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Last week I predicted in this blog that the Iranian leadership would look into allegations of vote rigging, announce that problems had been found, and a new election would be held.

Wrong.

But interestingly, the Guardian Council announced that there were indeed irregularities in 50 of 170 districts, including cases where there were more votes than people. I will accept partial credit for that part of my prediction, and I think most people were surprised that the Iranian leadership admitted that much of a problem. That was very undictatorish. But the Guardian Council concluded that the problems weren't enough to change the result, so the election stands. That part of my prediction was wrong.

This makes me wonder how difficult it would be to do a survey of Iranian voters after the election and check it against the landslide results. Would the leadership allow such a survey in this climate, and would the results of the poll be reliable?

I'm no expert at checking for vote rigging, but I'm guessing the best you can do in a few days after an election is catch the most obvious stuff, such as noticing when there are more votes than residents. I think the Guardian Council is like any other bureaucracy and felt pressure to make a quick decision without the benefit of all the facts.

If a poll of people who actually voted comes up with a very different result than the actual election, that's hard to ignore. If the Iranian leadership allows such a survey, by some independent group such as the United Nations, then I think you have to believe the leadership thinks the result results are valid even if they are wrong.

If the Iranian leadership doesn't allow such a survey after the violence calms down, their credibility, or whatever is left of it, will be annihilated, and a reasonable observer has to assume there is a high likelihood they are also lying about building nuclear weapons. The stakes are high.

So I will go further out on a limb and predict that the Iranian leadership will allow an independent survey of Iranian voters. I'll bet most of the leadership wonders if the voting irregularities were worse than the 50 of 170 districts they know about.
 
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Jun 23, 2009
I predict the rebellion will subside since our IIC (idiot in charge) failed to give the poor people any cover. We had a chance to overturn yet another dictatorship and enhance freedom and self determination to a region that desperately needs it.
Then, after the spotlight moves to the next big deal of the day, the mullahs will really turn up the heat on their people, and it will not be pretty.

Oppurtunity squandred.
 
 
Jun 23, 2009
I think lots of people are WAY over-complicating this: they (GC) won't allow a new election because they can't afford to set the precedent that the people's will matters! let's say (for argument's sake) that the election WAS rigged by Ahmadinejad and neither the supreme leader or guardian council had anything to do with it. let's further assume (again for arguments sake) that the GC actually DID do a due diligence investigation (unlikely BUT...) that found conclusive proof - they STILL, even in that scenario, wouldn't allow a new election because they can't afford to let the people think they have any power/control. it's about power/control of a totalitarian regime - anything else (true, false or other) is irrelevant (though certainly not mutually exclusive).

what I'd be interested to know is how may of the GCs/assembly of experts/supreme leader/etc actually BELIEVE what's going on is the result of "foreign meddling" vs. how many of them know it's a red herring that's making them look even more corrupt/incompetent...
 
 
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Jun 23, 2009
Well so much for UN involvement...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8115232.stm
 
 
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Jun 23, 2009
*Knock* *Knock*
"Yes?"
"Hi, you don't know me, but I'm a pollster and not a member of the secret police, and was wondering if you voted for the most holy Ahmadinejad, peace be unto him, or did you vote for that dog testicle Moussavi at the risk of being hauled off to one of our 're-education' camps? Please speak into this tulip..."
 
 
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Jun 23, 2009
Not to worry.

If we accept the theory that the Iranian election was 'rigged', then it is pointless to speculate on conventional remedies. The Iranian power structure is wildly (and deliberately) complex -- and that complexity, like a puppet with a thousand strings, is not-so-secretly manipulated by a handful of puppet masters.

Ultimately, the recorded results of the election will be seen as unimportant. Maybe it was rigged, maybe it wasn't. What's important is what is happening in the streets and on the airwaves. The young adult generation in Iran, a big chunk of a well educated and worldly middle class, is "mad as hell and they are not going to take it any more". That's a force to reckon with; a powerful force that inevitably leads to important changes. As every Republican now knows, yes they can. ;-)

Webster
 
 
Jun 23, 2009
Scott, you are still trying to make predictions based on reason and logic in an arena where those concepts have little meaning. Logic and reason would not have lead to the current situation. I doubt this will change much in the immediate future.
 
 
Jun 23, 2009
I doubt they'd allow it. So far they are not allowing mourning for one of the women killed by the Basijis (that mourning would be political in the same way that allowing this poll woul be).

At this point the ball's in Rafsanjani's court (the importance of the Rafsanjani-Khamenei dynamic in this cannot be overstated - it is at least close in importance to the actual (divided) will of the people).
 
 
Jun 23, 2009
If there is any polling, it will be conducted by the current government. That is the only way they can be sure the results come out "correct". But there won't be any polling. The people will continue to be repressed unless the military moves to their side.
 
 
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Jun 23, 2009
I think that as a secular rationalist you probably overestimate the extent to which you can understand the thinking of the clerics in charge of Iran. With regard to foreign affairs they will usually act in a rational manner, because their interest is in keeping outsiders on the outside, and they have a fair amount of experience with interventions. This means being only beligerant up to the point where you step over the line to allow a justification for someone to come in with troops. It also means trying to get your hands on atomic weapons--a wholly rational act. So I assume they are lying about that.

But internally they simply march to a different drummer. This is their country, and they think they have input from a divine being into how to run it. Religion is an odd mix of rational and irrational. The whole electoral process in Iran is weird: people are voting for whatever offices the clerics decide to allow a vote for, and the holders of those offices are subservient to the clerics. They won't allow an outside agency to test the results under any !$%*!$%*!$%*!$ because that means that people practicing divine rule care about the opinions of infidels. You can't read anything into the decision not to allow a UN sponsered test of the voting results. The real question is why rig the election: they had "reformist" elected leaders before the current holocost-denying nut job, and nothing changed. My guess is they are simply evolving from a revolutionary counsel to a status quo counsel, which would normally lead to some effort to co-opt public opinion in order to perpetuate control. But there is still this layer of divine right over the status quo, which makes it hard to predict just where things go internally.
 
 
Jun 23, 2009
and I'll bet you they wont make a poll. Protests there still haven't reached to a level that protesters can actually topple the regime. In my opinion, the outcome of these protests is still an unkown.

In my opinion, there is a much higher chance (though still VERY slim) that the guardian council will come up with a power sharing scheme between the 2 candidates (like president and prime minister) than that they would call for a new election.
 
 
Jun 23, 2009
Nice to see people owning their predictions and yes, I think you should get partial credit.

I don't see you next prediction being right either. If there is a survey, I don't think it will be "condoned."
 
 
 
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