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View Full Version : How Legit are the Iranian vote totals so far?


JonIrenicus
06-13-2009, 02:59 AM
/title

I'm SO awesome!
06-13-2009, 06:47 PM
http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2009/06/vote-iran

probably not very

Lyle
06-13-2009, 07:51 PM
From the Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jun/13/iranian-election

I have been in Iran for exactly one week covering the 2009 Iranian election carnival. Since I arrived, few here doubted that the incumbent firebrand President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad would win. My airport cab driver reminded me that the president had visited every province twice in the last four years "Iran isn't Tehran," he said. Even when I asked Mousavi supporters if their man could really carry more than capital, their responses were filled with an Obamasque provisional optimism "Yes we can", "I hope so", "If you vote." So the question occupying the international media, "How did Mousavi lose?" seems to be less a problem of the Iranian election commission and more a matter of bad perception rooted in the stubborn refusal to understand the role of religion in Iran.

Lyle
06-13-2009, 07:54 PM
This may be an apologist of the regime commenting, I don't know... but too many seem to think that everyone in Iran is with the majority in Tehran. Maybe they are or maybe they are not, but I know that not all of America is like New York City.

pampl
06-13-2009, 08:05 PM
This may be an apologist of the regime commenting, I don't know... but too many seem to think that everyone in Iran is with the majority in Tehran. Maybe they are or maybe they are not, but I know that not all of America is like New York City.

Yes, but not all of America is like Kansas, either. Ahmedinejad won EVERYWHERE, including the home cities of other candidates. Maybe he would have won anyway and Khameini just preferred a large, if very implausible, majority instead of a close result

Good piece by Juan Cole. The URL contains spoilers so if you want to be surprised just click blindly
http://www.juancole.com/2009/06/stealing-iranian-election.html

AemJeff
06-13-2009, 08:25 PM
Yes, but not all of America is like Kansas, either. Ahmedinejad won EVERYWHERE, including the home cities of other candidates. Maybe he would have won anyway and Khameini just preferred a large, if very implausible, majority instead of a close result

Good piece by Juan Cole. The URL contains spoilers so if you want to be surprised just click blindly
http://www.juancole.com/2009/06/stealing-iranian-election.html

Nate Silver chimes in (http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/06/statistical-evidence-does-not-prove.html).

Lyle
06-13-2009, 08:25 PM
Of course (obviously it goes both ways), but there is a large religious working class everywhere in Iran too.

cognitive madisonian
06-13-2009, 08:35 PM
So, Barry Obama has improved our relations with the Islamic world so much that they went and reelected their crazy jihadist demagogue.

Maybe he should send the reverend Jeremiah over. The two can discuss them Jews.

Starwatcher162536
06-13-2009, 10:41 PM
Does every single issue have to come back and be about Obama's inadequacies?

cognitive madisonian
06-14-2009, 01:02 AM
Does every single issue have to come back and be about Obama's inadequacies?

Not every issue, but this one certainly does.

bjkeefe
06-14-2009, 02:21 AM
http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2009/06/vote-iran

probably not very

Wow. The things you learn at a Bob Wright book party.

bjkeefe
06-14-2009, 02:25 AM
Nate Silver chimes in (http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/06/statistical-evidence-does-not-prove.html).

Fascinating. Nate never fails to impress.

JonIrenicus
06-14-2009, 04:32 AM
Here is a standard news story about the election

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/06/200961445310869719.html



and I will highlight the last sentence


"Analysts questioned the speed of the ballot count and the size of the victory for Ahmadinejad.

But Mehran Kamrava, director of the centre for international and regional studies at Georgetown University's campus in Qatar, cautioned that the displays of support for Mousavi were not necessarily an indication of fraud.

"The Western media has been talking to people in north Tehran, who tend to vote overwhelmingly against Ahmadinejad," he told Al Jazeera.

"But let's not forget that many of the urban Iranians have priorities and proclivities that are not necessarily reflected in other areas of the main cities, and those people could easily have voted for Ahmadinejad.

"Iranian politics have proved themselves to be notoriously unpredictable and this could be one of those instances of unpredictability."

Iran does not allow international election monitors."


That last sentence, no matter what may or may not be true about the election, puts a permanent taint on ANY legitimacy to Iranian elections in my eyes.

There is only one reason to refuse monitors, you have something to hide. What that may be is anyones guess, but the purpose of such a measure is not guesswork. Not in a theocracy, and to those who in their more drunken insights confuse the worst of what we have with evangelicals with ACTUAL theocratic rule, let this bludgeoningly clear spectacle disabuse you about the difference.

It does make you wonder about the nature of the power structure in such a society.

I am sure many go along out of fear. But how many actually go along because they believe in the man/men who claim divine knowledge? How great a fool does one have to be not to see those men are acting like GOD themselves, dictating orders from on high.. The level of ignorance and blind stupidity makes me understand the kind of impulse that made Moses hurl the 10 commandments at the sinners below him (just at his outrage at the behavior of his people, I am an atheist here).


If the earth opened up and swallowed such people, we'd probably be alot better off, just as certain generations simply had to die off to shrug off certain prejudices that saturated a society. To the extent that genuine rot of beliefs in such a society exist en masse, the only hope may be to see said beliefs wither and die. And the nightmare is that such beliefs actually propagate and expand.

bjkeefe
06-14-2009, 04:50 AM
Iran does not allow international election monitors."[/I]


That last sentence, no matter what may or may not be true about the election, puts a permanent taint on ANY legitimacy to Iranian elections in my eyes.

