Mousavi - Ahmadinejad debate, June 3 2009

Thursday, June 04, 2009

It's happening right now. Listen to it with English interpretation here (button on the top right that says audio stream). If you can read Persian then check out these Twitter search results, or here in English.

Edit after the debate: the video can now be seen in English here, and if you know Persian then you can start watching it here.

The format of the debate wasn't really structured in the same way as those you might see in Canada or the US with opponents talking over each other; here that only happened a few times near the end and outside of that each candidate had over ten minutes to speak each time. Even the seating was such that the candidates seemed to be as far away from each other as possible while still being seated at the same table.

So in that sense the winner is probably the person who is most able to benefit the most from the wide coverage of the debate, and who addressed the views of the average person. Though this is for the United States, mentioned last year that voters thought Obama had won based on staying calm and focusing on issues, whereas McCain had gotten distracted on earmarks, an issue much less important than the overall economy. It's not always passion alone that wins a debate; too much of that in the wrong area makes a candidate look out of touch.

And Ahmadinejad questioning Mousavi's wife's Ph.D? That was a desperate move. He seemed to come across as more of a spirited Politics 101 student than anything remotely presidential. So I suppose as a first-year student in a debate I would give Ahmadinejad an A for this performance. As a presidential candidate it's pretty hard to tell what message he's running on. His overall message seems to be talking about the 80s, praising his stance against Bush and Cheney (who are gone), and talking about his opponent's wife's Ph.D. And the Holocaust. A cohesive message that is not.

Articles on the debate: here, here, and here.

Mousavi will be on tv again tomorrow in a debate with Rezaei. The other debate I'm looking forward to seeing is the very last one with Rezaei and Ahmadinejad; Rezaei is the candidate that is most able to appeal to Ahmadinejad voters and it will be interesting to see how much he goes on the offensive during that very last debate. Rezaei really has nothing to lose and everything to gain so it's likely he'll be on the offensive for that.


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