Vladimir Putin, Russian prime minister, judo expert, thug and probable supervillain, is the winner in an election North Americans could only describe as “democratic”:
Vladimir Putin won a resounding victory in Russia’s presidential election on Sunday, exit polls showed, securing a new six-year term in the Kremlin and a mandate to deal with opposition protests after a vote that opponents said was marred by fraud.
“… mandate to deal with opposition protests” is sinister sounding, huh? In a best case scenarion, that would look like this:
The former KGB spy is also expected to return to the Kremlin with tough fighting talk against the West, a trademark of his first presidency and election campaign. Economists said a key test of Putin’s return would be how far he was ready to go to reform an economy heavily dependent on energy exports.
Oh, right. Economists. Leave it to those number-crunching poindexters at Reuters to turn an awesome story about an evil Judo-expert billionaire into zzzzzZZZZZzzzz, OH! Here I am! Anyway, in the weeks leading up to Putin’s obvious re-election – didn’t take the I Ching to see this one coming, gang – all eyes were on Putin!
Because The Sun believes in news, they ran a very special slideshow titled “Putin In Action”. Look at him swim! Look at him kill a tiger! Look at him pump gas and enjoy coffee after snowboarding? Does Putin have the same PR firm as Rob Ford? (Hint: yes). It’s heartwarming to see The Sun support a politician through thick and thin. But their readers tell a different story:
It really says something about the depth of political debate among Sun readers that Putin’s rivals are described as “Commie, stupid liberal or a clown named Jirinovskiy”. The guy’s name isn’t good enough. Note also that given this is liberal stupidity; first and foremost, the country must not go broke or communist. Is some liberal going to give you that when they’re passing out rights and freedoms? Is a liberal going to judo the life out of a fucking tiger?
Reuters were able to suck the interesting out of this.- So, here’s a good question: is that why corruption and election-rigging keeps succeeding? Because we’re just not interested? Is voting that much of a hassle that once we’re done, we’re capital D, capital U, capital N, done? Because I’d like to remind everybody that people die to be able to vote around the world just about every day. You lazy and ungrateful fucks. Anyway. Reuters sucked the interesting out, so I turned to The Star to see what AP had to say about it. Was it any more interesting through the eyes of the Associated Press?
The caption under this photo says “A Russian navy sailor casts his ballot”, and I’m pretty sure that saying “navy sailor” is redundant. Like is someone kept saying “Pepsi Cola”. We know what it is.
Golos, Russia’s leading independent elections watchdog, said it received numerous reports of so-called “carousel voting,” in which busloads of voters are driven around to cast ballots multiple times.
“There have been many people voting more than once, driven around in buses in large numbers” in Moscow, said Golos head Lilia Shibanova, who added similar reports had been received from Novosibirsk, Russia’s third-largest city, and the city of Barnaul in southern Siberia.
Alexei Navalny, one of the opposition’s most charismatic leaders, said observers trained by his organization also reported seeing extensive use of carousel voting.
On the other hand, I had no idea what “Carousel voting” was. Holy shit! The Reuter’s guys were all “Yeah, this is going to be OK for Russia’s economy or whatever” but the AP are saying “BUSLOADS OF FUCKING VOTERS!”
Golos’ website has recorded about 2,000 complaints of irregularities, including voter lists of questionable validity and nonfunctioning cameras in voting stations.
Hang on. Cameras?
Web cameras were installed in Russia’s more than 90,000 polling stations, a move initiated by Putin in response to complaints of ballot stuffing and fraudulent counts in December. Those elections saw his United Russia party retain its majority in parliament, though substantially reduced from its previous overwhelming control.
Can you imagine what would happen in Canada if they tried to take photos of us while we voted? No, wait, don’t. My apartment just flooded at me imagining complaining loudly while voting for whoever was out behind the cameras, anyhow. God, Canada. Get a grip. It’s fucking cameras taking your goddamn picture while you vote! Rise up! It’s Robocalls. Right?