Vote For Stooge No.2
In just over a month my Russian friends will go to the polls to vote for a new president. Sadly for them the choices are, to borrow a description of Swansea, pretty shitty. It is well known that President Vladimir Putin has set up Dmitry Medvedev as his annointed successor to the Kremlin.
Yet, in Russia nothing is ever simple. One cannot, these days, just simply stick a stooge in place and reap the benefits (as China does). Putin is probably also mindful of the old Greek adage that “a tyrant’s son always falls.” So, there must be the presentation of an election.
There are several ways to rig an election. The first is to control the ballot boxes. This will probably done just in case Medvedev gets a lower than crushing vote count come March. However, Western monitors tend to see straight through such tactics.
The next option is to control the media and thus educate people into voting a certain way. Check. Classic Putin here. The next is to have really tough rules for becoming a candidate. Pressures and unfair rulings have thusly knocked out Putin’s most realistic opponents in Mikhail Kasyanov and Garry Kasparov (he the chess player).
However, this all looks a little too easy for Putin (or Poot-in as they say in America) or Vladders as we say in football circles. So, stick in the obvious yet hopeless parties. Step up Gennady Zyuganov of the Communists and Pro-Kremlin Nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky.
Yet, this is all still to establishment for a nice yet see-through victory. So, famous men like Garry Kasparov and Mikhail Kasyanov cannot get the 2,000,000 signatories needed to become a candidate yet an unknown former Kremlin employee known as Andrei Bogdanov can. He comes across as the great hope for democracy. He wants closer ties to Europe and more accountability. He is every westerner’s dream of a Russian candidate. He even has long hair.
Yet, he is a stooge, a plant. He and his greasy locks are there to make Medvedev and Putin look good and democratic. They could, if they wanted, argue that the presence of Bogdanov proves they do not wish to stamp out opposition.
Now, I know it is dodgy to be not of the land yet make a recommendation on someone else’s election. Yet, I would advise my Russian friends (the anti-Putin ones) to vote Andrei Bogdanov.
There are several reasons why:
1. He may be a stooge pretending to be pro-Western but any vote for him is a vote stating pro-Western desires.
2. Putin wants his stooge elected. But, would it not be fun to elect the wrong one? In this case either Putin has to reveal Bogdanov as a stooge thus opening him to all the right accusations of tyranny or Bogdanov will have to follow his platform.
3. It will make Putin really red faced and his reaction will be crucial.
I urge my friends to vote for Stooge No.2.