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How low can the expectations go?

White House spokesman Scott McClellan shovels the sh*t.

U.S. Lowers Expectations for Iraqi Vote (AP). I mean really, who thinks these elections are going to occur without: 1) sh*t blowing up; 2) people blowing up; and 3) whole segments of the Iraqi population staying home (assuming they have a home to go to —the U.S. has blown most of Fallujah away)).

“The election is not going to be perfect,” White House press secretary Scott McClellan said Wednesday. “This is the first time Iraqis will be able to freely choose their leaders. It’s for a transitional government, and it’s one of three elections that will take place over the course of this year.”

“We want to make sure that there’s as broad a participation as possible in those elections,” he said. One idea being considered is to let people who are prevented from voting by violence to vote later.

White House officials said that while there has been little preparation for the vote in Anbar province and part of Nineveh province, there remains some hope that ballots can be distributed, voting lists drawn and polling places set up by Jan. 30.

One provision that may help overcome logistical challenges and encourage turnout in troubled provinces is to allow people in those parts of the country to vote anywhere they like, rather than only at a specified polling place, officials suggested.

In Iraq, 14 million of Iraq’s 26 million people have so far registered to vote, according to the White House. There are 111 political parties and other entities competing for shares of representation in the 275-member National Assembly. The results of the Jan. 30 election are not to be announced until around Feb. 15.

Absentee balloting by mail will not be permitted, but there will be provisions for overseas voting in 14 countries, including Iran and the United States.

Now that’s a recipe for an accurate, “free and fair” election.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding