Egypt Votes, But For What Exactly?

Egypt had a free and fair vote to amend the Egyptian constitution, that’s a good thing, right? Not so fast.

Egypt Approves Amendments

Egyptians voted in overwhelming numbers to approve a set of constitutional amendments, setting the stage for Egypt’s first truly contested parliamentary and presidential elections in decades.

Saturday’s historic referendum on the amendments saw millions of enthusiastic Egyptians wait patiently for hours to cast ballots in what for almost everyone was a novelty—a vote in which the result wasn’t effectively predetermined.

The largely peaceful and fraud-free vote was a marked contrast to past elections and a glimpse of how much has changed in Egypt in the weeks since President Hosni Mubarak stepped down amid widespread unrest, ending decades of single-party, autocratic rule.

Yet Saturday’s referendum also offered early clues into the rifts likely to shape Egyptian politics in the coming months and years. Many of the largely secular liberals who led the revolution that ousted Mr. Mubarak were opposed to the amendments, strongly suggesting the protest leaders have fallen out of sync with the vast majority of Egyptians.

Protest leaders criticized the amendments as part of a rushed and problematic timeline for establishing democracy; approving the changes started the clock on a race they said they are unprepared to run because they are still setting up parties.

Almost alone among the political groups in support of the amendments were the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group outlawed under Mr. Mubarak, and the National Democratic Party, the former president’s ruling party. Both hope to capitalize on their already strong organizations in summer elections for parliament, which will then be charged with writing an entirely new constitution.
. . .

Journalists covering the announcement abandoned any pretenses of objectivity and yelled “Allahu Akbar!”—”God is Great!”—when the tallies were read out by officials.

See also:
How Egypt’s historic referendum could now bolster Islamists
Big majority vote for constitutional changes in Egypt
Egypt Backs Constitutional Changes That May Aid Brotherhood, Mubarak Party
Egypt: Constitution changes pass in referendum
Egyptians approve constitutional amendments in referendum
Egyptians overwhelmingly approve constitutional changes
Egyptians set for summer elections
Egyptian voters say ‘yes’ to speedy elections
Egypt’s Historic Referendum: Rushed But Moving
Egypt referendum results: 77.2 per cent say ‘Yes’ to the amendments
Egypt approves amendments, prepares for next step
Egyptians get taste of democracy in post-Mubarak era
Egyptians approve constitutional changes, clearing way for elections

Egypt has zero recent history of democracy or diverse political parties. So, obviously, whatever groups are already the most organized will benefit the most from the early elections just approved. And what’s the most organized group in Egypt? The Muslim Brotherhood. What happens if the Muslim Brotherhood comes to dominate the democratically elected parliament after this summer’s elections and, therefore, gets to write the new Egyptian constitution?

/it could very well turn out to be “one man, one vote, one time

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HumptyDome Down!

Oh the snowmanity!

Metrodome roof collapses

The roof of the Metrodome collapsed early Sunday morning, following heavy snow over the weekend.

The collapse occurred around 5 a.m. after work crews, who had been using steam and hot water to melt snow off the roof, had been pulled off for safety concerns.

Experts on the Metrodome’s roof construction are arriving in Minneapolis to assess the situation and establish a timeline for fixing it.

See also:
Snowstorm brings down Metrodome roof
Minneapolis Metrodome roof deflates after heavy snow, NFL moves Vikings vs. Giants game to Monday in Detroit
Vikings-Giants to play in Detroit Monday night
Metrodome roof collapses under snow; NFL moves Giants/Vikings game to Detroit’s Ford Field Monday
Metrodome roof collapses in Midwest blizzard
Minn. Metrodome roof collapses in Midwest blizzard
Brett Favre: Metrodome collapse gives Vikings QB time to heal
Free Football In Detroit Tomorrow (If You Can Get There)
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
Just Build The Damn Stadium!

And this is hardly the first time the HumptyDome roof has collapsed either. What a joke, building an inflatable dome in the Snowbelt.

/can we haz new stadium now?