Russian Presidential Elections 6 replies

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Commissar MercZ

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#1 6 years ago

Russians will head to the polls on March 4th to vote for the next president of the Federation. The attention has been on Putin's participation in the presidential election, which some critics have seen as confirmation as Putin having Medvedev keeping the president seat 'warm' as he went on the Prime Minister spot, due to constitutional restrictions on more than two consecutive terms.

Putin is expected to win the presidential elections handily, the only surprise might be is if he needs a runoff round to win.

The main candidates -

Vladimir Putin (United Russia): a few months ago during the party's national convention, Putin accepted the party's nomination of him to run as their candidate of the president. Putin portrays himself as the candidate with most experience, and the 'moderate' between the the Communists and the Liberals in Russian society.

Gennady Zyuganov (Communist Party of the Russian Federation): A common face in the Communist Party, having run as that party's presidential ticket for every election since 1996 (except in 2004). Zyuganov has the most name recognition from this party and the most familiar to the media. Critics charge the Communist Party is not really a 'Communist' Party, but rather one built off so-called 'Great State Patriotism' and not fufiling the role of an opposition party, despite being the second largest party in the Duma.

Sergey Mironov (A Just Russia): Mironov has been known to be a supporter of Putin- the party didn't even field a candidate against Medvedev in 2008. He too is a 'familiar face' in Russia. Just Russia tries to be a 'centre-left' alternative to the Communists, but are also considered to be pro-Putin. Mironov himself once said that Putin would be the best president in 2004- the same election he had contested.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky (Liberal Democratic Party): Zhirinovsky and the LDP are also a familiar fixture in Russian politics, and probably the most 'odd'. Despite what the name might imply, Zhirinovsky and the party are arguably much more nationalist and have been charged to be leaning towards fascist in some places. Zhirinovsky has, among other things, called for a creation of a 'police state' and the institution of summary execution of criminals. Like Mironov, he is considered to be pro-Kremlin.

Mikhail Prokhorov (Independent): Prokhorov is a billionaire tycoon who Americans might know as the owner of the New Jersey Nets. Prokhorov made the beginnings of his fortune during the wave of shock market reforms and mass privatizations during Yeltsin's early years, with whom he enjoyed a close relationship. Prokhorov is the third richest man in Russia, and the 32nd richest in the world.

People styling themselves as the 'real' opposition charge that the candidates put forward by the usual parties- the CPRF, Just Russia, and LDP- are part of a 'systemic' opposition who serve as stooges in the system.

Not sure how strongly the 'opposition' groups will come out- and by this I mean the people who came out demonstrating in the days after the Duma elections a few months back, which they feel was also plagued by fraud. There is discontent from them over what they see as the potential of a bad stagnation growing under Putin, though they say that it is pointless to contest an election they know will be wrought with fraud, and which will undoubtedly go to Putin.

Then again I'm not really sure what the 'opposition' that has made the protests will do, though the exact happenings (for example if they find something they claim to be evidence of widespread fraud) of the election may influence their future decisions.




Rikupsoni

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#2 6 years ago

I don't generally agree with the view that all other candidates are just Putin's puppets with the exception of the communist Zyuganov. Surely they are friended with United Russia to gain influence, but if they were president they would have their own line. Even Medvedev was quite significantly different in some aspects, like Russia finally joins the WTO.

By the way, not sure if this is just a trick, but I'm impressed with the election fraud preventation measures. 300,000 web cams have been installed and can be followed through http://webvybory2012.ru . They also have sound as when the votes are counted they read them aloud so anyone can hear it.

I'm sure such a system would be nice in Florida too. Interesting to see how the turnouts will be in those poll stations that received over 90 % in the parliamentary elections.




MrFancypants Forum Admin

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#3 6 years ago

There are already allegations of election fraud, supposedly voters are shuttled from station to station so that they can vote multiple times. I wonder whether anyone is recording the webcam output - it would then be possible to determine whether busloads of voters appear at multiple stations.




Huffardo

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#4 6 years ago

Congratulations, President Putin!

The question of interest today is if there will be any significant violence. A terrorist attack would certainly make for an interesting start for the next presidency. Who would be behind an attack, and what would it target?




Commissar MercZ

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#5 6 years ago

Rikupsoni;5617799I don't generally agree with the view that all other candidates are just Putin's puppets with the exception of the communist Zyuganov. Surely they are friended with United Russia to gain influence, but if they were president they would have their own line. Even Medvedev was quite significantly different in some aspects, like Russia finally joins the WTO.[/QUOTE]

Yes, it is true that they are not completely indebted to the Kremlin- but as far as the role of an 'opposition' party goes, it doesn't seem to be present too strongly in any of the groups. The Communist Party appears to consistently out poll the other groups, and they seem to be the only registered party that goes out into the streets to voice concern. Beyond that though they don't have much 'fire'. This is ignoring to so-called "Other Russia" coalition of parties that generally don't contest the elections.

