Now, it might very well be that the West’s obsession with Ahmadinejad, coupled with a fixation on Teheran and exile Iranians, led everyone to make a massive miscalculation of Mir-Hossein Mousavi’s chances of winning the the presidential election in Iran and the news coming out of Iran this morning is that Ahmadinejad has taken something like two thirds of the popular vote. Nevertheless, “miscalculation” or not, only a few hours ago Mousavi was still proclaiming that he had won the election and here was me writing a ridiculous post where I praised Iran as some sort of “real democracy”. Of course, I was being silly, in “real democracies” they wouldn’t even attempt to turn a close result into a landslide. No what they do in “real democracies” is what they did in 2000 when Bush’s brother, Jeb, handed George Florida(1) or what they did in 2004 when Republicans prevented more than 350,000 voters in Ohio from casting ballots or having their votes counted; votes that would have been enough to put John Kerry in the White House.(2) Yes, when it comes to stealing elections, the evidence would appear to suggest that Iran is not a “real democracy”. Nevertheless, the rulers of the Islamic republic of Iran might be very well aware of what they are doing. After all, what we have seen in Iran is the will of the people to participate and that there is a democratic movement for change there. A close result would have led to disappointment but not disillussionment. Of course, it would also have led to people questioning any result that didn’t allow for a second ballot. With this result there is not going to be much opposition to Ahmadinejad during his term in office.
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