Behind the Scenes of Russia's Imitated Democracy
To counterbalance the previous article:
Russian election 2018: why Navalny with 2% support & a criminal conviction is the West’s ‘only’ opposition to Putin
March 2018 will almost certainly see Vladimir Putin re-elected to the presidency of the Russian Federation. His overwhelming popularity will pretty much guarantee this outcome. But this is not the story being told in the Western media.
Even though Vladimir Putin’s ascendancy in the polls has been verified by Western pollsters, and even though a few more level-headed Western outlets feel obliged to admit he would likely win a free and fair election with ease, the majority of the mainstream media have taken the launch of the presidential campaign as a cue to almost entirely bury even these basic facts, and instead to focus on claims that the ‘only real opposition‘ in Russia has been banned from challenging Putin due to flagrant political censorship.
By ‘only real’ opposition they mean Alexei Anatolievich Navalny, lawyer, ‘activist’, occcasional chum of neo-nazis with an awkward tendency to compare racial minorities to cockroaches, and founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation, who is, ironically, currently serving a suspended sentence for fraud and embezzlement, and is, thereby, banned under the Russian Federation’s constitution from running for elected office.
For the UK Independent Navalny is “Putin’s biggest rival”. For the BBC he is “Russia’s vociferous opposition leader”. For Time he is Putin’s “Nemesis”. For Masha – facts only slow me down – Gessen in the New Yorker it is nothing short of miraculous that he is still alive, such a threat he poses to Putin. To the Guardian, abandoning all pretence and going straight for the “most heedless eulogy” award, he is a “firebrand bidding for Russia’s soul.”
But why is this the favoured approach? Well, maybe it’s not as stupid as it first seems.
As the polls now stand anyone who runs against Putin will look to be easily, if not humiliatingly, defeated. The lowest estimate puts VVP at 54% and the highest at around 73% – way ahead of any rival. It’s obvious any candidate the West supports will just prove to be an embarrassment for them on election day as they nosedive into oblivion.
Navalny is different. Navalny – due to his handy conviction for fraud – will be spared the inevitable shame that his tiny share of the vote predicts. So, when all the other hopefuls are defeated, he can remain with credibility intact. A political martyr. A living testimony to the fact the Russian elections are a fraud. The 2% popular support can be airbrushed away (as can his association with nazis, his unfortunate cockroach comparisons and his general litany of bizarre behaviour). He can become a sheep-dipped western hero whom Putin censored through fear. Post-election he will be, in the West at least, the perfect rallying point for a cause, which will have many bland and virtue-signalling faces, but which will at core be about discrediting the Russian presidency as fundamentally corrupt and unrepresentative, and trying, once again, to plant the seeds of color revolution.
Navalny has already proclaimed his contempt for democracy and a willingness to support the overthrow of elected governments, which of course makes him exactly the kind of “anti-corruption” liberal we like to work with...
I'd recommend to read the whole article, and especially to Caltrek.