The US and Iran
In the United States of America the government’s right to govern resides in the Constitution that was set forth by and for the people. The American people are the ones who determine the legitimacy of the government and not superiors, because they do not exist. The citizenry in America are sovereign and their privileges are derived from laws, practices, and rights that are in accordance with the Constitution. On the contrary Iran is not a Democratic-Republic, but a Theocracy that has attempted to incorporated Democracy. Democracy and Theocracy do not always work together but Iran has managed to maintain the two despite recent up-roarings. In Iran the government’s right to govern resides in Supreme Leader’s absolute power which is ordain by their Constitution and oversees all affairs. The authority of the Supreme Leader is derived from the divine authority of the Twelfth (or hidden) Iman. This person is the most influential and important cleric of Islam. The only explanation for this is because Iran is a Theocracy and that is how they designed their government.
The political activists in Iran are all seeking the same thing: rights. These groups vary but consist for the most part of women, students, human rights activists, who all desire rights for themselves but sometimes others. The women rights activists demand an end to sexism, reform of the Constitution which subjugates women under Sharia law, and other things. Students demand freedom of thought, expression, association, academic freedom, an end to gender discrimination on school grounds, an end to admissions based on political and religious biases. In addition, they also seek for full religious and minority rights, democratization of the electoral system, judicial reform, labor rights, and more. Other human activists in Iran have also criticized the regime and called for the abolition of the death penalty and respect of the rights of all groups. The regime and the Iranian people remain in conflict over these hot-button issues.
Although Mahmoud Ahmadinejad does not have full power in Iran, he is still the head of the government and serves as the President which often makes his the subject of much criticism. In 2009 the public was hoping to vote him out of office but all of the activists groups were weakened by persecution from the regime. They had two options. They could either ignore these elections they deemed unfree or they could vote in someone who was a lesser evil. Ahmadinejad won anyway. Despite peoples standing on voting, it is rare for organizations to campaign for or against any candidate. Many groups have emerged in response to the governments actions though and have tried to convey their demands to the regime. Recently however, candidates for political office have been forced to develop their own political agenda in response to the extensive demands made by all the groups. The candidates pledged to grant as many rights as the Constitution allowed and suggested other liberal elements to be done as well. These actions have rallied more people and have weakened the current regime in Iran throughout reforms.