City of Brass

City of Brass


Iran votes for hope and change

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

This is a historic day and potentially a turning point for the future of the Middle East – Iran is voting. If you want to play political junkie, stay tuned to Twitter, where you can follow #IranElection tweets out of Iran via the geolocated search. I also recommend following @mahdi and @Kawdess, for links and other info. Also, keep an eye on the Intrade electronic market, where reformist candidate Moussavi is leading Ahmadinejad by over 2:1 (in terms of current stock price).

Early reports indicate huge turnout, with gigantic lines at polling stations and extended hours. My feeling is that Ahmadinejad’s campaign probably motivated a lot of people to come out and vote, and turnout increases the chance that Ahmadinejad will be defeated. Unfortunately there’s more than one reformist candidate, but then again so too is there more than one non-reformist one, so hopefully these factors will wash. Moussavi is notable in that his wife is also a prominent public face of the campaign, one which Ahmadinejad attacked personally on television, so that should be good to motivate women to the polls as well. Also, the burgeoning youth demographic is very motivated in Moussavi’s favor as well.

The parallels to the 2008 US election are striking – a candidate representing change against the very symbol of the nation’s decline, with the economy playing a central role. Moussavi is not Obama in terms of his rhetorical skill or telegenic visage, but he is indeed the candidate of hope and change for Iran. I am optimistic that Moussavi will win, though since Iran doesn’t have a Nate Silver equivalent we have to wait the old fashioned way for the results.

Related – great bundle of election-eve analyses at The Daily Beast. Also, Razib crunches some numbers to see how polarized the Iranian electorate may be. Finally, Roger Cohen has a nice article about the elections that goes into detail about the political atmosphere, especially the role of Moussavi’s wife Zahra Rahnavard. All worth reading!



  • http://Iran Y. zubairi

    We should thank the US for the return of Ahmadinejad. It is a given that the US support of the opponent has helped the incumbent.

  • Leslie Bianco

    May God continue to bless America and its ethical entrepreneurs and business professionals as they need more than one prayer in navigating these tumultuous times.

  • PJF

    Satan or cousin of Satan. what is the difference? I do hope the young people of Iran get some needed freedom from religious oppression. Women need to be heard.

  • Daniel

    Ahmadinejad is a conservative, just like George W. Bush was. America voted for Bush twice, so did Iran. Someone should seriously take a look at the social conditions by which nations choose conservatives more than once, because there is a pattern here.
    What we will not do here in America however, is ask every single Iranian who comes here if they voted for Ahmadinejad, because it is besides the point. Social unrest may take place in Iran, jsut like it did here in the United States in 2004. Time for change will come to IRan, just like it recently did here in the US, but that will not take place until next time Iran elects a leader.

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