A diary of Russian political activist

Sunday 2 December 2007

Choice with no choice or the Russian State Duma elections 2007

The results of the last elections to the State Duma (Russian Parliament) are not counted yet. But nobody doubts that the winner is Vladimir Putin and his party United Russia. The authorities did all their best in order to make the elections just a formality. The quantity of people who vote don't bother any more. Even the voices of Putin and his daughters are enough for announcing the elections legitimate. The barrier of 7% (instead of the recent 5%) for a party to get in Duma is so high that Russian opposition has no chance to reach it. We had no right to vote against all. And so on and so on. But all these measures could not satisfy the authorities. They did all they could for making these elections look like an absurd comedy:
  • The president and the government of all levels agitated for the "State" party (United Russia) without any shame.
  • Our mass media gave all the time in the news and political shows for the only party (United Russia).
  • The process of counting of the votes was usurped by one party (United Russia).
  • There was lack of observers from the foreign countries, even more, more than a half of electoral districts was observed only by the members of United Russia.
  • And finally, even before the beginning of the elections a great quantity of posters telling about the shattering victory of Putin's party (United Russia) was printed.

How could I believe that these elections were legitimate? What could I do if anything was counted before they had begun?
  • If I voted for an oppositional party (instead I don't like any of existing oppositional parties in Russia), I could not be sure that my voice was counted correctly.
  • If I voted for a party who had no chance to pass the barrier, in fact I would give one more place in the Parliament to United Russia.
  • If I spoiled the bulletin, I couldn't be sure that it wouldn't be changed by a new one (with a vote for United Russia of course).
  • If I just stayed at home, the people in the commission of my electoral district could simply vote instead of me.
  • If I took my bulletin out of the electoral district, they would simply put a new one on its place.

No variants, you see. In such situation the question of voting resembles the question of how to behave during an act of rape. I guess if you can't avoid the rape it is better to take a position in which you won't feel the pain. So I decided to take my bulletin away.

I got to my electoral district, took a bulletin and asked the member of commission to mark in her journal that I didn't want to vote and took the bulletin away. The reaction was amusing. This madam began to cry that I would be arrested because of my unlawful actions. I tried to explain that in the law nothing is written about taking bulletins away. I told also that I payed all the taxes, and the elections were organized on my taxes as well, so the bulletin was my property and I could do with it anything I wished. All in vain. This madam tried to stop me using her own power and the power of the observers (supposedly the observers of United Russia). They blocked me up the way out of the electoral district and demanded me to give them my bulletin if I didn't want to vote. I don't know what would be the end of this story if my husband, who went there with me, didn't help me by clearing the way by force. So after a thrilling show we could go home and get pleasure from spoiling the bulletin. Here is my opinion about these elections and our authorities in general:

(A rough translation is: "Suck my dick instead of getting my voice!" A cannabis leave is a sign of my solidarity with comrades from Cannabis Legalize League who spoiled bulletins by drawing a leave of marijuana on a bulletin.)

And here you can see one of the best examples of falsification:

The question WHAT FOR stays without any answer. Our authorities could easily win without any additional illegal actions. The laws they had changed just before the elections gave them all the chances. But Russia is surely a very special country. And our democracy is also very special.

No comments: