We have just witnessed the passing of yet another defeat for the struggle for freedom in Iran, and yet another victory for a regime that is far too incompetent and far too unrepresentative for a progressive and prosperous Iran. Sixty percent or more of the Iranian electorate went to the polls, therefore tacitly approving the unfair electoral process that was cooked for them. The best way to deal with the elections was to boycott it, as so many, including myself, had suggested, and the vast majority of the Iranian electorate considered (for various reasons that I will try to deal with) otherwise.
It is worth noting that 60% is pretty much the figure that most Western democracies are happy to have for their elections. It is also worth noting that we can probably cut some 25% to 35% off that figure, as being somehow, or even directly, coerced. Government employees, from the army to the ordinary office workers, at banks, the educational system and other domains, are all openly subject to discrimination in case they do not go to the polls. However, we do not have a 25-35% participation rate but a much higher one. So, many others went to the polls too.
Who is at fault here? It is partially the fault of those who oppose the regime, who are incoherent and far more incompetent than the current Iranian rulers. It is ours, the opposing views of the regime’s, fault in being unable to present a believable, popular and coherent counter-argument. However it is also true that the odds are in favour of the regime, because the regime has all the natural resources, including crude oil it sells to the same West it stands against, obtaining the material possibilities to directly bribe or intimidate a significant number of the electorate, and most of the Iranian media channels, TV, radio, and the written press, which are under direct or indirect control of the ruling clique.
It is a sad moment for Iran’s progress and the fight for a free and democratic Iran. And we need to realise this sad reality. The opposition is too unrealistic and too fragmented, instead of focusing on a social agenda to awakening the ordinary Iranian people, it is far too preoccupied with dramatic, unpopular and unrealistic turnarounds, even revolts or regime-change. There would be nothing wrong in regime-change, but change to what? Don’t you see that more than 60% of the Iranian electorate participate in the elections?
This must be a wake-up call for some of the day-dreaming opposition groups. The Iranian regime is very strong now. It has just secured the tacit backing of the majority of the Iranian electorate (we can call it the majority of the Iranian people, as the electorate represent most of the adult Iranian population) for another four long and painful years for freedom-lovers and human-rights activists, especially with oil prices above $100 a barrel.