Sunday, March 4, 2012

Voting Day in Russia

The citizens of the Russian Federation went to the polls today to re-elect Putin for a third term (6 years this time) as president.  He needs more than 50% in this round to avoid a second round of voting.  As if that is a problem.  Three of his opponents are professional losers, though Zyuganov of the Communist Party is the favoured protest vote.  No credible liberal candidates were allowed to run and the oligarch running as an independent will be lucky if his own mother votes for him.

After the protests of December and February over the rampant fraud in the Duma elections, Putin spent a BILLION dollars installing CCTV cameras in all the polling stations.  One of his buddies made half a billion on that, I expect, but not much else will come of it.  My guess is only the Election Commission will be allowed to see the films and we all know THEY won't see anything untoward.  Putin will claim then, that he won fair and square.  Yeah, right.

According to BBC, carousel voting (busing people from polling station to polling station), which is pretty easy to detect, is going all out in Moscow, Novosibirsk and Barnaul and likely in other places to, though they didn't mention it. When the BBC report was filed, already some 3000 instances of fraud had been documented by independent observers.

Not surprised about Novosibirsk.  I think that was the city which banned demonstrations by toys.  Seems that no one could get approval for a demonstration so some enterprising soul put protest signs on toys and set them out in the square.  Naughty, naughty.

The opposition is already organized for protests tomorrow, however so is the Kremlin, having imported 6000 extra police from the hinterland.  I imagine that Putin will be no more Mr. Nice Guy now that the election is over and any and all protests will be brutally crushed.  I don't expect any of the militia brought in will "refuse to fire on their own people".  These are the folks that brought you Stalin, after all.

Harper and GOP, you keep interesting company.

Monday Morning Update: Putin wins with 60% of the vote and a 68% turnout.  Exit polls match the actual count.   A major difference this time is that the opposition candidates are not going quietly, according to BBC.

7 comments:

  1. Life is getting stranger and sadder by turns. Day after day.

    ReplyDelete
  2. And to the old adage-the more things change, the more they stay the same. Not just in Russia. It is the human experience-good and bad-and it is played out over and over again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. History repeats itself, first as tragedy next time as farce. OR
      History doesn't repeat itself but it sure rhymes.

      Delete
  3. Carousel voting? It sounds like New York and Chicago in the 19th century but without the free beer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. America is much more sophisticated than that now.

      Delete
  4. I especially like the Femen protesters who right after Putin voted tried to take away the ballot box.

    ReplyDelete