June 14: Iran's Next Presidential Election

Discussion in 'Elections' started by Iranian Monitor, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member+

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    Tehran Iran
    The next presidential election in Iran will take place on June 14. Having already served two terms, Ahmadinejad is constitutionally barred from running again and Iran will definitely have someone else as president soon. The question is who will that person be?

    Past presidential elections in Iran have been lively, heavily contested, have seen a heavy turn out, and they have often propelled new faces to office. That was certainly the case when Khatami was elected as Iran's president in 1997, after which reformists dominated Iranian elections for several years until 2003, when they started losing in municipal and subsequently parliamentary elections before losing the presidency also in 2005. The winner of that election, of course, was a new face, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who brought a lot of excitement and vitality to the ranks of the once demoralized and defeated Principalist camp at a time when US and international threats and pressures on Iran made reformist agendas on breaking the walls of mistrust with the west appear out of place. Ahmadinejad, of course, was reelected subsequently in a landslide, in elections which saw a record turnout. But what transpired in the aftermath of that election, when the losing side refused to acknowledge its loss and instead resorted to making unsubstantiated allegations regarding the election being stolen and pouring into the streets to overturn its results, has left a question as to whether Iran's next presidential election will be as open, colorful and exciting as past editions? It is not even clear whether the reformists will present any candidates or whether any of them would be approved by Iran's Guardians Council.

    There are, to be sure, intense rivalries within the Principalist camp and many expect Iran's new president to emerge from the ranks of several new high profile candidates who are expected to announce their candidacy. There is even a new election law being enacted that seeks to impose new regulations starting with this election, although that law is strongly opposed by Iran's current president and has not yet been approved.

    In any case, I opened this thread because there will be plenty to discuss about Iran's elections from now until when they are held. Here is hoping that the events in the aftermath of the last presidential election won't close door on the Iranian public being able to choose their president in the same open and vibrant atmosphere as existed in that one. The issues facing the electorate in Iran are no less significant, and their active and enthusiastic participation in the process is probably more important than ever before.


  2. ceezmad

    ceezmad Member+

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    Club:
    Chicago Red Stars
    Country:
    United States
    Has the Security Council published the list on who is banned from running for President?

    I mean nothing says free and democratic like a religious group banning a bunch of candidates from even running for election, whose only crime is that they may try to reform the country.
    Mr. Conspiracy and American Brummie repped this.
  3. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member+

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    Tehran Iran
    The power of the Guardians Council (not Security Council) to vet candidates, though not on the grounds you allude to, can suggest that there are democratic deficiencies in Iran's system of government. I agree with the gist of your comment to some extent. But you read a little too much and put a lot more emphasis on the issue than is appropriate.

    First, the truth is that all systems vet candidates. Most of the vetting in the political systems you are used to is done by special interest groups and political parties, who essentially decide who is a serious enough candidate and who is not to be bothered with at all. Even a career politician and long serving congressman like Ron Paul, speaking a bit out of order, will have a hard time breaking into the list of candidates presented to the voters to choose from. From that process, in the US, you end up with two choices; the difference between these two choices almost always on the margins, with very little of substance distinguishing them. As a result, often many Americans don't even bother to vote despite the unbelievable sums spent to convince them to vote for one or the other candidate.

    By contrast, when the vetting is done publicly and openly, with the organization doing the vetting recognizing that a high turnout is also an important factor to consider in terms of giving legitimacy to the election they are to oversee, you often ironically end up with livelier choices with a greater range of policy differences between the candidates than when the vetting is down behind closed door, in secret, by special interest groups. That is because while its possible in Iran's system to cross out candidates with ideas that don't have much public backing, to publicly cross out a candidate with a large constituency will cause a lot of tension and problems and threaten the voter participation rates that are cherished. Thus, it is informative that the voter participation rates in Iran (despite all the efforts to get voters to boycott the elections) are higher than in the US, with the Iranian electorate offered a more diverse range of choices than you get in the US from your special interest dominated system.

