A remigrant's first vote
Published: 07 December, 2011, 16:38
Sergei Mikhailovich, a middle-aged Russian remigrant, my close friend whom I was visiting during election time, took part in the vote for the Russian Duma for the first time on 4 December. He had voted once before, but that was the presidential election following Boris Yeltsin’s period in office. In the 1990s, Sergei felt he couldn’t trust politics. He recently became a remigrant in St. Petersburg.
There was a buffet near the polling station, with food and drink for sale. The selection was better than at Soviet elections. There was also a choice of who to vote for: using a fountain pen, Sergei put a cross to indicate his choice of party. The pencil normally used in elections in Finland to mark the candidate’s number had made Sergei distrustful. Many people wrote the candidate’s name in error, or marked the number unclearly. The cross in Russian elections left no room for doubt.
Most Russians gave their support to United Russia. I have seen already in previous elections that it is a bad tradition with the losers, that they are very ready to criticize the winners and the results of an election, but they don't critically evaluate own mistakes. Mere allegations are not sufficient; they should compile an official report for further investigation. In Finland, during the last municipal election, the results of a small town were totally rejected because of violations. Then there was a new election in this small town: errors must be reported officially. My friend gave his voice to Russia's largest party. In a democracy, all people are not forced to think the same way: there is also legal democratic opposition in Russia.
Read more and discuss: RT “A remigrant's first vote” (07 December, 2011)
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