Sunday, May 15, 2005

When R. asked my opinion about a month ago whether iranians would actually vote for rafsanjani if he decided to run, i told him that i thought people in general loathe him, but that might vote for him in the hopes that his business prowess would mean a boost in the economy in general. that was my guess anyhow. then i read item # 2 on Zeitoon's latest post, where she confirms this sentiment based on an numerous encounters she had with people at the iranian stock exchange. Apparently the stock prices shot up after the mere announcement that Rafsanjani was in the running (and it was a pretty melodramatic announcement too, as i mentioned in an earlier post)

anyway, the usual voices for boycotting the elections are starting to pipe up again, and not surprisingly, the majority are coming from outside Iran. As for the non-Iranians who point out the un-democratic aspects of our elections, i suggest a little game. Try and see how many of these same pundits who are against participating in the Iranian elections on the basis that they are non-democratic had themselves in a tizzy over the "democratic" elections in Iraq.

The Iranian electoral process has about 1001 problems, not the least of which is that while the registration process is a free for all, an unelected board makes the decision on who is fit to remain in the final list that will be voted upon. Remember the Iraqi elections, which were held under foreign occupation, and people voted for lists without knowing who or what they were voting for (candidates were too afraid to announce themselves, and they certainly didn't campaign), and where most of the candidates rode into Iraq on U.S. tanks? Anyone who supported elections in those conditions and called them "democratic" better keep their mouths shut when it comes to condemning the elections in iran.