Thursday, June 18, 2009

Re-Count implies that you counted in the first place...

The more that I hear about this “so-called” election in Iran, the more suspicious I am as to its integrity. The Grand Ayatollah has announced that a partial re-count is under way, but for the word “re-count” to be applicable, the votes would need to have been counted the first time. I am beginning to doubt that they ever were, and there is a strong case of circumstantial evidence to prove it. Hard evidence will be considerably more difficult for the outside world to acquire as I expect any proof of election rigging to be closely guarded if not destroyed.

Emperor Khomeienie and sock puppet Ahmadabajab declared a resounding victory 2 hours after the polls closed; therefore asserting that over 40 million hand marked ballots were counted in less than 2 hours. Having worked for Elections Canada in the past 2 federal elections, I can say with confidence that it is highly improbable that Elections Iran was able to accomplish such an impressive feat. I would like to know how many counters they had, because if they were able to count even close to the efficiency of Elections Canada, I calculate that they would require at least 700,000 counters to count over 40 million ballots in under 3 hours with the proper oversights and checks and balances, which does not account for registration and security personnel.

It is not impossible to count that many ballots that fast, but it would take an army of workers and I don’t know if we can ever know how many clerics were conscripted into counting. Laura Ingraham based her entire theory of a fraudulent election on the speedy declaration of victory, but again I say that it is possible however improbable.

What I find to be a more compelling indicator of a fraudulent election is in the regional disparities or lack thereof. As different polling stations around the country began reporting their “results”, Ahmadinijab was winning with roughly 63% of the vote everywhere in the country (give or take 2%-3%). When you observe the results from healthy democracies, there are huge disparities from one region to another. The probability of these analogous regional results is virtually zero, and far more improbable than counting 40 million ballots in 2 hours. But when you combine the unlikelihood of the speedy count with the impossibility of regional homogeny, the election itself is about a one in a trillion likelihood of being legit. Where the Russians tend to favour stuffing ballot boxes in their elections, it is becoming increasingly likely that Iran never counted any ballots. Either that or they sent their elections officials on a fool’s errand and modified the results.

There is another conundrum that I am struggling to wrap my brain around. All candidates for President require the approval of the Guardian Counsel to get their names on the ballot. Thus this Mousavi dude who favours increased friendliness with the West and reforming the Iranian system got a stamp of approval from the Grand Ayatollah. Clearly Khomenee did not want a reformist President, as he endorsed the status quo hard liner. Then why even put any reformers on the ballot? Or is that question moot because he never actually had a chance of winning? I’m just trying to figure out the logic of approving the candidacy of a reformer that could not be allowed to win. Having said that, I assume the Guardian Counsel never imagined that hundreds of thousands of Iranians would protest the victory of the hard line sock puppet.

What is clear is that these massive protests against the status quo does not benefit the ruling regime in any way shape or form. Hence why the Revolutionary Guard is going to great lengths to suppress them. Given that Mousavi is encouraging more protest and claiming the “Ayatollah endorsed” election results are a fraud, it is safe to assume that he is not in the pocket of Guardian counsel. I’d say either the puppet master can embrace the reformer or have him locked in a dungeon, striking the Sheppard to disperse the sheep. The latter is far more likely than the former.

It is an interesting question to ask what is leading this revolution in the Middle East towards increased democratic transparency and fairness, women’s rights, and a shift away from extremism. Christopher Hitchens recently wrote a fantastic piece where he discussed encouraging democratic trends in the region. Hezbollah suffering an embarrassing defeat in Lebanon, Iraq’s safe elections with a shift towards moderates away from militias, Kuwait electing women to parliament for the first time, and now Iran is revolting against a repressive hard line regime. There are also reports that Hamas would be soundly defeated if elections were held in Palestine today.

I have always maintained that the liberation of women is the most significant accomplishment that we could achieve to placate the region. Is it possible that the decision to place a democracy in the heart of Babylon and liberate millions of women from oppression could eventually prove to have been a progressive act of enlightenment, even if it was done for the wrong reasons? Maybe, maybe not. Only time will tell and it may yet all go to Hell. I just know that when I see thousands of people marching through the streets of Iran demanding reform from repression, it makes me feel a little more optimistic about the future of the Planet Earth.

“I have always felt that a politician is to be judged by the animosities he excites among his opponents.”

-Sir Winston Churchill

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