"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Putin's Party Wins Big Majority in Russian Parliamentary Elections

Sure Putin is authoritarian, but when has Russia NOT been authoritarian?

“Does Russia have democracy?,” Vyacheslav Aleksandrovich, 63, said before voting. “Maybe. Probably we have some kind of democracy. I don’t know, I haven’t seen any other kind.”

(ABC News)  -  Russian President Vladimir Putin’s party has won national parliamentary elections with a significantly increased majority, a result that cements Putin's total control over the country's political life and which potentially grants him the ability to change Russia's constitution. 
With 93% of the vote counted, the party, United Russia, was shown to have taken 343 of 450 seats in the lower house of parliament, a sizable increase on its previous 238 seats.
The vote was marked by an exceptionally low turnout of just 40 percent, illustrating a sense among many Russians that the election was of little importance in a country where the Kremlin determines all major policy decisions and elections are seen as stage-managed.

Still, the result reinforced the political system engineered by the Kremlin under Putin over the past 16 years. The two parties that took second and third place are nominally in opposition to the Russian leader but in practice almost invariably support the Kremlin line. 

Reflecting the strength of nationalist feeling in Russia following the seizure of Crimea, the ultra-nationalist Liberal Democratic Party came second to United Russia with around 15 percent of the vote, a strong showing for the party that is led by Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a man regularly described as Russia’s Donald Trump.

Russia’s Communist Party came a close third, while the anti-Putin opposition failed to break the 5% barrier to enter parliament, losing its only lawmaker there. The win gives United Russia a two-thirds majority that allows it to amend the constitution.
United Russia's head, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev declared victory and Putin congratulated the party, saying it showed "political maturity" among Russians.
The outcome was not surprising. With the country strongly behind Putin -- whose approval ratings stand around 80 percent -- and the opposition effectively sidelined, the vote had been described by some observers as the “dullest” election in Russian history. The only surprise was the scale of United Russia's win, overcoming polls suggesting it would have a poor showing.
That was in stark contrast to the last time Russians voted for their parliament in 2011, when significant vote-rigging prompted huge street protests. Tens of thousands marched in Moscow demanding Putin’s resignation in what was the biggest popular challenge to his rule that the Russian leader has faced.
Such upheavals seem now all but impossible, underlining the vivid shift in Russia’s political atmosphere since then.
Many Russians said they can’t remember a more lackluster election run. Even the Kremlin official tasked with managing the vote, Vladimir Volodin, has described United Russia’s campaign as “sterile”.
Read More . . . .

The U.S. isn't much better than Russia
Our American "elections" are largely a joke. Unless a candidate takes millions and millions of dollars from Wall Street special interest groups he hasn't a change in Hell of getting elected to Congress. Our Congressmen represent Oligarch special interest groups, not the people.
Because of corrupt campaign money and super, mega sized districts the Wall Street funded GOP and Democrats "magically" win 100% of all elections to Congress. If 100% is not rigged elections then I don't know what is.
In the early American Republic multi-party elections were common. Today only those candidates willing to be bought and paid for are allowed to enter the halls of Congress. To say the U.S. needs election reform is an understatement.

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