Advancing a Free Society

Russians, Be Careful What You Wish For

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Writing about web page http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/5000-protest-duma-election-results/449327.html

The Russian parliamentary elections show that, whichever party Russians voted for, whether they voted under free and fair conditions or not, they voted overwhelmingly for a strongman. United Russia (one half of the vote) is for Putin. The Communist Party (one fifth) is for Ziuganov. The Liberal Democrats (one tenth) are for Zhirinovskii.

Neither liberal nor democratic, the Liberal Democrats' favourite term of abuse for advocates of a free and competitive political system is der'mokraty, "shittocrats." The Communists have called for Russia to undergo "re-Stalinization." United Russia follows the hazy notion of "sovereign democracy," implying a non-competitive dialogue between rulers and ruled.

On the face of it, the outlook for democracy in Russia is hopeless. Apparently, nearly all Russians espouse one or another form of authoritarianism.

All the more surprising and encouraging that 5,000 Muscovites have taken the risky course of public demonstration against vote rigging and electoral fraud. But what do 5,000 demonstrators count, out of 65 million voters?

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