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Monday, December 5, 2016

Sad, time is of the meaning of participation in the elections


The current government has done much to ensure that we lost interest in the elections. However, come September 18, the polling station still stands. It would be undue optimism to assert that given you a voice, even if it is correctly calculated, will transform the country. But in any case it will be another prerequisite for change.


photo: Gennady Cherkasov

“The sad time! Eyes charm!..” If the great poet had lived in our days, when autumn not only means “in crimson and gold-clad forests, but a single day of voting, it is likely limited to the initial phrase. Because nothing charming in Russian elections, alas, no. Alexander, we recall, was enthusiastic about the changes taking place in nature, and our electoral procedures for a long time already do not produce “fresh breath”.

The fall season in the Russian policy is much better described Gogol’s pen. Remember the ending of the tale of the quarrel of Ivan Ivanovich with Ivan Nikiforovich? “Again the same field, sometimes pitted, black, sometimes green, wet daws and crows, monotonous rain, the tearful sky without clearance. — Boring in this world, gentlemen!”

The content of the work, incidentally, is also quite corresponds with the current situation: hectic activity petty politicians, endless kitchen quarrels between them only cement the status quo. “And these clowns want to replace Putin?! — angrily asks the man in the street. — Yes, the Lord is with you!”. In short, everything flows Russian political fall all limp, but nothing changes.

About the nature of the current stalemate there are different opinions. Someone- for example, the government and its supporters believes that the root cause is the desire of the population, fatigued restructuring and dashing 1990s, peace and stability. In other words, the people did not wish to change. Someone explains the phenomenon to the desire of people who came to power at the turn of the Millennium, to extend their stay on the “throne”. With this aim, they say, the scene of Russian politics was the most secure, sandboxed from the explosive actors. And appropriately aligned, is immune from surprises electoral mechanism. In short, people are deprived of choice.

Discussions on this topic are somewhat similar to the eternal debate about the egg and the chicken. However, this is not the case when “both right”. Closer to the truth, admittedly, is a version of the government sanction to the cleaning and straightening she ultimately gives people. Including — maybe even especially — the part that does not show its position. Silence in the political coordinate system — is always a sign of consent. If you disagree, if you want to change something, you have to say about it.

A checkbox in the ballot is not the only way of political expression. But perhaps the most simple and affordable. And most importantly, the most legitimate. Yes, not the fact that your vote will change something. Moreover, there is even a full guarantee that your vote will be properly counted. This is Russia, baby, is a country where political declarations, including a promise to hold clean and fair elections, sometimes strongly at odds with reality. Why, however, should come to the polls?

In support of the importance of voting is very often the arguments of, say, the technical plan. It seems that the more the votes, the less space for manipulation and fraud. For example, through the use of “dead souls” (Gogol!). That’s the truth, although to completely eliminate violations in this way is impossible. Against such a scrap, as the rewriting of protocols, powerless even one hundred percent mobilization of the electorate.

But the important thing is not what will be the result. Main thing is that the voters reacted to this result with confidence. Here lies the Achilles heel of the “align” of the electoral system. And this is the meaning of participation in elections for those who do not believe in their purity and integrity: the moral and, most importantly, the legal grounds for doubt they will appear not earlier, than they will vote. If the government is not suicidal, the amount of such reasonable doubters will inevitably be a gradual transition to a new, better quality of electoral procedures and the political system as a whole.

Some believe that this positive process has already begun, but as they say, do not say Ho until they are hatched. I mean — until September 18, and will not be summed up a single day of voting. But the “test of honesty” will succeed only in case if the elections will involve not only full of optimism apologists of the present order. In General, sad, time!

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