There is only one reason to refuse monitors, you have something to hide.

Does the US permit international election monitors?

JonIrenicus
06-14-2009, 05:03 AM
Does the US permit international election monitors?

Not sure if it is a widespread policy, though there were reportedly some international monitors at the 2004 election after the 2000 election.


But even if the US did not, I could simply amend the point to say Independent/non governmental election monitors to achieve the same result. This is not what exists in Iran, it does in the US, whether we allow international monitors or not. Both sides lawyer up here in the US.

pampl
06-14-2009, 02:34 PM
http://www.juancole.com/2009/06/class-v-culture-wars-in-iranian.html
So observers who want to lay a guilt trip on us about falling for Mousavi's smooth upper middle class schtick are simply ignoring the last 12 years of Iranian history. It was about culture wars, not class. It is simply not true that the typical Iranian voter votes conservative and religious when he or she gets the chance. In fact, Mousavi is substantially more conservative than the typical winning politician in 2000. Given the enormous turnout of some 80 percent, and given the growth of Iran's urban sector, the spread of literacy, and the obvious yearning for ways around the puritanism of the hard liners, Mousavi should have won in the ongoing culture war.

And just because Ahmadinejad poses as a champion of the little people does not mean that his policies are actually good for workers or farmers or for working class women (they are not, and many people in that social class know that they are not).

uncle ebeneezer
06-14-2009, 06:52 PM
They're so corrupt, next thing you know they'll just have some "Supreme" court decide the outcome ;-)

I'm not really sure what to make of it all. But Nate Silver's post was pretty compelling.

pampl
06-14-2009, 08:09 PM
They're so corrupt, next thing you know they'll just have some "Supreme" court decide the outcome ;-)

I'm not really sure what to make of it all. But Nate Silver's post was pretty compelling.
The one linked to earlier? I don't understand how it would compel anyone in either direction.. Silver wasn't making a point about whether the election was clean or not, only that one kind of statistical analysis wasn't really relevant.

bjkeefe
06-14-2009, 08:20 PM
They're so corrupt, next thing you know they'll just have some "Supreme" court decide the outcome ;-)

Nice.

I'm not really sure what to make of it all. But Nate Silver's post was pretty compelling.

To extend what pampl (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=116542#post116542) said in response to this -- what Nate's analysis indicates to me is only that the "suspiciously perfect" linearity cannot be used to support a claim of election fraud. His analysis does not say anything more than that. (Nate says this himself, btw.)

bjkeefe
06-14-2009, 08:21 PM
Not sure if it is a widespread policy, though there were reportedly some international monitors at the 2004 election after the 2000 election.


But even if the US did not, I could simply amend the point to say Independent/non governmental election monitors to achieve the same result. This is not what exists in Iran, it does in the US, whether we allow international monitors or not. Both sides lawyer up here in the US.

Practically speaking, I agree with you. But my (mostly rhetorical) point still stands in the sense that people's nationalistic pride is very susceptible to bruising when people outside of their country tell them that they must have official international monitoring.

Even as many within the country might want it, as I did myself, in 2004.

uncle ebeneezer
06-14-2009, 08:33 PM
Sorry, wrong choice of word. I meant that Silvers point was well-made about the linearity issue that he was focusing on.

I'm SO awesome!
06-14-2009, 09:08 PM
oh, that's so weird! i didn't even read the main body of the text. weird weird weird.....i wonder what kevin thought of the book...maybe he just pretended to read it;)?

Starwatcher162536
06-23-2009, 05:51 PM
http://physicsworld.com/blog/2009/06/benfords_law_and_the_iranian_e.html
The Fed uses this to crack down on people faking their books all the time. The law holds for just about anything though.

JonIrenicus
06-24-2009, 03:09 AM
http://physicsworld.com/blog/2009/06/benfords_law_and_the_iranian_e.html
The Fed uses this to crack down on people faking their books all the time. The law holds for just about anything though.



Here is a video explaining the phenomenon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8N26edbqLM

seems strange, but the only intuitive explanation I can think of is that when counting the early numbers are hit first, it takes longer to get to the later numbers. And when a new digit is added, the first number added is you guessed it, a 1, then the 2 takes over, but what about all the counts that hit the one but not the 2?

And there it is, it is closer to the beginning.

Probably similar to turned pages in a book where the beginning has a higher number than later pages.

Or maybe not.

and it's probably the case that once a new set of spanned numbers is traversed like 1-9, the increase from 10-19 is faster than the increase from 1-9, and the increase from 20-29 is surely faster than the increase from 10-19, and so on and so forth, such that the time spent in the 90-99 frame is dramatically smaller compared to the earlier expanses. Seems a stranger leap when comparing the rationale for natural phenomena, but that is just my dull mind trying to figure things out.

Starwatcher162536
06-24-2009, 02:01 PM
[...]
Seems a stranger leap when comparing the rationale for natural phenomena, but that is just my dull mind trying to figure things out.

Thanks for the link, it cleared some thoughts that were nagging at me about that.

As for natural phenomena, it isn't strange at all, power laws are really common in nature.