi Narendra Modi into the prime minister’s post. Iraq will hold elections on April 30th (past Crescent press time) while Syria’s presidential election is scheduled for June 3rd despite the foreign-imposed war.
Elections are held not to change but to reinforce the status quo. Even with the expected rise of a Hindu Nazi to power in India, little will change except that life for the country’s 180 million Muslims will get much worse. Modi and his henchmen have made no secret of their anti-Muslim hatred.
The only place where there might be some change is Iraq. The incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has antagonized many people even within his own Shi‘i constituency and they may want to get rid of him.
Other than that, it will be business as usual everywhere.