    Second, while I personally endorse reforms with regard to Iran's system of vetting candidates, the truth is that it is very difficult to have a genuinely free and open election when there is a superpower intent on manipulating the political process in another country, using its varied resources for this purpose. Heck, even a two-bit, illegitimate, mini-state like Israel, having the intent and the license to interfere in the electoral system of a superpower like the US with long established political institutions and traditions, has been able to use organizations like AIPAC and the like to essentially hijack your political system, even if you refuse to acknowledge and recognize that fact. The US, the world's most powerful, richest, and most influential country, can easily manipulate the political processes in countries like Iran if it given the opportunity and opening for this purpose. That frankly leaves people like me in quite a quandary, neither anxious for my country to become yet another tool of American imperialism nor satisfied with the problems that are created when you cater you system in a way to make sure America's unwelcome hands are cut off from it.

    Finally, while I am personally not religious, the majority of the Iranian population are pious and religious. Which means that the elements in Iranian society which, like myself, don't have proper representation in the political system are not the majority still. That doesn't mean I accept that is appropriate that folks who aren't religious be left largely unrepresented. I believe such folks are entitled to proportionate representation as well. But the democratic failings of Iran's system in this respect, nonetheless, accorded with the preferences of a majority in Iran. And to have denied the majority their preference in this regard would be a democratic deficiency as well. That said, my own view is that Iranian society is moving in the direction where the system will either learn to provide a legal framework for the participation (not domination) of non-religious folks in the political process, or it will find itself having more and more problems down the road.
  4. American Brummie

    American Brummie Member+

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Florida
    Club:
    Birmingham City FC
    Country:
    United States
    [​IMG]

    Bonus points to who can find Iran on the map. The darker shades of red refer to most authoritarian while the darker shades of green refer to most democratic.

    http://graphics.eiu.com/PDF/Democracy_Index_2010_web.pdf

    In 2010, Iran was the 9th-most autocratic country in the world, behind a list of such dignitaries as Saudi Arabia, Myanmar, Turkmenistan, and perennial fan favorite North Korea. In the two years since this publication, Saudi Arabia has set a pathway for universal female suffrage and Myanmar looks like it will democratize, meaning Iran will most likely settle further down the list.
    Mr. Conspiracy repped this.


  5. ceezmad

    ceezmad Member+

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    Club:
    Chicago Red Stars
    Country:
    United States
    Well the Persians at least lets women vote already so Iran > Sudi Arabia.

    But yes Burma will pass them all.
  6. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member+

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    Tehran Iran
    The fact that organizations composed of members who have worked to undermine and even overthrow the Iranian government would paint it with a particular color, or rank it in a particular order, means nothing. While Iran's system requires reforms, the fact is that past Iranian elections have been meaningful, giving voters a significant say in who and how the affairs will be handled. That is simply not at all the case in many of these countries that are being compared to Iran.

    That said, in light of the unfortunate events in the aftermath of the last presidential elections, we won't know the extent to which this election will replicate prior ones in its openness, liveliness, and ultimate unpredictability. And that is merely one of the many prices that have to be paid by Iran by the actions of those who are working so desperately to isolate, weaken, and unravel this country and the ancient civilization it represents.
  7. American Brummie

    American Brummie Member+

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Florida
    Club:
    Birmingham City FC
    Country:
    United States
    Yeah, journalists in Great Britain have worked to overthrow Iran. Yawn.
  8. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member+

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    Tehran Iran
    I thought that was the index from another group, but realized you had posted the Democracy Index map from the so-called Economist Intelligence Unit. Regardless, as Iran is not within the family of nations following the western mold, and has an independent system and tradition behind it, the judgments by such groups are entirely worthless to me. There are far more knowledgeable academic experts who clearly have different views on this subject, although I do fear that these kind of ratings would regrettably find more merit as we proceed each year down the path where Iran's system needs to confront foreign efforts to unravel it and consequently clamps down further, costing us -- besides the immediate lost liberty -- its own negative dynamics, since Lord Acton's dictum that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely is indeed a truism that need not be tested again and again.

