Call me a conspiracy theorist in the making, but there is something very fishy about President Ahmadinejad’s re-election. Given the remarkable high voter turnout (some reports put it as high as 80% of all eligible voters) and with that electorate being highly comprised of young voters who were predicted to support runner-up Mir-Hossein Mousavi, there were glaring statistical anamolies in the results. Even the Obama administration and the [now predominately right-wing] European Union are questioning the results to some degree. Obtaining over 60% of the vote in a nation that appears to be increasingly moderate is a stretch to me.
Then again, maybe I’m wrong about Iran. I mean, it could very well be possible that the brouhaha surfacing from the election is actually only from a small subset of demonstrators upset by the election results. This is not the first time we have seen massive protests from students and younger voters (remember in 2000 and 2004 here in the states?). As was the case during the 90’s and early 2000’s, it is possible that the voice of young has simply been stymied by the nation’s right-wing popularist agenda.
I haven’t followed Iranian politics for very long, I admit. But I cannot recall a movement where the Reformist party has had very much political power in the face of the country’s overwhelmingly theocratic system. Let’s face facts here: much like how the evangelical movement swept through United States politics in recent years, it’s possible that subscribing to the conservative Islamic movement in Iran won this election for Ahmadinejad. So while talks of a stolen election akin to Florida, 2000 are rising to the surface, perhaps…just perhaps we can chalk this up to a strong showing from hardcore traditionalists.
Either way, I definitely plan to follow Iranian politics a little more now. This stuff’s getting interesting.