Two Steps Back

A new President of Iran has been elected. A hard-liner and former militia group trainer who liked to invoke the 1979 Revolution during his campaign, and hyped up the class-warfare card by promising more socialist-style wealth redistribution. And according to a BBC article, it's one culture or the highway, as Mr. Ahmadinejad plans to “resist Western decadence”.

Says Ali, an Iranian authoritarian-loving university teacher:

We need a fundamentalist running the country. We have corruption and many cultural problems here. The US cultural attack in Iran, using the internet and satellite TV has caused many difficulties. We need Ahmadinejad to put us back in place.

Faranak Hariri of Tehran vents her frustration…

Why should I care who will be the next president of Iran when women can not legally decide where to live, whom to marry or what to study when they do not have the right to get divorce, all based on our so-called constitution law? The best of our presidents promised to act according to such law and we praised him for saying so. Mullahs do not like my wisdom, my opinion, sometimes they even don't care about my existence. Why should I care for such regime?

In the same BBC Talking Point, Abdul Samad of Afghanistan's quote clearly demonstrates the horrors of democracy when constitutional freedoms and civil liberties are neither in place nor guaranteed.

And I think the real democracy is to pay attention to majority people demands, so when people elect their own president others should respect the majority.

And from Hossein of Canada:

In some Western countries such as the UK and USA we have limited choices. In Iran there were eight, all with very different ideas and plans for their country. And with the run-off you have two very different directions for Iranians to choose. Which is more democratic Iran or the UK/US? The answer is up to you.

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While granting that your

While granting that your point about the dangers of democracy is absolutely spot on it's worth making it clear that Iran is absolutely not more democratic than the UK/US in any case. Given the chance to hold elections to a position with no real power in elections which are overseen by an unelected clerical body who imprison unpopular campaigners and hire thugs to break up student demonstrations, I can't see too many in the western world jumping with joy.