Police arresting Putin opposition protesters in Moscow, Russia. May 6, 2012. The rally participants are protesting against Vladimir Putin’s new term as the Russian president. (Image: TASS)
Since the recent Russian Duma election, some members of the Russian opposition have tied themselves in knots with a discussion of whether electronic voting played a positive or negative role in the outcome. But such discussions completely miss the point, Vladimir Pastukhov says. This wasn’t an honest election, and arguing about aspects of its dishonesty is a fool’s errand.
Electronic voting, the London-based Russian analyst says, is the wave of the future; but it will be honest only if the election is honest and won’t be if the election isn’t. This latest Russian election wasn’t honest, and so there is no reason to think that the dishonesty of the election could have been defeated by this or that action by those who took part.
Taking part is like betting in a casino where the house is always in a position to win, Pastukhov suggests. Thinking otherwise only shows one’s naivete or ignorance of the situation. Only those who choose not to take part have a genuine place to stand in their denunciation of the system.
“Making a fetish out of electronic voting” or assuming that it is the reason for the defeat of this or that candidate in this circumstance is “ridiculous and pathetic at one and the same time,” the analyst says.
Only a divided and politically immature opposition can think otherwise, and unfortunately that is what is on offer over the last ten days.
Such discussions suggest that among the opposition there are people who live under the illusion that they can outplay the cheating regime and “even hit the jackpot and win. Such hopes were false on the face of it, Pastukhov says. The regime, as the house in this case, wasn’t going to allow that to happen.
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