Faster elections in Iraq?

In Iraq, we probably don’t have the votes. So why vote now?

Mickey Kaus takes a (partial) break from Kerry-bashing to push the idea of moving up the date for the proposed Iraqi elections.

He doesn’t consider the question of who would be likely to win those elections. Right now, if I were an Iraqi campaign consultant, I think I’d be telling my candidates to run on a platform of “Getting the crusaders off the sacred soil of Iraq.”

Do we really want the Iraqi election campaign to be waged against the background of the Abu Ghraib courts-martial?

There’s an old Capitol Hill saying, which I’ve heard attributed both to Sam Rayburn and to Lyndon Johnson: “Until you’ve got the votes, you talk. When you’ve got the votes, you vote.” In Iraq, right now is probably a good time for us to keep talking.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com