Voting begins in Russian Duma 'elections'

Dame_Enda

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Voting is underway in the parliamentary 'elections'. Turnout at 10am was reported as higher than 2011, at 2.7% in Moscow and 21% in Tuva region.

Reports of irregularities include:

- vote buying (500 rubles per vote) in Novosibirsk by United Russia. A photo of a car allegedly involved has been uploaded (see link at start).

- The head of the Russian electoral Commission has reportedly threatened to cancel elections in the Siberian city of Barnaul over "carousel voting", where voters are being offered 1500 rubles for their votes. Yabloko candidate Vladimir Ryzkov has reported this.

Change is unlikely. In the last Duma the few anti Putin MPs (the Gudkovs) were expelled by their 'Fair Russia' party. Putin banned Independent candidates years ago and imposed a 7% threshold for parties to get elected. Even the pro Putin and ultranationalist 'Liberal Democratic' Party recently called for the threshold to be lowered to "calm down the country".

The outcome is a foregone conclusion. But the election is still interesting in some ways

- Unlike last time, the reformist Parnas party (funded by Mikhail Khordokovsky) is being allowed to stand and take part in some debates and the privilege of being shouted down by regime moderators and pro Putin candidates. In one recent 'debate', the moderator was asked by a Parnas candidate if they could debate issues and the reply was that is not allowed. Sirens were played when Parnas tried to raise Crimea, as the moderator said this went against the law banning questioning Russia's territorial integrity.

- The predetermined results - as in the elections to positions in the Chinese Communist party - may give a pointer on what direction Putin wants to go from here. The FSB has a history of creating front parties such as LDP. Motherland (later merged into Fair Russia), and using bribery to control the Communists. State media are tipping the LDP to overtake the Communists, which may suggest Putin will double down on his expansionist foreign policy.

- the first elections in Occupied Crimea. The regime wants to report a high turnout to give legitimacy to its rule there
 
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Dame_Enda

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Sputnik said:
No Gross Violations at Russian Parliamentary Vote – Election Commission

Read more: https://sputniknews.com/russia/20160918/1045429830/violations-russia-elections.html"
Says a state owned website. But why then is the Chairman of the Commission saying the elections in Barnaul may be cancelled because of vote buying according to The Moscow Times?
 

Congalltee

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Leaving aside the corruption; how is Putin so genuinely popular with a huge majority of his people?
 

Cellachán Chaisil

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Rubashov1917

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Perhaps because Putin works for the Russian people, in contrast to Irish politicians who are the branch managers of EU Potato Producing Region 4.
 

Clanrickard

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Putin really gets under the skin of america and their a55lickers :cool:
The sad thing is you probably believe that. He gets under the skin of right thinking people because he is a sleazy thug who runs a kleptocracy that is slowly impoverishing his own people, rewarding well connected thuggish cronies and is pursuing a narrow nationalist agenda which is disrupting the peace in Europe. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Putin's_Russia Have a read of this book if you get a chance.
 

Clanrickard

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Perhaps because Putin works for the Russian people, in contrast to Irish politicians who are the branch managers of EU Potato Producing Region 4.
He doesn't work for the Russian people. He works for his cronies and against the interests of ordinary Russians
 

Dame_Enda

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Leaving aside the corruption; how is Putin so genuinely popular with a huge majority of his people?
Brainwashing by state media and state influenced media. Reports that the late Mikhail Lesin used to call private sector media barons in and tell them what to report. Joseph Goebbels was recorded making similar boasts. Vladimir Gusinsky and Boris Berezovsky are examples of what happens to media moguls who criticise Putin.

Plus in a totalitarian state you don't necessarily tell pollsters (all of them except Levada controlled by the govt) what they don't want to hear.
 
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clusterbucked

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Leaving aside the corruption; how is Putin so genuinely popular with a huge majority of his people?
Timing.

Toasting Yeltsin | Comment is free | The Guardian

Toasting Yeltsin

Mark Simpson

He was the best president of Russia that the west ever had. That's why Russians loathed him.


Why, I wonder, was Boris Yeltsin, one of Russia's most disastrous leaders ever, so cherished and lionised in the west as a "hero" and "giant: of the 20th century and a beacon of "freedom'"

The Yeltsin many Russians will remember was rather different. A drunken opportunist who immeasurably impoverished much of his country while fantastically enriching his clique. A president who robbed an entire generation of their pensions, put living standards into free-fall and knocked decades off Russian male life expectancy, making it the lowest in the developed world, beginning a process of depopulation of Mother Russia that continues to this day. A man who started his populist career campaigning against the relatively small-time corruption of party bosses and then presided over an era of corruption and gangsterism so vast it is without historical precedent.

Perhaps, then, he is held in such high regard in the west because he was the man who buried communism and this effaces all his misdeeds? Well, yes and no. Leaving aside that communism largely imploded under the weight of its own contradictions rather than the weight of Boris on a tank, it's clear that if Yeltsin had succeeded in overthrowing communism but instead of drunken chaos and impotence had built on its ruins a strong Russia that defended its own interests and was a powerful force on the world stage his reputation in the west would be very different and he would be attacked by some of the very same people he is now championed by. He'd be almost as reviled as ... Putin!

The reason he is regarded so highly in the west is the same reason why he is loathed in Russia: he was the best president of Russia the west ever had. Not only was he craven towards western interests but he supervised the near total destruction of his country as a political and military force in the world. He ploughed Russia into the earth for us so we didn't have to do it ourselves.

Yes, it would have been nice if the Russian economy had flourished after communism and the Russian people hadn't had to suffer so much but if the price of removing a serious rival from the world stage and gaining access to her vast and strategically vital natural resources was the degradation and emiseration of an entire nation, save a lucky few lottery winners and gangsters, then, well, that's a price that's well worth them paying, isn't it?


Putin is hated as much in the west as Yeltsin is revered not because he is anti-democratic (Yeltsin was anti-democratic too when it suited him) but because he has rebuilt the Russian state, Russian power, Russian self-respect and isn't afraid to assert Russian interests.

The UK is home to those plotting oligarchs who believe that Russia is just part of their property portfolio, not just because we have expensive restaurants and good private security companies but because we were one of the main architects of the anarchy that made them insanely rich. Putin may have been Yeltsin's anointed heir (at the price of granting him immunity from prosecution), but he turned out to be something of a patriot, turning on the powerful oligarchy which had really run Russia while Yeltsin fiddled. This is why he is so popular in Russia and why exiled oligarchs bragging about their coup plans only make him more popular.

The dramatic rise in Russophobia in the west in recent years is less about liberal anxiety over Moscow's authoritarianism than naked self-interest: the west has woken up to the fact that the Russian bear is still alive, despite our best attempt to poison him with Yeltsin 210 in the 1990s, and he wants his gas and oil back, spassiba.
 

Catalpast

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Perhaps because Putin works for the Russian people, in contrast to Irish politicians who are the branch managers of EU Potato Producing Region 4.
That is an insult!:mad:

We are officially Landing Strip Number 2....

Potatoes indeed!:roll:
 

Catalpast

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The sad thing is you probably believe that. He gets under the skin of right thinking people because he is a sleazy thug who runs a kleptocracy that is slowly impoverishing his own people, rewarding well connected thuggish cronies and is pursuing a narrow nationalist agenda which is disrupting the peace in Europe. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Putin's_Russia Have a read of this book if you get a chance.
I sleep peacefully each night regardless

I don't regard him as a threat to my well being at all...
 


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