By Radman Rabii
The Iranian nation has been struggling for democracy for more than a century and during this time it has experienced dictators under a constitutional monarchy and a revolution that established an Islamic Republic. All this time the country has fought to determine its own path but it has been set back by foreign intervention and internal political differences. For the past thirty years, the people of Iran have experienced an Islamic Republic in which the people can choose the head of their executive branch of government every four years from a list approved by the system. Many in Iran believe that under such a system voting is futile since the candidates do not represent the true aspirations of the people. I disagree. 70 million Iranians are under the governance of the leader that is about to be chosen and the results of this election will have an effect on the image of Iran and the dignity of Iranians all across the globe.
Elections are the foundations of democracy and if not for our political beliefs, we must vote to show our desire to rule our own land. Our desire to choose our own leaders must be illustrated through our active participation and not through silence. We must use the tools of democracy to show that we are here, we care, and our lives and the future of our country are of great importance to us. We must show that we have oversight over our government's every move and we are holding them accountable on their words and promises. We must show that they cannot simply misuse the powers vested to them by the people, against the people. We must show that political maneuvers that increase the hardships of life and put a heavy burden on the shoulders of our countrymen and women come with a price and we stand firm to protect our rights and our livelihoods. Never in history has silence prevailed. Never in history have we seen change through inaction. The decision not to vote, will not only have no effect on the legitimacy of the system, but it will strip you of your own legitimacy to question, criticize, and hold accountable those who are elected.
Your vote does matter. It can bring about change and yes, you do have a choice. You have a choice of using your right to vote that has been given to you by the constitution, to push the country towards the right path or to decline this right and have the consequences of your inaction affect your country and your life directly for the next four years. There are less than twenty days left to Election Day. I urge you, as one of your countrymen who seeks a bright and free future for Iran, to read about the candidates and increase your knowledge of their stands and their economical and political agendas. I beg you with all that I have to go to the polls on June 12 and cast your vote. I beg you this because Iran is important to me. Because I believe it is our actions that will write Iran's path in history and it is our actions that bring a better future for the years to come. I beg you because I believe that this is our national duty and something we owe to ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren so that one day when they ask about this day we do not tell them that we did nothing. We did nothing and we left our future to those who are thirsty for power and will do anything to keep it. I beg you so that you do not have to explain to future generations that by your inaction, you pleased those who see a tyrannical future for Iran and left your country in the hands of men who destroyed our hard gained achievements.
For those beloved Iranians who are outside of Iran, your country needs you for one day every four years. Please, if you are capable, take the day off and head to polling stations that are stationed where you live. If you have to travel long hours for this purpose, get together with those you know and care about Iran and head to the polls together, make your voices heard and share this decisive day together. Is ONE DAY every FOUR years too much to put aside for your country? To those Iranians who live in our sacred land, you have a lot to lose by not participating. It does not take long to vote, make the right move and I promise you will not regret it.
Remember, the choice is yours.
... Payvand News - 05/26/09 ... --