Friday, 26 June 2009

Election Fraud at Home and Abroad: Hanging Chads and "Hanging Chador"

The sad events in Iran continue to trouble the world. I admire the brave folk who have taken to the streets there in the last 10 days to protest what appears to be election fraud, but I think it’s also important to recognize that elections have been stolen in countries whose experience with democracy is supposed to be much longer and stronger.

I am referring, of course, to the US presidential election of 2000, where “hanging chads” and systematic intimidation of potential voters made the difference between defeat and victory for George W. Bush.

The cover of the June 29 New Yorker makes a sly reference to that fiasco. A young woman in green hidjab is examining a punch-card ballot. “Hanging chador” it’s called.

Let those without sin cast the first stones. And where were the mass demonstrations in the US eight and a half years ago?

1 comment:

lagatta à montréal said...

Indeed, horrible as the repression is in Iran, the degree of Western interest is suspicious, considering how little coverage of "furrin elections" there is, especially in the blinkered US press.

To take another North-American example, there was massive electoral fraud in the last Mexican elections, to such an extent the López Obrador was probably the real winner, and not Felipe Calderón. And yet US - and Canadian - media paid little attention to this massive fraud in a NAFTA partner, and for the Southwestern US, a neighbour and source of millions of immigrants.

I am looking forward to meeting up with Amir Khadir for his take on the Iranian elections...