Monday, June 15, 2009


Nate Silver posts the reported Iranian election results by province, brought to us by Daniel Berman and others at St. Andrews University. With apologies to Steve Hynd, I don't believe polls are that good an indicator in Iranian politics. Comparisons with previous elections are more important. What's more, given the fact that the reformist/conservative split over-simplifies things, I prefer considering the second round rather than the first from 2005.

The Ahmadinejad/Rafsanjani split from that vote roughly parallels that between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi this time around, but I that seems highly unlikely. Mousavi is a much stronger candidate that Rafsanjani, reformists actually came out to vote this year, and a certain percentage of the urban poor who voted for Ahmadinejad should have been turned off by soaring unemployment and other economic problems.

What would a fair result look like? I admit I'm not sure, but Ahmadinejad made it easy to call foul on this one, which is what discredits him going forward. This is the problem when an electoral system is illegitimate, and the only ways out of the impasse are for someone else to be declared the winner or for further voting, such as a run-off.

(Crossposted to American Footprints)



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