Friday, June 12, 2009

Iran's Elections

Today, Iranian voters are having a very American moment--they have an opportunity to vote for change. Iranians may choose between a reformer (Hossein Mousavi) and a sitting president (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) who got elected by promising reform. (It seems like every election, the candidate promising the most reform wins.) The time is ripe for another change.

First, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has grossly mismanaged Iran's economy. When oil prices were high, he had an opportunity to increase currency reserves and did not do so; in fact, Iran has suffered double-digit inflation and continues to import oil because of high domestic use (a fact conveniently left out by all who accuse Iran of developing nuclear power solely to develop a weapon).

Second, President Ahmadinejad has already had his chance to fix the economy and to bring Iranians more prosperity. But the way the country has increased selective prosperity is by printing money and engaging in banking maneuvers that would boggle even Zimbabwe's central bankers. Yes, teachers make more money now. Yes, the abject poor are suffering less now. But anyone can take over a state and print money and give it away to the poor (note to Paul "More Stimulus" Krugman: hope you're reading this). The test of one's competency is whether s/he can combat the tide of inflation and lift all boats.

Third, this election is a very easy choice for Iranian voters--do they want to reaffirm the man who is a living affront to so many groups, or do they want to choose a candidate with less baggage? Even if Hossein Mousavi doesn't turn out to be perfect, right now, there's no question that he's better for the country's image than Ahmadinejad. Most analysts, including Western analysts, believe that Mousavi is the better choice. If it turns out that the Iranian voters were wrong about Mousavi--just as they were wrong about Ahmadinejad--then at least they were in good company.

Interview with Mousavi:,8599,1904343,00.html

General stories on the election:

1 comment:

Common Sense said...

Unfortunately it seems the Iranian people's "Obama moment" was snatched from them by fraudulent government intervention. They are a great people and they deserve to have their votes counted and respected. I sincerely hope Obama let's Ahmidenijad know that he views the vote as unacceptable and no longer considers him the true representative of the Iranian people - they deserve no less and who better to advocate on their behalf in the court of global opinion?!