I was not aware of what other platforms the candidates presented, as far as I can tell from some other sources the Communist 'platform' was pretty standard and typical of what they had wanted before.

-Nationalization of oil and gas, banking, energy, aviation, railway transport. -A 20 trillion ruble modernization investment drive over 4 years -A progressive income tax system starting at those with incomes above 12,000 rubles a month. -Free education, coupled an increase in education allotment (nearly double) -Expansion of scientific investment -Return to space -Strengthening pensions -Payment for housing and communal services not to exceed 10% of family income -Robust Nationalized Healthcare system.

As far as I know it's not different from what they've pitched in years before. One thing to see there really is that the platform bears more resemblance to a social-democrat type platform than a 'communist' one (besides some of the nationalist jingo), and even at that they can only manage to poll so much in the end. They are also the only party that immediately rejected the results and went to the streets right after, which I presume will also include other groups. Question is of course, how long will they occupy that role before settling back into normalcy?

By the way, not sure if this is just a trick, but I'm impressed with the election fraud preventation measures. 300,000 web cams have been installed and can be followed through http://webvybory2012.ru . They also have sound as when the votes are counted they read them aloud so anyone can hear it.

I'm sure such a system would be nice in Florida too. Interesting to see how the turnouts will be in those poll stations that received over 90 % in the parliamentary elections.

That was a nice feature- I wonder if they would do something like that stateside? - I can't imagine the difficulty they had to do in installing int across these stations and ensuring they were all accessible. I wonder if it really put down people's suspicions of the elections though? Someone claimed to have seen something 'irregular' as I will post a bit later.

There's something going on in Canada right now over allegations of election fraud through robocalls

Canada News: Robo-calls could have affected outcomes in some ridings - thestar.com

Election call tapes under review by Conservatives - Politics - CBC News

[QUOTE=MrFancypants;5617842]There are already allegations of election fraud, supposedly voters are shuttled from station to station so that they can vote multiple times. I wonder whether anyone is recording the webcam output - it would then be possible to determine whether busloads of voters appear at multiple stations.

I've heard that too, someone claimed to have caught them in the act in a polling station somewhere in Dagestan

Though there's a question of how widespread the fraud could've been. I'm not sure of how 'essential' such practices may be needed by Putin to secure himself a victory. Considering the array of candidates placed against him, such fraud may have not been 'key' in stealing the election, but rather the influence Putin already wields in the state and economy.

Russia Today (unsurprisingly) trumpets the elections and that international observers claim it was clean. The media here paints a different story, though the different groups they ask are Russian based and probably tied to other groups in some way- but again this is what we have to expect with a politically charged election.

Edit: Results at 30% votes counted for anyone interested

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2012/03/201234174822513879.html

Putin : 63.4% Zyuganov: 17.3% Mikhail Prokhorov 7.3% Vladimir Zhirinovsky 7.2% Sergey Mironov 3.7%

And with regards to the video above from Dagestan, the government says those results will be voided.




Octovon

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#6 6 years ago

Commissar MercZ;5617928There's something going on in Canada right now over allegations of election fraud through robocalls

Canada News: Robo-calls could have affected outcomes in some ridings - thestar.com

Election call tapes under review by Conservatives - Politics - CBC News[/quote] The opposition parties have been playing up this scandal in Parliament and in the media over the past week or two, but it seems for the most part that many Canadians simply do not care (I'm sure some will chalk this up to our largely inept civil service). Frankly, it's just another Conservative scandal in a long line of scandals since they came to power a few years ago, and they've been pretty good at downplaying these scandals to the voters and in the media. The opposition parties lack the balls to really capitalize on these scandals (not that they can really do anything except call for a formal inquiry), they certainly haven't in recent elections and they probably won't come the next election.

The Canadian public has heard about a new scandal every other month it seems, but rather than take it out on the government, many Canadians just ignore the matter because it's the same tune we've heard for the past 10+ years in federal politics: scandal, scandal, scandal, blah, blah, blah.

[QUOTE=Commissar MercZ;5617928]Though there's a question of how widespread the fraud could've been. I'm not sure of how 'essential' such practices may be needed by Putin to secure himself a victory. Considering the array of candidates placed against him, such fraud may have not been 'key' in stealing the election, but rather the influence Putin already wields in the state and economy.

IMO, it's been hard to find objective reporting about these elections, everything I've read, seen or heard about them has focused on the election being rigged, ignoring the possibility that Putin may well be popular enough among voters to have actually been legitimately elected.




