Once upon a time in a far off land, lived a noble King who loved his people so much he made certain they thought as he did and acted as he did because he was not only noble, but all-wise. He decided to allow his noble son, Diminish, become King for a few years while he did noble things like make money. But, the noble King was fair and asked permission of his people to allow Diminish to become King. Of course, there were people among the people who just might vote “no” so the noble King decided to help out those people by casting their ballots for them. In this way, the people could act noble and Diminish could not be diminished by having votes go against him.
Of course, the above is a fairy tale, but in the fairy tale land of Russia, fairy tales do come true. Gennady Zyuganov, the Communist leader who actually was allowed to run against Diminish, got a surprising 18% of the vote cast. That is, the vote cast which was allowed to go to him. Reports around Russia told of votes being purchased for about $15 a vote, ballot boxes stuffed with the right ballot or the polling station simply just sending in the “right figures” to headquarters–after all, why bother even counting ballots.
Some people, who apparently were not let in on the secret that Diminish was going to win the election, actually organized protests in Moscow and St. Petersburg, but the kind police led them away in order to protect them against furious mobs of Russians who love Diminish and don’t want him denigrated or diminished by sore losers.
Such is life in the fairy tale land of democracy known as Putin Russia.