    P.S.

    Let me put it more clearly: those who truly care about the rights of the Iranian people, would never suggest that the right path to achieving those rights for them is to put Iran's government in a corner on an issue that had wide public support within Iran and try to marginalize and demonize any politician who emerges with popular support from Iran's system -- a system which mixes elements of democratic governance, theocracy, and autocracy into a package that, depending on how it is molded, can either work more or less democratically or, alternatively, can be turned into a autocratic system.
  9. American Brummie

    American Brummie Member+

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Florida
    Club:
    Birmingham City FC
    Country:
    United States
    You're an idiot.
    Mr. Conspiracy, stanger and JBigjake repped this.
  10. teammellieIRANfan

    teammellieIRANfan Member+

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Club:
    Perspolis
    Country:
    Iran
    Ahmadinejad has endorsed his top advisor Esfandiar Mashaei.
  11. mak9

    mak9 Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    helllllll noooooo

    this esfandiar guy has a very mischievous look on his face, kind of like a wolf
    Heard he's into some really creepy stuff like witchcraft.


    Definitely don't want to have in office, and I'm very good at discerning these type of politicians (basirat vision ;) ).

    Also these politicians shouldn't have a long career in politics. After 4 years they have to go back to work. So they can feel the pain that regular Iranians feel everyday in the totalitarian economy they created.

    I wish Iranians would demand for a citizen legislature, not this western style fascistic system.
    teammellieIRANfan repped this.
  12. mak9

    mak9 Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Lol...... how the hell are they going to 'allow the doors open' for Imam Zamnan, if they're just going to vet out the people who speak the truth.

    Although I somewhat understand what you mean by 'pious Iranians', I disagree that they are really religous. Because if they were truly pious/religous, they would use their backbone and call out the corruption of the monetary system the regime is imposing on the people. These folks know it's based on usury (Riba al-Fadl) (high inflation and artificially low interest rates thanks to idiot Ahmadinejad).

    Having millions of zeros on a cash note and making transactions with it is IRRATIONAL. Why aren't people smart enough to realize the rial/toman they're using is rigged. While some Iranians have 3 jobs working very hard to earn a living, the people in CB of Iran are just printing unbelievable amounts of tomans for themselves and their families, going abroad and buying whatever luxurious mansion they can get (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news...scandal-has-moved-to-montreal/article4183506/).
  13. stanger

    stanger BigSoccer Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Location:
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Country:
    United States
    And we have our winner! You can bet on it!
  14. teammellieIRANfan

    teammellieIRANfan Member+

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Club:
    Perspolis
    Country:
    Iran
    There has been an ever growing rift between Ahmadinejad and Khamenei, as the former has challenged the establishment. So why would any person Ahmadinejad endorses, win, because of that alone? Do you even have a clue about the power structure in Iran?
    You seem to think Ahmadinejad is one with most authority.
  15. Iranianfootie

    Iranianfootie Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    <And the RESPONSE to protestors peacefully taking the streets was for the Basij and hezbollahis to terrorize the Iranian people. If Pahlavi was half as brutal as this regime, Iran would still be a monarchy.

    The powers of the Rahbar need to be transferred to the President. The clergy could serve a role similar to that the royal family in the UK does. Without this, it won't matter who is President.

    That said, as much as I want a democracy for Iran, I don't think the Iranian people are ready for democracy as was shown in the last election. A society that was ready for democracy would not have the level of violence that existed over 3 years ago. A lot of that has to do with the IRI. I know as many Iranians we want to think that we are better than the Arab governments but the truth is we are not. Dubai has become a very modern country with massive influx of tourists. Our govenrment is much more similar to Saudi Arabia than Turkey or Israel.

