During the months before the Iraqi elections that took place on April 30, there was growing talk within political and media circles that Iraq was heading toward “decisive elections.” Some politicians and intellectuals raised the level of their expectations and have gone as far as to say these elections are “a matter of life or death.”
However, the reality was and still is different. In fact, the elections were nothing more than a link in a long chain of challenges, practices and changes that Iraqis have to go through on their way toward democracy.
If we put the election results aside, since they are not expected to be announced before May 25, we can confidently say that this polling process was not different from the last one. There were no dramatic changes in the power balances.
Moreover, the forces and figures that were at the forefront of the political landscape have not changed since 2006 and will likely stay the same for the next four years, even if some faces or balances might change here or there.
What does this all mean? The common answer to this question today — according to comments and articles written by advocates of change, supporters of a civil state, defenders of public rights and activists — is that “everything is the same and nothing has changed!”