The Islamic Republic is preparing for parliamentary (Majlis) election on Friday, March 2, 2012. It is the first national election since the controversial 2009 presidential election and subsequent mass demonstrations. While several opposition groups have called for boycotting the election, the Iranian state is employing anti-Western propaganda to bring citizens to the polls.
Setare Iran has published [fa] a poster with an image of Neda, a young woman killed during protests, with a slogan that says, “I do not vote.”
The blogger says:
Beyond the question of whether taking part in this election is useful or not, how can someone go to the polls after all these martyrs and with thousands of innocents imprisoned? This election on Friday will not honour our votes. It is a test for a regime who considers that the intelligence of the people is non-existant. Neda's innocent gaze does not let us to sell our honour to a dictatorship.
Azarakan says [fa]:
Contrary to the regime's propaganda that says Western countries will attack Iran if people do not vote, boycotting the election makes the regime understand it does not have any legitimacy. It forces them to stop challenging the international community with its nuclear program.
A one minute film recalls that members of parliament backed backed the last fraudulent election, and brought economic misery to the country.
The final message of the video questions, “Should we vote again?”
Of course, not all Iranian bloggers share the same opinion on the election. Ahestan considers that problems do not get solved by not taking part in the election because the political participation of the people can be a strong answer to enemies (“a fist to their mouth”). “If they [enemies] encourage people not to vote, then why should the Islamic Republic not encourage them to vote?” he says.
To vote or not to vote, may finally not be the question, since some analysts predict the government will report a turnout of 60 percent or higher, regardless of what happens on Friday.