Tuesday, June 16, 2009


In Canada, there's currently a bit of debate going on between our minority government and the official opposition. Something about employment insurance and other items that are being used as a political springboard as Michael Ignatieff (or "Iggy") tests the waters to see if we'd accept another election.

The short answer is, "no." The only people who want an election are the Liberals and NDP. The rest of the country still doesn't want to go to the polls AGAIN, even if we generally think our Prime Minister is an asshole and a dork who has no fucking clue what he's doing. Thing is, Iggy's not that much better a choice.

But regardless of the outcome, this is a battle carried on mostly in the media, with the citizens grumbling a bit and generally not giving much of a rat's ass.

It's all quite boring and inconsequential when you compare it to what's going on in Iran.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won a landslide (62% of the vote) victory over the weekend over his opponent Mir Hossein Mousavi. (An aside: When did over 60% become a landslide? I'd think 70% would be the minimum qualification for such a powerful word). Of course, very few people believe this. Mousavi lost in his home town, which is kind of hard to believe. He lost in districts that were politically aligned with his views. And not by a little. Election results were announced BEFORE THE POLLS CLOSED. In short, other than Ahmadinejad's supporters, nobody in the country believes the election was fair.

Here's the interesting thing - they're not taking it quietly. Iran has traditionally been a theocracy. The President isn't even the true leader, that's the Ayatollah. This is a region of the world where the oppressed tend to stay oppressed. Police and military enforce the will of the leadership. This time though, there are angry riots, demonstrations, and protests. The millions of opposition supporters aren't taking it lying down.

Meanwhile, Ahmadinejad is making speeches about how Iran is the most pure democracy in the world, and how it's the most stable government in the world. As Jon Stewart put it last night - not even his translator is buying it.

Apparently the Ayatollah has requested an investigation into the election. One might suspect such an investigation would be as believable as the election results to the protestors.

I'm in no position to say if the election was legit or not. My gut says it wasn't, but I'm watching this from half a world away.

The true results of this chaos is in the hands of the Iranian citizenry. The rest of the world will offer support, will chastise the government if an investigation isn't done properly, and might even threaten a sanction or two. But Iran is too powerful a country in too volatile a part of the world for the major countries to piss off. So the questions that need to be asked are - Is the will of the people strong enough to accomplish change? Can they bring a government that is truly representative of the people into being? What do the people truly believe anyway?

In the meantime, I feel for the people. They are standing up for what they believe, and the emotions have simmered below the surface for so long that now they're erupting through the fissure that's been created by this election. I find myself siding with the protestors - if for no other reason that image #29 in the photo set linked above.

1 comment:

BamBam said...

If Iggy did run for Prime Minister, I think I'd give my Presidential run up for a position on his cabinet.

Prolly something to do with Fisheries!