Sunday, June 19, 2005

Election, selection, etc.!

Windseed, Iran Votes 2005:
The final ‘official results’ are out now. However, the official rate of participation in the election still seems dubious. I travelled around Tehran and was in touch with people in a number of towns across the country. I have spoken to people after the elecion about their experience. All this suggest a turn-out remarkably lower than what the regime claims. Also there are doubts as to the order of the rate of votes polled for each candidate. I still wonder how Kayhan newspaper could be so certain at 7 o’clock on yesterday morning that Rafsanjani and Ahmadi Nejad were already through?!! How could Kayhan be so certain three days before the election that 30 million people would turn out to vote (and this is exactly what the official number now indicates)! Kayhan must be either somehow in touch with the 12th Imam or? In any event, official results are all we have available. READ MORE

Rafsanjani and Ahmadi Nejad are reportedly through to the second round, each with around 15 per cent of the total votes. Reading some of the comments on the election, one can see that for many Ahmadi Nejad’s achievement is quite shocking. But I do not see anything shocking about this. One needs to take into account the number of Basijis across the country, their families, and those who have voted under the influence of Basijis. Plus, his gestures as being humble and popular turned out to be very efficient, given the nature of Iranian society and the emotional psyche of many.

Still, Ahmadi Nejad has only won less than 15 per cent of the entire votes. Thus, those who are claiming that ‘Iran’ has voted for him, and therefore scolding Iranians for their ‘wrong’ decision, need to reconsider their suggestion. And let’s not forget that, as we know, this is how election system works.

Besides, Ahmadi Nejad could not easily got through to the second round without the help of other candidates. He is through because so many got disillusioned by Karoubi’s 500,000 Rls a month promise. And because still there are people who believe Rafsanjani can make a good president. And, more importantly, Ahmadi Nejad went through because Moeen and his supporters forgot that the election was going to take place in Iran, not in Ukraine, or Georgia, or France. Let’s not underestimate the help of Iranian commentators abroad. Ahmadi Nejad will be with us until next week to remind those ‘commentators’ in exile, who made the boycott recipe for Iranians, that they must either consider a hobby other than mingling Western ideologies with Iranian affairs or update their ‘Iranology’ software.

The election was also a good lesson for many, including myself, that scientific methods of predicition and evaluation do not work in the same way as they do in other countries.

In any event, the first round is past and the second round is fast approaching. It is going to be a very tough challenge for Iranians. I wanted to say they now need to decide according to the old maxim: “the evil you know is better than the evil you don’t”. But then I remembered that they must have known the evils by now. So I guess it is going to be decided according to “the better of the two evils” rule.