    In the United States, even when the Supreme Court ruled against the candidate that won more votes in 2000, the response was NOT massive violence since the American people felt that stability in keeping a PEACEFUL transition of power was more important than the results of the election.
    Mr. Conspiracy repped this.
  16. American Brummie

    American Brummie Member+

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Florida
    Club:
    Birmingham City FC
    Country:
    United States
    I hate this argument. What's the causal mechanism behind the idea? Why are some people (read: westerners) always "ready" for democracy when others (read: everyone else) more prone to violence and autocracy? Haven't any of you people read about the 1960 election? Or the 1864 draft riots? Or wondered why France is in its Fifth or Sixth or Eleventy Quadrillionth Republic? Anybody ever watch a Korean protest (or a legislative session, for that matter)? Nobody is inherently more or less violent than the others. We're just comparing apples and oranges. I would rate Tunisia today as a more democratic nation than the USA and UK in 1824, and a vastly more peaceful nation.

    There are entire buildings filled with books dedicated to figuring out why some countries are democratic and others aren't. Some authors advocate economic determinism, others social equality, others a combination, others discuss women's rights or religion or geography. I'm not sure, but what I can tell you is that there is absolutely no society on this earth that is not 'ready' for democracy. We are all ready, and all we need to do is be given a chance.
  17. Iranianfootie

    Iranianfootie Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    I'm not some "westerners" only are "ready" for democracy and "others" are more prone to violence and autocracy (far from it). The relatively constant massacres that take place in the US should be testimony that Americans/Westerners are not free from violence.

    I was just comparing Iran's current political situation to what it would take for Iran to become a democracy (obviously a revolution of some sort). However, revolutions often don't produce democracies. For me, I think you need a strong middle class to support a strong economy, a strong military to defend your country and a constitution that protects the rights of minorities are essential for a democracy. The United States has all three. Iran currently doesn't have any of them.
  18. American Brummie

    American Brummie Member+

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Florida
    Club:
    Birmingham City FC
    Country:
    United States
    India doesn't have a strong middle class, Costa Rica has no army (nor does Japan), and France and Switzerland actively hate their minority groups (hate's a strong word - they just wish their minorities were more not minorities).
  19. Iranian Monitor

    Iranian Monitor Member+

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Location:
    Tehran Iran
    Although the annoyingly misinformed commentary and spin about Iran's election had made me give up updating this thread, I like to look at what I had posted opening this thread and compare it to what happened in retrospect.

    The answer: Dr. Rohani, a centrist who was backed by reformists and whose cabinet is composed primarily of folks who served under former president Khatami as well. Indeed, Dr. Rohani has tried as much as possible to make his government a continuation of the Khatami administration.

    The answer: Yes. While the election campaign might not have started as exciting as some others in the past, the stakes were high and the choices clear enough for the voters to participate with great enthusiasm and in high numbers. Participation rates in Iran's elections are still ones that would be the envy of most western countries and the results from Iran's elections are still as unpredictable as ever.

    The answer: Yes. The reformists did present a candidate who was approved by the Guardians Council. That candidate, Mr. Aref, was Mr. Khatami's former vice president. However, late in the campaign, to unify the reformist and centrist factions, he bowed out in favor of Dr. Rohani, who was then endorsed by both Mr. Khatami and Hashemi Rafsanjani.

    As it turned out, the main principalist candidate, Mr. Jalili, failed to gain more than a disappointing 11% of the votes. Even Tehran's populist mayor, Mr. Ghalifbaf, who is more a pragmatist than a principalist, finished second in the race with no more than 16% of the votes, finishing behind Dr. Rohani by a large margin.

    While Dr. Rohani was always one of the top 3 candidates, that he would be able to gain over 50% of the votes (he got 50.88%) and win the election in the first round was genuinely unexpected. I don't think Dr. Rohani himself would have predicted winning in the first round.

Share This Page