Tuesday is shaping up to be a big day in the world of politics. In Iowa, Republican caucus-goers officially kick off the 2012 presidential election cycle at 1,774 precincts across the state. In Egypt, voters in nine of the country’s 27 governorates head to the polls in the third and final round of elections for the first People’s Assembly to convene since last winter’s revolution.
At first glance, the contests couldn’t be more different. Egyptian voters will cast their ballots against a backdrop of continuing political instability and a volatile security environment. In Iowa’s gymnasiums, libraries, and churches, the greatest disruptions might well come from a handful of rowdy Ron Paul supporters.
But dig a little deeper, and one finds some uncanny parallels. If democracy really is God’s gift to the world, He’s infused it everywhere with His own quirky sense of humor. Here are a few to look out for as the first voting of the new year gets underway.
Any campaign generates its fair share of outlandish statements. But the latest Egyptian and American elections might be breaking new ground. Taking the prize in Egypt is Salafist candidate Abdel Moneim al-Shahat of the ultra-religious al-Nour Party, who has called for covering the Giza pyramids’ idolatrous faces in wax.
The Republican contest boasts many worthy contenders in the most outrageous statements category. But Newt Gingrich labeling child labor laws “truly stupid” and proposing outsourcing janitorial duty to inner-city schoolchildren probably edges out erstwhile candidate Herman Cain’s plan to build an electrified fence along the southern border.
Full Article: Tuesday’s Other Election | Mother Jones.