June 21, 2009

You cannot be serious!

How else can you react to Reza Aslan’s notion that the Iranian regime’s electoral system allows for "greater diversity of religious and political thought" (thanks to Michael Goldfarb at TWS)?

The Iranian constitution’s article 115 contains many discriminatory elements.

The president must be from a defined group of “religious and political personalities.” The word for “personalities” is regal. It has until recently been interpreted to mean a man. Certainly no woman has ever been allowed to run. That means 50% of Iran's population is excluded from running for the presidency.

Article 115 also states specifically that only members of the official madhab (school of Islamic jurisprudence) can run for the presidency. That is a religious test which excludes the 20% of Iranians who are not Shia Muslims. Such a religious test is illegal in the U.S.A. according to article VI of the constitution.

You cannot be serious!

Posted by Howard Baskerville at June 21, 2009 11:24 AM

We have a vetting system - it's a democratic process known as primaries.

During the primaries, you see a remarkable diversity of policy and thought - the political spectrum all the way from Ron Paul to Dennis Kucinich is represented.

Reza seems to completely misunderstand the American presidential election system. If we had a run-off system like France, there would no doubt be dozens of candidates who ran in the general election. (Again, we do have dozens of candidates - all but two of them are weeded out during the primary round.)

Because 270 electoral votes are needed to win the presidency, and we have a winner take all state-by-state system, parties are forced to form as wide a coalition as possible in order to win the presidency. (Also the reason America only has two parties and not dozens.)

For a guy like Reza - who apparently is being considered by the White House as a foreign policy analysts - to so egregiously misunderstand the American political system is disturbing.

I prefer to respond with this clip.


Posted by: MCS Author Profile Page at June 21, 2009 3:20 PM
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Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

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