There are only a couple of days left before the elections in Russia. Public interest in them is extremely low.
In the Oryol region, the authorities call voters to the polls with sad ditties
“I’ll open the calendar
I don’t start the page
We have elections in Oryol
from eight to ten!”
The election campaign for the capital’s mayor is in full swing. Along the wide winding avenues, towering over the fresh granite curbs, the faces of candidates from various “political parties”: the fierce struggle of the candidate from the LDPR and CPRF, and some other mysterious forces.
Who will win? Will there be a second round? These questions do not give peace to Muscovites.
But despite this, some space for disputes remains. Yes, the FBK issued recommendations on voting in Yekaterinburg, and the old problem “goes/does not go” still exists.
About mayoral elections in Moscow.
I read the comments here and on VKontakte (thanks, it was interesting!), consulted with some smart and respected people personally, thought, and came to the following conclusions.
The comments are all very different, but in general, the following four aspects can be distinguished in the arguments about the mayoral elections in Moscow:
1. The question of who will be the mayor of Moscow next term.
2. The question is whether Sobyanin is a good mayor or a bad one.
3. Questions about when the war will end, when Putin’s regime will fall, and the like.
4. Questions about the realities and future of electoral democracy in Russia.
On the first question, it seems obvious that Sobyanin will be the mayor of Moscow for the next term. No one’s voice in any form is capable of changing this. So here, no matter how you vote, there is no difference.
Regarding the second question, there are different opinions, and there are many valid ones among them, but considering the previous point, this question has nothing to do with elections and voting on them.
Regarding the third question, it is obvious to me that nothing here depends on the results of these elections. The war will continue, and Putin will sit until something completely different happens. So, no matter how you vote, there is no difference.
Regarding the fourth question – taking into account the DEG and other falsifications, it seems to me that the more people vote with paper ballots against Sobyanin, the closer the final election result will be to a truly democratic one. It seems to me that it is very useful from all sides to remind both the authorities and the voters themselves that not everything is for Sobyanin – this is true and important regardless of how good he actually is.
I am a fan of electoral democracy. It has its flaws, but I believe that humanity has not come up with anything better. It seems to me that it is worth supporting and fighting for it, as much as possible. Maybe the first three aspects are more important than the fourth, but we cannot do anything about the first three aspects. And in the fourth – we can. Therefore, I believe that in these elections it is necessary to focus on the support of electoral democracy in Russia. Namely, to vote against Sobyanin (although I like him as a mayor). If there is an option to vote against everyone, this is a great option. If there is no such option, then the second candidate that comes first. I believe that this is the most useful action for the future of Russia in general and Moscow in particular in this context.
I would vote for Sobyanin if he had a chance to lose. But in the current situation, I am not even voting against Sobyanin – but against the opaque DEG and against falsifications. Against abuse of democracy.
Power in Russia will not change as a result of elections. But going to polling stations is necessary.
You have to go to the elections in Russia, like the Jews go to the wailing wall, they will change the temple that stood there 2000 years ago and is no longer standing. There is no temple, but there is a wailing wall, and Jews walked to this wall for 2,000 years, and as a result, the state of Israel appeared.
A Russian person should treat the trip to the polling stations in the same way. There is no temple, there are no elections, but it is necessary to come to the polling stations, because only by preserving the symbol and the memory of what is due, we will be able to return Russia itself.
What are we observing now in the political field? Most of the Russian opposition followed the false-romantic trail.
Campaigning for elections, under the threat of arrest and a real long term of imprisonment, in the conditions of a tightening dictatorship, in the absence of the possibility to come to power through parliamentary means, is similar to the desperate but equally insane banzai attacks of Japanese soldiers and kamikaze at the end of the Second World War, when they could no longer will in no way reverse its course.
The boys singing the praises of Mysyma have already turned gray and grown beer bellies. And their latent followers, deprived of real political opportunities, rushed into the last and senseless battle.
And, of course, commentators are looking closely at the presidential elections of March 2024.
As I have already written and said many times, there are still options for local elections and more or less all strategies work there. But as for the presidential elections, these are the elections of the highest level of control, and every participant there will be personally selected by Putin, and even on the eve of being allowed to participate, he will swear loyalty to him in every way, he promised unconditionally and dreams at the first whistle.
A heated discussion of what to do and what not to do in March 2024, when Putin will hold “elections” to shape his new presidential term, has begun (and it’s good that it has begun).
However, many people rush to answer without asking questions. What is the task before us? What is the plan and tactics of the Kremlin, which we need to oppose? What tactical decisions follow from our long-term strategy?
Now the situation in the “bubble” is not very good.
Someone believes that going to the elections, he preserves the institution of surveillance and prepares to win sooner or later. And someone believes that everyone who goes to the polls literally supports Putin.
It would be nice to have these conversations in the kitchen, but no. And this is no longer a harmless dispute. And the opposition m media, which are read by millions of people in our democratic “bubble”, are forced to broadcast these diametrically opposed points of view. Here it is already necessary to take a position, which is why I am agitating the opposition media and millionaire bloggers.
If Putin still intends to go to the elections, it would make sense for him to announce his plans not in December-January, as required by law, but in advance, for example, in October. The fact is that the news about the intention of the permanent and, let’s be honest, rather bored ruler, to be re-elected for another term will generate a powerful wave of negative emotions – like the one that arose in the fall of 2011, when he switched places with Medvedev. Let me remind you that all this ended then in Bolotnaya.
The specified emotions of dissatisfaction and indignation should be released in advance – so that they die down by the time of the official start of the campaign; so that the very idea of Putin’s next term ceases to be perceived by voters as news.
Then there will be a chance that the dominant background to the elections, when they will finally be appointed, will be some other thought, and not the bitter “that’s what, all this for another six years?” Then it will be possible to try to put some more positive content into the campaign…
And a special remark for those who love me and ask why I tell them all this. In fact, I do not suggest this to them, they will guess about all this without me. I am talking about this publicly so that at the moment when everything happens, you will understand the nature of what is happening. If Putin makes a statement about his nomination on November 4, it will not be connected with the Day of National Unity at all. The specified holiday is completely official, it never became a national holiday, so it cannot be considered as a factor determining the schedule of the campaign. The real nature of such an early nomination will lie exclusively in the understanding of what emotions the specified news will actually cause in the people and the desire for something to oppose these emotions.
By the way, of course, Kiriyenko will not tell Putin the truth about the real reasons for what is happening. Be afraid Budet talks about the need to take such an important step precisely on the Day of National Unity, about the symbolic value of what is happening, and so on. Therefore, Putin will not know the truth. And you will.