Posts Tagged ‘Election’
VTsIOM today released the first poll numbers on the Moscow Mayoral race after Alexei Navalny’s conviction in the KirovLes fraud trial. How much did the exposure help to improve Navalny’s poll numbers? According to the state-run pollster’s results, not much. A survey conducted on 9-10 July found 11.6% of eligible voters would vote for Navalny if the election was held the following Sunday. A mere 10 days later, when asked the same question, 12.9% of respondents answered Navalny. By contrast, Moscow’s current mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, received 78.3% and 77.1% respectively.
Levada Center, meanwhile, has not released a poll on the Moscow mayoral election since early July, well before Navalny’s conviction. In their last poll, 9.5% of respondents said they would vote for Navalny in the September 8 election.
Meanwhile, Vladimir Frolov said in an op-ed published yesterday in the Moscow Times, “All Navalny needs to do now is walk the streets of Moscow with his beautiful wife and shake hands to get more than 30 percent of the vote.”
But what exactly would prevent Navalny from rallying people to protest the results of the election by saying fraud took place? It would not even have to be massive fraud. Just a few well-documented cases would be enough to call for a march or even an Occupy-type scenario.
Or, to put it another way, is there a “magic” percentage that allows Navalny to lose gracefully and does not end in street protests?
Where does this leave Russia’s political system? Why was it necessary to engage in practices that might delegitimize the entire political process in order to secure a couple more seats for United Russia, which would have won the election anyway, albeit not with such astounding numbers? Why did Medvedev choose to defend United Russia’s fabricated results, instead of using the stolen election as a pretext to drive through his democratization agenda? What implications will it all have for United Russia and its grip on Russia’s political system? Does it reflect the voters’ dissatisfaction with the party of power, or is it just a consequence of the electorate’s apathy and lack of interest in representative government? Is it a sign of Putin’s political consensus coming apart at the seams, or is it just a temporary phenomenon that demonstrates the bureaucratic nature of Russia’s political system and its dependency on government bureaucracy for winning elections?
I’d like to try and post my own answers to some of these questions, rather than copying what everyone else says. Read the rest of this entry »