Moscow Protests: For now or the future?

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5 Responses

  1. Putin’s ratings are relatively low compared to what he usually has, but no lower than in mid-2005 (when the gov’t monetized pensioners’ social benefits).

    I expect him to duly get his 60% vote on the first round, and for the usual suspects to begin screeching that it was far more rigged even than the Duma elections (ignoring that VVP is far more popular than UR).

  2. Andy says:

    If a candidate who would win an election with 51% of the vote manipulates the ballot to make it appear as thoughhe got 60% then shouldn’t the election be annulled anyway and the candidate arrested?

    Is the desire of the people toelect a criminal more important than the rule of law?

  3. No, because that candidate has the support of the majority, and unless he is personally responsible for falsifications he is not a criminal. But falsification by 9% – really? Even if we take the lower-end exit poll, i.e. FOM’s 46%, that’s still less than 4% difference.

  4. Andy says:

    Even if we disregard the widespread allegations of fraud across the whole country, it’s difficult argue that a politician of Putin’s stature can’t be responsible personally for electoral fraud on the kind of scale we’ve seen in Chechnya et al. Having said that, I wouldn’t want to try and prove it in a court of law!

    As for opinion polls, it’ll be interesting to see how they trend over the next few months. I would be surprised if support for Putin continues to fall in the run up to the Presidential election, prompted by a growth in awareness of the problems with this election and the realisation that there are alternatives out there. Any fall isn’t going to be by a massive amount – I still expect Putin to be by far the most genuinely popular candidate in the first round – but I do think it will be by enough to make it a close run thing as to whether a second round of voting is required.

  5. Mark says:

    Things have reached a point whereby the west only has to say “massive fraud”, and it is presumed to be the case. Israel’s Avigdor Lieberman was in Moscow for the vote, with observers on behalf of the Jewish state. He claimed the vote was fair and that his observers saw no evidence of fraud. To the very best of my knowledge Israel is not an enthusiastic booster of the Putin regime, and although Israel and Russia enjoy a reasonably good trade relationship, Israel has been bluntly critical of Russia’s supposedly too-cozy friendship with Iran. Blatant suck-up would be an unusual role for Lieberman to embrace, especially considering his statement came into direct conflict with Hillary Clinton’s typical hawkish chunnering.

    The National Interest, a publication whose associate publisher is a former U.S. State Department official, suggests that “while Russia’s election campaign and its voting were marred in many respects, the results generally match exit polling from reliable agencies.”

    Lest anyone think he’s just another closet communist democracy-baiter, he was exactly right about U.R.’s presidential candidate back in August, while the Russia-watcher blogosphere was still twittering back and forth that the candidate would be Medvedev.

    Some of the bitterly disappointed over United Russia’s victory, regardless the actual margin, have ululated, “Why doesn’t Putin simply declare himself King?” If the first reaction to every election in Russia that does not result in the western-loving liberal candidate being carried aloft victorious on the shoulders of his party is “Rigged!!!! the elections were a sham!!!!”, I submit he has little incentive to do otherwise. As well to be hung for a sheep as a lamb.