Commissar MercZ

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#7 6 years ago
Octovon;5618406 IMO, it's been hard to find objective reporting about these elections, everything I've read, seen or heard about them has focused on the election being rigged, ignoring the possibility that Putin may well be popular enough among voters to have actually been legitimately elected.

No doubt there probably was some questionable activities, but like you said it ignores some of the relations in Russia and what kind of 'loyalty' Putin commands. Putin wields power, both through his media relations and his wheeling-and-dealing with other political figures and businessmen. There hasn't been a strong opposition to Putin- partially due to this strongman standing of Putin and his position in society, and partially due to the obstacles they may face in organizing. Today there were protests in Moscow- estimate of a 20,000 opposition crowd, though this was said to be outnumbered by the pro-Putin rallies organized by United Russia.

A more relevant question for the opposition is how Putin and United Russia became so popular, and why they have such a grip and 'feel' on Russian society, how they've exploited things the press and the courts to maintain their political power, and how to work against this kind of political structure? Blaming fraud can only go so far.

Same reason could be said why here in the States more *realistic* political activity is limited to the two major parties, with third parties having trouble putting up a significant fight beyond splitting votes due to the power of the two parties and the FPTP system.

Some oddities I've found with the web cameras

Some police guy sleeping, somewhere in the vast central Russia 75cfe5a1b310.png

The night before polling (when cameras went online), there was some sort of weird party at this polling station in Tyumen

In Chechnya, someone forgot their protection.

y_a641e492.jpg

Edit: Just to get some weird idea of the programs, I dug through the CRPF platform which was quite amusing. I ran it through a translator so bear with me....

Spoiler: Show
  • stop the extinction of the country, restore benefits for large families, reconstruct the network of public kindergartens and provide housing for young families. [Some more of the populist/ nationalist lingo, trying to feed off fears of the demographic problems in Russia]
  • nationalize natural resources in Russia and the strategic sectors of the economy; revenues in these industries are to be used in the interests of all citizens[Not different from the one in my last post, social-democratic type]
  • return to Russia from foreign banks the state financial reserves and use them for economic and social development[Ditto]
  • break the system of total fraud in the elections[This is what every opposition group claims, would they do it though?]
  • create a truly independent judiciary[Ditto]
  • carry out an immediate package of measures to combat poverty and introduce price controls on essential goods[More interventionist measures, similar to soc-dem proposals]
  • not raise the retirement age[Like in the rest of Europe, there's been calls to raise the retirement age]
  • restore government responsibility for housing and utilities, establish fees for municipal services in an amount not more than 10% of family income, stop the eviction of people to the streets, expand public housing [more soc-dem type proposals]
  • increase funding for science and scientists to provide decent wages and all the necessary research [self explanitory]
  • restore the highest standards of universal and free secondary and higher education that existed during the Soviet era [Ties in with education above]
  • ensure the availability and quality of health care[Was in the last post]
  • vigorously develop high-tech manufacturing [How though?]
  • ensure the food and environmental security of the country and support the large collective farms for the production and processing of agricultural products [The ever persistent quest of political groups to make agricultural self-sufficiency, this was attempted in the Soviet Union's time too, right up into the 1980s]
  • prioritize domestic debt over of foreign (Restore domestic confidence in the banking sector)
  • introduce progressive taxation; low-income citizens will be exempt from paying taxes [self-explanatory]
  • improve the efficiency of public administration, reducing the number of officials to extend the powers of labor collectives and trade unions[Labor]
  • create conditions for development of small and medium enterprises [Mixed economy, I guess]
  • ensure the accessibility of cultural goods, stop the commercialization of culture, defend Russian culture as the foundation of the spiritual unity of multinational Russia, the national culture of all citizens of the country [Nationalist lingo]
  • stop the slandering of the Russian and Soviet history [Ditto]
  • take drastic measures to suppress corruption and crime [Ditto]
  • strengthen national defense and expand social guarantees to servicemen and law enforcement officials [BIG ARMY etc]
  • ensure the territorial integrity of Russia and the protection of compatriots abroad [More nationalist stuff]
  • institute a foreign policy based on mutual respect of countries and peoples to facilitate the voluntary restoration of the Union of States. [Yeah, you read that]

Interesting thing really is how the party is more nationalist and borderline chauvinistic, and economically it resembles a social democratic party in Europe than a "Communist" one with radical proposals. Not much in the way of labor, interestingly, more focused on 'restoring glory' as it were. Zyuganov was the 2nd place- but by a long shot- which indicates either his difficulty in appealing to the opposition, or more probable the overlap in the nationalist lingo with United Russia and other parties. I guess this is why you have the Communist split offs to begin with in Russia who've disagreed with Zyuganov's direction, though their influence is questionable.

I'll try to dig up platforms of other groups too; the CPRF's was the most accessible and easiest to find (from the Duma elections) which is why I've posted it before. Other groups have been less clear.