Thursday, November 17, 2005

I was watching a press conference held by the Ministry of Interior Affairs when I remembered that we are less than a month away from general elections. The minister was fierce. He defended all his officers and is very clearly ready to sink with them. He insists that there was nothing wrong happening at the Jaderiyah bunker and this has been just a case of bad shit-stirring by rival political parties.

I guess the bunker scandal was the starting shot for the mud-flinging phase of the election campaigns.

Somehow there doesn’t seem to be the same buzz around elections this time as there was a year ago. Campaigning and electioneering is taking its time. Two of the biggest Iraqi broadcasters (the state owned al-Iraqiya and the privately owned al-Sharqiya) have announced a 3 minute free campaign ad slot for all the registered parties. Al-Iraqiya started showing the first of these today. It is basically a headshot of the party’s spokesman with their logo on the side, I guess they have a unified format for all of them. Too boring to watch

The problem is the huge number of political entities registered with Iraqi Electoral Committee. And even though we have done this just a year ago many of these parties are just a couple of years old and don’t even know what they want, besides a seat at the National Assembly that is.

Parties with money have started putting ads in newspapers while parties with real money already own newspapers so they just turn 16 pages of broadsheet paper into a campaign ad. And even richer parties have TV or radio stations which they are using to make sure everybody knows their numbers. Just as the last elections we are using numbers on the ballots and for the politicians it is probably more important that the voters remember the numbers than know what their political agendas are. So you end up with a TV screen on which the whole lower left quarter is covered with a big logo and number.
One of the parties that have joined Allawi’s new big alliance has a radio station that has a little game show called “Allo 731!” which you can call and win nice sums of money.

But it seems that this years electioneering gimmick are songs, written in the traditional form of a ‘Peste’, it is a sort of a short ditty and I heard someone was trying to make theirs into a ringtone.


Talking of ringtones. More music.
I am not a huge hip-hop fan but every now and then something does end up getting heavy rotation on my ipod.

Roots Manuva - Seat Yourself (Diplo Remix)

Andrew Bird & The Mysterious Production Of Eggs, great name for an album, isn’t it? I was actually looking for a Iron & Wine/Calexico collaboration which I didn’t find and bought this Andrew Bird album instead. This is my favourite track:

Andrew Bird - Skin Is, My