Almost two years ago, right after the most recent elections to the Russian Duma, Russia blogger Sean Guillory penned a tract for Aljazeera about the state of politics in Putin’s Russia. It’s interesting to review what (little) he got right and what he (mostly) got wrong.
Guillory wrote: “The remaining question was how the public, which so far had been apathetic and acquiescent, would respond when given the opportunity to speak through the ballot box. It’s often said that electoral politics in Russia is dead. If so, then Sunday’s elections was a defibrillator to the political heart of the polity.”
Wrong. In fact, five million fewer Russians went to the polls in 2011 than had done so four years earlier. Russians showed themselves to be much less interested in electoral politics in 2011 compared to 2007. It’s simply incredible that Guillory could ignore the voter turnout data, apparently because it didn’t fit his narrative.
Guillory wrote: “United Russia lost its predicted supermajority, barely holding on to a simple one. Medvedev was on the horn trying to get the Communists, Just Russia, the Liberal Democrats – anyone – to agree to a coalition government. ”