Vote Smart, Vote Communist

in my latest for RT (here), I discuss Alexei Navalny’s ’smart voting’ scheme in the light of the list of preferred candidates for this week’s Russian parliamentary elections just issued by Navalny’s team. There are 225 single member constituencies up for grab. Team Navalny recommends one candidate per constituency and suggests voters cast their ballot for thar person, as the candidate most likely to beat the ruling United Russia party.

So who does Navalny recommend?

Communists mostly (61% of the total), plus some from the left nationalist Just Russia, and the occasional person from other parties. But only a handful of liberals.

In short, voting smart means voting Communist.

Now tell me, please, what’s so smart about that? As I argue in my article, precious little.

32 thoughts on “Vote Smart, Vote Communist”

  1. I wonder what voting advice Julian Assange has to, say, beat covid passport backpeddling bojo.

    The CPRF seems more hollowly opportunistic than a standard bearer of the CPSU.

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  2. > And no doubt Navalny and his supporters will claim credit. “Look how well the Communists did,” they’ll say, adding that it must have been because Navalny told people to vote for them.

    I think it’s pretty obvious that this is the entire point of this circus. Nothing to do with liberalism. They simply need “results”, however imaginary.

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  3. So, Paul, you are against foreigners interfering in Russian domestic politics but are quite happy to rubbish the idea of voting for ‘totalitariian’ communists, as opposed to freedom-loving liberals like Yabloko. And you do this on a Russian state-funded platform, whose government sponsors must be very happy with your anti -CPRF propaganda. Its not only the Navalnyites who are a bundle of contractions!

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    1. I don’t see how taking a view on Navalny’s idiocy is taking a view for or against any other party.

      Navalny was killed off with the “Novichok” stunt and the fake Putin palace. Nothing he does has any relevance now, in Russia or outside.
      Best just to forget him.

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      1. (Not sure why i couldn’t reply to the Mikhail post below)

        The BBC is talking to a UK and Western audience. They are charged by the MI6 guys behind Navalny to brag about their success in attacking Putin. They have no requirement for credibility with anyone in Russia. They aren’t talking to Russians.
        A proper report would be “we are continuing to cause havoc to Putin with our jokes about Putin’s Palace and Novichok”.

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    2. I’m sensing that you could very well be the Geoffrey Roberts who wrote this well balanced piece on Russian and Polish views concerning the start of WW II:

      https://hnn.us/article/174070

      As for PR, I share the view that from a Western mainstream political perspective, Yabloko is more befitting for sympathy than the KPRF.

      I’m reminded of a panel that PR was on which featured (among others) a Navalny spokesperson, who absurdly said that Yabloko’s leader is in bed with Putin and his preferred politicians in Russia.

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    3. And you do this on a Russian state-funded platform, whose government sponsors must be very happy with your anti -CPRF propaganda

      This isn’t at all how I read Paul’s article. His focus for me was on Navalny and his brother’s in arms plan to bring down the present system. Never mind any ‘ideological’ coherence? …

      I am not a political scientist. But from a nitwit perspective it looks as Paul indeed suggested a little Machiavellian.

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      1. a little Machiavellian
        meaning? Selecting a group that anyway has a high chance to get reelected since they are doing a good job in their respective district? ,,,

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    4. BTW, if you’re the Geoffrey Roberts, you’ve had some RT appearance time as well, saying things agreeable to mainstream Russian views.

      I value your contribution. Can’t say the same for the RT/JRL propped Mark Galeotti.

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    5. Prof. Roberts, on an unrelated note, Stephen Wertheim wrote a book saying that U.S. elites already decided on a policy of pursuing U.S. global supremacy after the end of WWII.

      Tomorrow, the World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy

      I was wondering whether this fact in fact sort of justifies Stalin’s control of eastern europe in 1947. I mean U.S. already had a policy of going for world dominance, no reason for Stalin to act soft in eastern europe. USSR had its own security interests to take care of.

