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Reza Marashi, Huffington Post, February 29, 2016: Iranian Voters Seek Gradual Change, Electing Moderate Candidates
"Iran can still surprise. Despite thousands of candidate disqualifications, tens of millions of Iranians flocked to the polls to vote in their 2016 elections. Turnout has surpassed 60 percent. Victory by candidates aligned with President Hassan Rouhani already exceeds expectations. Thus far, there have been no allegations of cheating. This begs the question: What just happened?"
Marashi lists several factors in the trend toward a more moderate government, including energizing the youth in the country to vote. "Iran's large youth population means there were millions of eligible first-time voters, and many young Iranians vote in order to avoid being turned down for employment or other government-related benefits. Having a stamp in their identity papers showing they participated in the electoral process is at best a show of patriotism and at worst, erring on the side of caution."
Young people are given an incentive to vote. I don't know how something like that would catch on in the USA. Maybe Bernie's candidacy is all they need. However, Marashi also points to another reason which fits more with the Hillary Clinton philosophy:
"But perhaps above all else, these elections reflect Iranian society's continued desire to bring about change through gradual evolution rather than radical upheaval. They are demanding pragmatic and democratic reform within the existing system. No one is calling for a revolution, and a diverse socioeconomic swath of Iranian society rejects foreign interference in its politics."
These elections were a rejection of the hardliners. Sure extremists are still in government at both the left and the right. However, as Marashi points out: "A more diverse range of views will now be sitting at the decision-making table in Iran. Politicians that have united as part of Rouhani's coalition were at each other's throats 10 to 15 years ago."
Wouldn't it be nice if we could learn from Iran?