"Well, people are threatening to kill them if they vote," said the British person. "I wouldn't vote, if I was there!"
And yet, many Iraqis are really keen to vote. What's this about, then?
I'm not endorsing the war. I am no friend of Saddam Hussein, but the acceptance that there were no weapons of mass destruction, and the Iraqi army were unable even to defend their own nation underlines the fact that the war should never have been undertaken. Whilst one country may be irritated by the leader of another country, it doesn't have the moral right to depose its leader. Even if it is a superpower. That's why we have the United Nations. The US/UK alliance has set a dangerous precedent - they may not always be the dominant military power, and somebody may not like their choice of leader .....
However, given the situation that the nation of Iraq is in now, and that Saddam Hussein is no longer in power, many people are overjoyed at the ability to exercise democratic rights for the first time in decades. They value this so highly, they are prepared to do it at risk of their lives.
Meanwhile, democratic rights are so unvalued in the UK that turnouts even for general elections are at their lowest ever levels. People have lost sight of what a privilege a democratic process is, and what a price has been paid for it in the past.
If you are a Brit, make sure you vote! People are prepared to die for the privilege elsewhere in the world! It shouldn't matter if it's local, national or regional, or if there isn't a political party that adequately represents your views - if there is no other option, write "Protest" across your ballot paper. But don't simply scorn the privilege you have that so many people around the world are prepared to risk their lives for.