Opinion Poll suggests that Iraqi elections will succeed

To the almost palpable amazement of much of the world's media, Iraqi public opinion (as far as it can be measured) remains doggedly optimistic about the future. People seem to be generally optimistic about their own lives (70%), rather than the general outlook for the country (44%), by support for the elections is high, with even a substantial minority of people in Sunni areas supporting them. It's intriguing to note that these figures are substantially better than for either the U.S. or the British administrations.

There are positive political signs as well. Three-quarters of Iraqis express confidence in the national elections being held this week, 70 percent approve of the new constitution, and 70 percent — including most people in Sunni and Shiite areas alike — want Iraq to remain a unified country.

Interest in politics has soared.

Preference for a democratic political structure has advanced, to 57 percent of Iraqis, while support for an Islamic state has lost ground, to 14 percent (the rest, 26 percent, chiefly in Sunni Arab areas, favor a "single strong leader.")

My tip: a higher turnout than in the last U.K. or U.S. general elections, to say nothing of the turnout in European constitution referendums!

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