On June 12, the tenth ever Iranian presidential elections were held in Iran and two days later, the publicized outcome catalyzed an explosive reaction.
Sitting President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, had won the election over his main competitor, Mir-Hossein Mousavi. Several analysts and journalists from the U.S. and U.K. expressed doubts about the authenticity of the results. So, it seems, did many of Mousavi’s backers – who have been fighting what they called a “deeply flawed” election through protest demonstrations. Aka lots and lots of rioting.
So what does this have to do with China? As always, the curiosity of democracy evoked a strong reaction within the Chinese netizen community, especially when it seems to have failed. And after scouring the web for what was being said, it looks like a pretty huge proportion are in agreement that not only is Iran flawed, democracy is as well.
Is it a case of 50 cent armies jumping on the chance to influence public debate, or really the thoughts of the bulk of the Chinese net-surfing peoples? You decide:
Severall from iFeng.com criticized the Iranian government for letting something that seemed like a sham election – and its fallout – happen in the first place:
“After reading Mr. Song’s Blog about ‘Democratic political people,’ I am more sure than ever, Chinese people should be supervised and controlled.”
“Nonsense (that Iran is democratic). They (Iranian citizens) are protesting because of the unfairness of the election.”
“The Iranian presidential election evolved after decades but now is triggering so many protests and riots; I am not sure how the liberal wings of the party would think? Use the army. Whoever fights against the government should be killed. There are so many people in Iran so killing several hundreds of thousands is not a big deal. What does the army do? Foolish (Iranian government).”
“请问，中国的自由派呢应该何去何从呢？ —- 丧家之犬，无去无从.”
“May I ask, where should Chinese liberal wing of the party go? — An outcast with no whither.” (This might be a proverb, meaning something along the lines of: a dog without a leash has no idea where to go)
“National interest overrides everything else.”
Others took the opportunity to rail against Western media and Americans (you know, the champions of this whole voting thing):
“America is always opposed to the other countries’ democracy because American politics is a fake democracy; it is really the ‘presidential dictatorship.’ However, America asks other countries to be ‘fake democracies’ — killing the real democracy!”
“I support Ahmadinejad. He is one of the only three leaders of the countries who say no to America. He is a brave and dignified country leader.”
“When Bush was elected as the American president, he cheated too. But Al Gore was rational and admitted that he lost because of national stabilization. Mousavi has America as his biggest backer but not many Iranian supporters. He should admitted that he lost.”
According to China.com, Mousavi pledged to cancel the result of presidential election right after it was released and now the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has ordered an investigation into voter fraud. The whole world will be watching the results closely, no doubt, but it’ll be especially interesting to see how the events are interpreted by curious Chinese on the web.