Today brings another dispatch from our Russian bureau, as Vladimir Putin is on track to win yet another Russian election. And it may surprise you that there are allegations of fraud. In a Russian election! In which Putin, who was previously term-limited out of the presidency, has yet again won the presidency. I know, this must be hard to hear.
But that’s not what struck me about this article. So, with the alleged ballot stuffing, Putin’s United Russia party took about half the vote. You know who came in second, with about 20% of the vote? Take a guess. That’s right, the Communists! Their share rose from 14% in 2007 to 20% in this election cycle.
So, the Communists, riding their perennial motto of “Well, It’s Good in Theory” (which translates fairly cleanly from the Russian, actually) are not so much rising to power as holding down the fort as the only way to effectively vote “Not Putin” and/or betray dying grandparents.
“With sadness I remember how I passionately vowed to my grandfather I would never vote for the Communists,” Yulia Serpikova, 27, a freelance location manager in the film industry, told Reuters. “It’s sad that with the ballot in hand I had to tick the box for them to vote against it all.”
Oh, and also:
The Communists are the only real party out there,” said one Western banker in Moscow.
That’s right. Sentiment against Putin runs so strong that Russian bankers (!) are voting for the Communists.
At the Communist Party headquarters hung with portraits of Lenin and heavy gold-on-red velvet hammer-and-sickle banners, party leader Gennady Zyuganov complained of fraud and described the election as “theft on an especially grand scale”.
Yes. It’s as if someone stole votes from someone who had received more of them in order to give them to someone who had fewer votes in the interest of fairness. Hey! Those votes are the private property of the Communist party. Nobody but the Communists have the right to use them. Meanwhile, the experts have a different opinion of what the Commie surge means.
Analyst Masha Lipman of the Moscow Carnegie Center described votes gained by the Communist Party as “similar to writing a four letter word on the ballot.”
This does send a clear message to Putin and his party, and that message is: Фяцк. Oh, and the Communist Party is now the coolest political party out there on the internet as evidenced by this incredibly good rap from some message board:
“Want to get back what they took from meFree schooling ain’t no free lunch
Free medicine is my right, you see
What matters to you? Whose side you on?
Want to help your country
So it’s our choice and it’s our rap
So we go vote for the CPRF”
So GOOD! Whoever wrote that should stop everything and just go on tour with that so that they can earn lots of money which will later be repossessed by their beloved Communist Party. For my Muscovite readers, here’s a Google Translate-based Russian version. Enjoy!
Хотите, чтобы получить обратно то, что они приняли от меня
Бесплатное обучение не не бесплатный обед
Бесплатная медицина мое право, вы видите
Что для вас важно? На чьей стороне вы стороне?
Хотите помочь вашей стране
Так что это наш выбор и наша рэп
Так мы идем голосовать за КПРФ