Wednesday, January 25, 2006

"A democratic wedding"

That's the popular in Palestine these days to describe the elections, which have finally taken place. I'll make this post brief, as I'm exhausted from covering the vote all day. As I write this post, testosterone charged Fateh hooligans have taken to celebrating in the streets, honking horns, flying their trademark yellow flags, and shooting into the air (one bullet just nicked our family room's window).

Initial exit polls show Fateh with a narrow lead in the national districts, but pollster Shikaki says its very possible they will not form a majority. Either way, its pertinent to remember the significance of all this-that Fateh and Hamas have nearly split the vote in half. I think both parites will be please because Hamas doesn't want to be a majority and have to make the difficult decision.

A little on the voting itself: my finger looks horribly bruised (according to yousuf, who asks "wa wa? wa wa? meaning is it hurt? everytime he sees it). I tried to convince the election worker to only put the tip of my finger in that dreadful ink, but she dunked the whole thing in there. All tricks to make the ink removal easier failed to follow through (clear nail polish painted on before the voting; vaseline, etc.).

The election workers -more like election nazis- were taking theier jobs very seriously, which was good up to a point. sometimes i felt they focussed too much on procedure, too little on actually helping voters who may have been confused. At one point I put my ballot into the box, and didn't fold it, and got yelled at in front of ëveryone "no no you MUST fold it-stop" . I felt like I was carrying a bomb all of a sudden, and got very nervous, and finally the man calmed me donw "its ok, just go sloooowly, take your time."

More tommororw I hope!


Blogger Moses said...

I nearly hurt myself laughing reading Bush's reaction to HAMAS's better than expected showing in the exit polls:

"A political party, in order to be viable, is one that professes peace, in my judgment, in order that it will keep the peace," Bush said."

12:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you mean with "election nazis"? "Nazi" is a word used very rare by us.

Tanja (Switzerland)

1:11 AM  
Blogger solitarioh2005 said...

I tried to convince the election worker to only put the tip of my finger in that dreadful ink, but she dunked the whole thing in there.

Probably she thought : Why does she want that i place the tip of her finger in the ink ? That looks suspicious !! "- She probably thought.
So (as you say ) she dunked the wholle finger in the ink.

In portugal when it comes to voting the rules are quite stringent and it must be so I guess.

Too often in elections some parties , governments do cheat. If the rules were not that stringent some people might have the temptation to start cheating, so to speak.

9:58 AM  
Blogger tafka PP said...

Looking forward to reading your reactions to the results...

1:26 PM  
Blogger Shaggydabbydo said...

An interesting blog, well done.

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post! It made me feel like I was there. And the comment about your "bruised" finger? Too funny! I have reblogged your post to my blog, which covers democracy struggles around the world. Best, Mary

3:25 PM  
Blogger solitarioh2005 said...

Click Here to see a picture. Please open the browser in another window

5:48 PM  
Blogger moi said...

great blog, can't wait to hear your comments about the newly announced results :)

9:33 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Familiar with the Seinfeld comedy series? You better fold that paper or NO VOTE FOR YOU ! !

10:27 PM  
Blogger Fatima said...

My husband's family discovered that bleach (clorox) works wonder in removing this ink after the Iraqi elections. Not very gentle on the fingers, but works.

12:32 PM  

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