      This would mean that the idea that USSR was the one that started cold war is not tenable. It’s not as if U.S. had any sort of innocent political goal either. They were going for world dominance. What is your view on that Prof. Roberts?

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  4. “Now tell me, please, what’s so smart about that?”

    Our NeoGapon – Navalny – even from the prison makes his battle-hamsters do “pro-Kremlin” things. That’s either devilishly smart… or they are really, really dumb.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The buried lede here, of course, is that “Team Navalny” wants its hamsters to “to mark their ballot for whatever candidate in a given constituency is most likely to defeat the candidate of United Russia”.

    Everyone should look past Navalner’s opportunistic stunt and realize two simple things:

    1) In modern day Russia the Communist Party of the Russian Federation is videly believed to be the most powerful opposition to the Kremlin, despite all prophecies that it would simply “die out” given enough time.

    2) In modern day Russia self identified liberals are LEAST likely to garner enough public votes to defeat “party of the Kremlin”. Yes, even so-called “Russia’s main liberal party”.

    Reflect on that.

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  6. Russia a “managed democracy”? Here is the problem: United Russia was created by a merger of Unity and Fatherland-All Russia.
    With this act it became a behemoth with a membership of 2 million or more. Next in line, the Communist Party of Russia has a mere 160,000 members.

    United Russia can consistently count on a 30% support from the public and this over the last 20 years. How do you unseat such a powerful party?

    Looking at USA there are the conservatives and the progressives.
    There is a balance. One can unseat the other. Similarly in Canada, UK, and other western democracies. Public may become frustrated
    but has the opportunity to change the ruling party. Not in Russia.

    This is not by design. This was a historical happenstance. Through merger they wanted to win the elections. So they did, but now no one else can. And the millennials are becoming restless and looking for a change. They go about it the wrong way. They should work from inside and not use the western powers to support them.

    I mean: in theory, with 14 parties in the running there should be enough pluralism. But due to the weakness of these other parties there is no hope for forcing a change.

    So Duma will have a supermajority of United Russia and a weak opposition, what the west calls “systemic opposition” by the Communists.

    I take issue with the term “systemic opposition”. After all, what is the opposition party called in the Westminster system? Her Majesties Loyal Opposition. Aren’t they also systemic?

    If Russians are serious enough to initiate a change in governance,
    they either join in a single opposition party or break up the United Russia party.
    It will be a long time before this can happen.

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    1. Mr. Benian. Seeing, as you are becoming quite a regular commenter here, could you spare a moment? Thank you in advance.

      In your previous comment (date September 13, 2021 at 11:25 pm) under the blogpost “Poll: Russians Want Return of Soviet Rule” you made a claim, that ”All Russia has today is shrill nationalism.” (c)

      I then proceed to ask you for elaboration and some proof of that claim. you failed to do that.

      So I repeat my question here and now:

      What you mean by “shrill nationalism” in Russia? Examples, please.

      I also remind you, that a “pigeon playing chess” comment tactic is considered a mauvais ton.

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    2. (1) If Russians are serious enough to initiate a change in governance, they either join in a single opposition party or break up the United Russia party. (2) It will be a long time before this can happen.

      How could (1) happen elsewhere and under what circumstances? And (2) where exactly might it take longer and for what reasons?

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  7. Mr.Lyttenburgh, I have no proof of “shrill nationalism” in Russia. It is only my perception. To me it appears “shrill” based on my observation. I have been a “Russia watcher” for many years.

    As for the “pigeon playing chess” like comment that I supposedly have made. Honestly I am unaware, but if I offended someone I sincerely apologize.

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    1. “I have no proof of “shrill nationalism” in Russia. It is only my perception. To me it appears “shrill” based on my observation. I have been a “Russia watcher” for many years. “

      Thank you for a prompt reply, Mr. Banian. May I implore you some more and ask, what exactly, among the things you saw in your capacity of “Russia watcher”, made you come to a conclusion that Russia is overtaken by “shrill nationalism”?

