As no one can possibly have missed, russia is in the process of organizing a referendum. The fact that they organized it in another country makes it more unique. The fact that the subject is whether the folks voting in the referendum want to join the russian federation makes it even more unique. Note that my use of the word ‘unique’ is not to be interpreted in a positive manner.
I have recently done a review of the Swedish election system, which I described as unsafe and open, opposite to safe and secret. This had to do with the actual voting process and procedures that are not in line with providing a safe election where the voter can be sure his/her vote is secret. Au contraire.
That said, there are numerous election examples worldwide where the results are assumed to be clear even before the first vote was cast. Let me only mention the DPRK as the best example of how not to organize elections. Without exception, their most popular and dearest leader will be re-elected with close to a hundred percent of the votes, or without any serious competition for the matter.
The russian referendum in Ukraine seems to share much of the DPKR pre-election results and amplifies the negative points in the Swedish election thousand-fold. Lemme list a few for you:
- There is an excessive presence of military personnel around and in the election site, all armed mind you
- The boxes used to collect the ballots are transparent
- The A4 sized ballot cannot be folded when put in the box
To add to the low standard:
- The territory where the elections are held is not part of russia or the russian federation
- It can only be assumed that the true results have no relation to whatever results will be presented as ‘winning’
- Some folks were ‘for safety’ escorted by armed military to the election sites
- The military collecting passport data that could be used to ‘cast a vote in their name’
- The fitting of new windows in bomb-damaged houses in exchange for the correct vote
- …and the list goes on and on
In short: The operation appears to be more of a demonstration of illegal methods than a serious attempt at a referendum.
On the positive side may be mentioned that I am not yet aware of any countries willing to accept the election results, with the possible exception of a few russian-friendly dictatorships. The EU countered by starting the writing of yet another new package of sanctions, the eighth since the war started I believe. I expect the civilized world to follow suit.
The preliminary results of the referendum point toward a 96% Yes to join russia. This fantastic result was published after counting only 20% of the cast votes earlier today. Obviously, this result can be extrapolated to the final count results. So totally unexpected, it looks like russia will declare a landslide win for the referendum and allow the illegally occupied Ukrainian territory to finally re-join the russian federation.
None of the above came as a surprise, with the possible exception of initiating the referendum. The only surprise here is the fact that such a referendum can be held and taken seriously by anyone. Then again, we’re talking russia here, and its dear leader putin.