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Monday, September 18, 2006

KGB Manual on How to Win "Elections": First, Make Pseudo-Parties, Then Have Them Simply Buy Their Votes

Previously, the Guardian reported that the Kremlin was engaged in manufacturing sham opposition parties in order to further manipulate election outcomes. Now, the Guardian reports that those parties are moving forward to actually buy the votes of Russian citizens, focusing on the poor. What's most disturbing about this behavior is not that the proud clan of KGB spies that occupies the Kremlin would engage in it, that should suprise nobody. What's so sickening is the total lack of opposition from any corner of the country.

Roll up, roll up: get your blue jeans and politics here! United Russia, the party which acts as a legislative sledgehammer for the Kremlin, is opening bargain-basement shops with a weather eye on next year's parliamentary elections.

A cut-price furniture store jointly run by the party and a local business opened this week in Nizhny Novgorod, 250 miles east of Moscow. United Russia bosses have said no profit will be made and denied it is a ploy to curry favour with voters. However, a source inside the party told the Kommersant newspaper the venture promised to be "very beneficial".

"Poor people will be able to buy products in shops with the logo of the party for much less money and will start to trust United Russia," the source said. "It's a simple idea and it'll win political points."

Similar "social" shops selling cheap furniture, clothes and shoes are being opened by United Russia in poor regions across the country. A clothes store opened by the party in Kirov offers pairs of jeans for 100 roubles (£2) to 400 roubles, and T-shirts for 30 roubles. War veterans and the disabled get a discount.

Rival parties have threatened to go to court to prove the shops violate electoral law. "Politically one can make this conclusion: the campaign for elections to the state duma has already begun," said Vadim Solovyev, a secretary of the central committee of the Communist party.


La Russophobe said...

COEN: I guess you think nobody cares about Michelle Malkin either, huh? She's got one of the top blogs in the world and doesn't allow comments. If I wanted comments, I'd let anybody comment, but comments are restricted to blogger members because this blog isn't about comments. It's about resources. Why? Because idiotic dolts like you bring no value at all to the discussion and it's a huge waste of time to read your drivel. If you had anything that was actually valuable to say, you'd blog it.

On the other hand, if you think comments are so impressive, take a look at the lead post on my sidebar, top ten reasons to hate Russia. It has over 50 comments. That's from back when anybody could comment.

Meanwhile, you still don't point to a blog run by you which is somehow "better" than this one, the most heavily trafficked English language Russia politics blog in the world. So frankly, we couldn't care less about your opinion.

Your jealousy is showing, sweetie. Also your loneliness. If you can't find a girlfriend, we suggest you try Moscow. Plenty of women for sale there, even to somebody like you.

La Russophobe said...

That's probably sound advice James. But it's like when you pass a car crash can can't overcome the urge to turn your head and look. ;)