If you ask the world body, NATO, IEC, or any other myriad of groups if the election in Afghanistan was a success, they would say NO, because of the low percentage of election turn-out (40%) and due to upwards of half-million ballots are being probed out of suspicion of fraud.
Up to 500,000 ballots cast in Afghanistan’s election could be quarantined and investigated over alleged irregularities
However if you heard the interview that CJ and I did with PJ Tobia on You Served Radio episode #54 on Sept. 3rd or the Bouhammer Roundtable Podcast that I published here on September 7th then you heard first hand from PJ and Scott Kesterson that the Afghan people consider the election a success. You have to realize that these are a people that have never had freedoms, and for most of them all they have known is death and war.
As was explained by both PJ and Scott, the Afghan people consider any democratic election a huge success, so the Afghans have a hard time understanding why so many non-Afghans consider this election a failure. The Afghan people are so glad to be able to vote, any election is considered an accomplishment.
To put the Afghan election in perspective, the US 2004 Presidential election only had a 56% voter turn-out. 56% with no threat of death, no threat of IEDs, no threat of being mutilated for casting a vote. So 40% turnout in a country with not even a fraction of the transportation or technology that our country has, and with all of those threats facing the voters, 40% sounds pretty good.
So the question is what is the definition of success and who determines it? Is it the US or is it the Afghans? Can we as a country truly tell another country how to run honest and fair elections after the last Presidential election we had? Who are we to tell another country that their election was not open, honest and fair after we had ACORN all across the county registering dead people and fake people, and groups like the Black Panthers using physical intimidation as voters entered the voting area.
Sounds kind of hypocritical if you ask me. I think in this case, we should defer to the Afghans on the quality of their election and let them deal with it. If we donâ€™t start now, when will we? When will we finally start letting go of the bicycle so they can ride on their own.
As any parent knows who has tried to teach a kid to ride a bike, there is a point that you have to let go and be prepared for them to fall and scrape their knees and hurt themselves.
Even though I cannot stand Karzai, and by leaving the election results as is means he may win, it is time for them to scrape their knees a little and learn lessons on their own