Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Russian Presidential Elections

While the Western media seemed to be in quite a frenzy over last week's Russian Presidential elections, and despite nauseating official countrywide entreatments that it was their "duty" to vote, most of my Russian friends didn't cast a ballot on Saturday, either upset that there wasn't any choice on the ballot, or simply safe in the knowledge that by Friday, the Kremlin would have already registered their vote for Medvedev anyhow.

In fact, with any potentially serious candidate barred from running, and with Medvedev receiving over seven times the media coverage of any of the candidates that were (the head of the Communist party, and a far right-wing nut-job), what's surprising is that he ONLY won 70% of the vote.

The Moscow Times ran a fascinating article Friday demonstrating statistically how voter turnout and preferences had been rigged in the parliamentary elections, and figured more of the same was in stock for Saturday.

As usual, I was fascinated by the election propaganda, and this time a 5-story billboard opposite the Kremlin caught my attention, with a huge Putin and Medvedev walking arm-in-arm. "Together, we will win" it cries (no kidding).

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