More Electoral Fraud in Putin’s Russia
When a country is as riddled by incidents of spectacular fraud as Russia, something truly special has to happen before any given incident will be noticed. Something just that horrifying happened earlier this week as the results of nine local legislative elections became known.
America is one of the world’s wealthiest, most successful nations. Yet, the country’s recent economic downturn resulted in wholesale slaughter of the ruling Republican Party at the polls last November, handing power to their rivals the Democrats. Russia, by contrast, has never experienced a civilized transition of that kind in its entire history.
Russia’s economic performance has been far more dismal than America’s, and Russia started out from a position of excrutiating poverty in the first place. Russia stock market, currency and reserves have been all but obliterated under the incompetent guidance of Russia’s current crop of rulers. And yet, in every single one of the nine legislative races Russia’s ruling party prevailaed by landslide margins. In the Tatarstan region, where it had its strongest showing, United Russia “won” over 80% of the ballots.
There is only one word for this behavior on the part of the Russian voters, and that word is barbarism. Just imagine how the world would have reacted in November 2008 if Barack Obama’s party had been defeated by George Bush’s party by a margin of 80%!
You know things are bad when even the sham “opposition” leaders, who are largely Kremlin simpathizers, howled in protest. Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov stated that “it was a very dirty campaign” and nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky moaned “there are shortcomings causing our indignation and irritation.”
That is the nature of the Russian electoral beast these days; but for massive cheating by the Kremlin, a rabidly insane nationalist psychopath and a relic of the failed Communist past would have received more power, but there never was any chance at all that any modern democratic voice could have been empowered to any extent at all, since they were not even allowed to be present on the ballots. Despite the relentless fraud, the Commies still managed to take a third of the votes in the Vladimir region, while the nationalist lunatics scored a third of the vote in Nenetsk.
The people of Russia are spitting on the graves not just of valiant Russian patriots like Stanislav Markelov and Anna Politikovskaya, who gave their lives fighting for something better, but also on the tens of millions liquidated by the likes of Josef Stalin. More important, they are condemning their own children to repeat the worst and darkest episodes in Russian history — and most important of all they are dooming Russia to disintegration and destruction along the same lines experienced by the USSR.
Last Monday, a protest was staged in Moscow to protest the “offensive” Eurovision song entry offered by Georgia, which teases Dictator Putin. One protester declared: “This song does not just insult Putin, it insults the whole Russian people.” Yet, these great Russian patriots felt no need to speak out when their Ambassador to Ukraine openly referred to both the nation’s prime minster and its president as “dogs.” Russians, in other words, feel themselves free to insult anyone, and to take indignant umbrage at any form of insult aimed at them.
Two weeks ago, Russian warships spilled a massive amount of oil while refueling off the coast of Ireland. Like savages, the Russian government at first petulantly denied the spill was from their ships; later, forced to admit it was, they insisted only 10% of the actual amount of oil had been released.
Barbarism is the only word that fits, and meanwhile Russians continue to fancy themselves a civilized nation deserving of the world’s respect and a seat at the G-8 table.
It’s called Soviethink. History has proved it does not work. But Russians, it seems, care nothing for the lessons of history, however immutable.