      Thank you in advance.

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  8. Mr.Littenburgh, in response to your query, as per what exactly I have seen in my capacity of Russia watcher that made me come to a conclusion that Russia is overtaken by shrill nationalism. I’m not so sure about my “capacity”, but like I said before, these are my observations which are wholly subjective in nature. I can not give you what exactly brought me to use the term “shrill”. It is all in a long term observation of Russian politics, and cultural events. It is exhibited in atmospherics.

    Since the debacle of Kosovo and inability to prevent it, Russia has gone through a process of national self re-affirmation. Right from the outset of Putin presidency there was a noticeable change in the way Russia was presenting herself to the world and at home.

    There were many grand events, commemorations of national heroes past and closer to current times. As the Eastern European states pulling down the statues of Soviet soldiers and generals, Russia is putting up new statues to national heroes.

    I love Russian song and music. The spirit of the nation would burst out in these songs, be it the Cuban kozak traditional, be it in rock music or classical. Viktor Sorokin, Yuriy Shevchuk, Pellagia or Dimitri Hvorostovski.

    Another indicator of robust nationalism was presented at Sochi Olympics. Later after annexation of Crimea . And even recently the premature bombastic release of Sputnik V vaccine. This is why I used the word shrill.

    Russia is striving too hard to prove her self worth. Relax. Russia has more friends in the world then it believes. Russia is respected. Not many people in the wider world question her greatness. No need to be on the ramparts blowing the horn.

    In the end, having used the term “shrill nationalism” was my subjective perception. No one has to agree with me and it being a perception I do not need to justify it. However, I do appreciate your interest and your request for clarification.

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    1. “I can not give you what exactly brought me to use the term “shrill”. It is all in a long term observation of Russian politics, and cultural events. It is exhibited in atmospherics.”

      Thank you for an honest answer, Mr. Benian. You have no proof, only “da feelz” and biases.

      Case closed.

      Oh, and one more thing – this comment section is neither your soapbox nor is it a pulpit. Nor are we here your flock, ready to suffer – mindlessly – through your sermons. How about you do the bare minimum of the “homework” next time you feel an urge to “preach” and be ready to support your… amazing… claims with hard data and facts?

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      1. Littenburgh, the last paragraph showed to me that you are obviously lucking in civility. I tell you what. You don’t read my comments and I will not read yours. Seldom have I seen such a pompous individual.
        What is wrong with you, didn’t your mother love you?

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      2. >”Littenburgh, the last paragraph showed to me that you are obviously lucking in civility”

        Welcome to the Internet, or “Can’t stand the heat – get out of the kitchen”

        “You don’t read my comments and I will not read yours.”

        Like I said – “chess playing pigeon”

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    2. “And even recently the premature bombastic release of Sputnik V vaccine. This is why I used the word shrill”

      compare that to the oh so not shrill of a very experimental vaccine based on an up to that time rather unsuccessful attempt of a mRNA technology versus the rather multiple time proven vector technology of the much safer Sputnik 5 and it clearly shows your bias.

      I have no idea what “shrill” sounds to you, but the shrillness of declaring “success” in Afghanistan by an obviously deluded and mentally challenged leader of a nation, who would better be placed at home to peacefully await his final demise is something to watch with a mixture of horror, amusement and unbelieve.

      As to the rest of your commentary, it reads like “some of my best friends are…”

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  9. My understanding is that Navalny has little influence in Russia. At this point, he seems completely dependent on the West, must follow their instructions, even if that puts him in jail, and his schemes are in reality probably U.S./CIA schemes.

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  10. “In every political community there are varying shades of political opinion. One of the shadiest of these is the liberals. An outspoken group on many subjects. Ten degrees to the left of center in good times. Ten degrees to the right of center if it affects them personally. Here, then, is a lesson in safe logic.”

    Like

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