Friday, December 07, 2007

As I said in that interview, it's hard to imagine anyone being surprised by the outcome of the Duma election this year - even though there are plenty of people who still care and may now be outraged or depressed. Or happy.

As for being surprised, we used up most of this emotion's reserves four years ago, when we spent half the post-election night glued to the TV, cursing the Russian opposition for their pathetic performance. This year, Mishah chose to be watching some movie instead, and I was translating Russian bloggers for GV.

I also unearthed an old notebook and read through the stuff I jotted down right after the vote of Dec. 7, 2003.

We were watching Savik Shuster's Svoboda Slova then - still on NTV, still in Russia, long before anyone could've imagined Shuster's move to Ukraine, together with his show, and his quick transformation into a Ukrainian mega-star. (Though, of course, it was also long after Shuster's dismissal from Radio Liberty, following Gazprom's takeover of NTV from Media-Most.)

- For Victor Shenderovich, it was the first appearance on NTV in three years that night - he did make some joke about it. He also said that the right-wing opposition had discredited itself, and it would be much better for them not to be represented in the Duma at all for the next four years: let "the new CPSU" - United Russia, obviously - bear all the responsibility, because when oil prices go down and Russia isn't producing anything, there'll be no one else but them to blame for the economic decline.

Oil prices have only been going up since then, of course.

- As of 6 pm, the turnout was less than 50 percent, and nearly 5 percent had voted against all candidates. Someone in the audience said that the non-voting folks would eventually join together and force this regime out.

- Someone noted that SPS' campaign ad about Europe didn't really sell in the Asian part of the country.

I'm not sure which ad they meant, but I do remember something about Irina Khakamada, Anatoly Chubais and Boris Nemtsov calling people to vote for them while aboard a private jet - an ad that wasn't well-received, either.

- Khakamada seemed to imply that the results of the election reflected what the people of Russia were like, and that those who voted for SPS shouldn't be too ashamed of their choice.

One of their conclusions: they should have joined forces with Yabloko.

- "Someone fat has compared Russia to a pendulum: in four years, he said, there'll be three parties in the Duma - Yabloko, SPS, and LDPR (the latter two just for fun), and today's rulers would be afraid to walk the streets."

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