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Graph Shows Fraud in Russian Elections 406

Posted by Zonk
from the little-to-the-left dept.
gaika writes "A graph in the best traditions of Edward Tufte shows how the voting was rigged in Russian parliament elections. Initially some regions were showing higher than 100% attendance, but later on everything was corrected, or way too much corrected, as the correlation between winning party's vote and attendance now stands at 90%. I guess the people who have rigged the vote have never heard about Correlation Cofficient."
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Graph Shows Fraud in Russian Elections

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  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 07, 2007 @09:11PM (#21620141)
    Putin's 7% cap on political parties pretty much annihilated most of the opposition. Why did they need to add votes? Out of habit?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Divebus (860563)
      Why go through the trouble? In America, all you need are some alleged loose chads to win.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ShieldW0lf (601553)
        Q: Why does greater than 100% turnout automatically mean election fraud, and not an error in the distribution of population between regions of the country?

        A: Because that doesn't support my preconceptions. Fuck off, Troll!
      • by reporter (666905) on Saturday December 08, 2007 @04:32AM (#21622349) Homepage
        This election was clearly rigged. According to a report [guardian.co.uk] by the "Guardian Unlimited", "in Chechnya 99.3% of the population were said to have voted for Putin's party [...] while in the republic of Mordovia the figure was apparently 109%." How does a politician earn 109% of the votes without rigging? In 2004, Gennady Zyuganov, head of the Communist Party, had insightfully warned, "This is not an election, it's a special [Kremlin] operation with a predetermined result." ("The Washinton Post", 2004 March 14)

        Yet, why would Czar Vladimir Putin go through all this trouble to produce an impressive showing at the polls? He is already quite popular. His party, United Russia, could have easily won control of the Duma without the election rigging.

        "The Economist" has finally provided an answer [economist.com] to this puzzling question. "The answer almost certainly lies in the ever more vicious--and open--rivalry among the Kremlin's political clans. Perhaps Mr Putin upset so many rich and powerful people that the prospect of losing control over the transition of power may simply have been too dangerous for his inner circle, and for himself. For all his talk about foreign threats and domestic enemies, what Mr Putin really fears is his entourage and a war among the clans. Winston Churchill once described the Kremlin's political tussles as being like a fight among bulldogs under a carpet: outsiders hear plenty of growling but have few clues about the victor's identity until it emerges."

        Renegade political factions (run by former and current members of the FSB, successor of the KGB) operate within and outside the Kremlin. Each faction is like a gang, and the gangs kill each other. They answer to no one. So far, Putin has used his power to keep the factions under control.

        Putin needed an impressive showing in the election in order to demonstrate his political power -- to the siloviki. He controls the United Russia party. Since the party won more than 66% of the seats in the Duma (due to the rigged election), the party -- and Putin -- can alter the constitution at will.

        Of course, Putin is gambling that his scheme will work. He may lose the gamble. One of the renegade factions may assassinate him.

        In this context, you can understand the comments [wsj.com] by Mikhail Gorbachev. Gorbachev won the Nobel Peace Prize for releasing the Eastern Europeans from the yoke of Soviet oppression. He has criticized the steadily eroding freedoms that he initiated in Russia in the late 1980s, but he has refrained from directly criticizing Czar Vladimir Putin.

        Putin is indeed a czar, but he is a far better ruler than one of the thugs in the siloviki. These thugs likely killed both Alexander Litvinenko and Anna Politkovskaya. Even if Putin wanted to solve their murders, he has no power to do so. If he attempted to find the killers, then he may be killed.

        P.S.
        "The Economist" seems to provide much better analysis of Russian politics than Washington provides. What exactly are our Russian "experts" in Washington doing?

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Escogido (884359) on Friday December 07, 2007 @09:40PM (#21620329)
      2/3 of the Russian Duma (parliament) has the authority to amend the Constitution, and of course they want to be able to do that by themselves. And they barely made it - they will have 310 +/- 5 seats out of 450.
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ugen (93902) on Friday December 07, 2007 @11:04PM (#21620857)
      Why you ask? I'll tell you why!

      Realistically, United Russia was going to win about %50 in "unrigged" elections. This is a simple majority, sufficient to pass regular laws. However, Putin needs constitutional majority (which is defined as 2/3 of the votes) to be able to pass constitutional amendments and various important laws related to status of Russia in union such as union with Belorussia. Now 2/3 for those advanced math majors is about %66 :) And, guess what, United Russia at this point has %64 of all votes which, what with rounding up and all, will be that magic constitutional majority. D-oh.
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cptdondo (59460) on Saturday December 08, 2007 @01:01AM (#21621557) Journal
      Heh. If you read the Russian, Chechnya (or however you spell it in western alphabet) has the highest turnout - 10,000% - and a perfect score - 100% - in voting for Putin.

      Lesse - last I heard, they were still fighting the Chechen rebels, nyet?

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by arivanov (12034) on Saturday December 08, 2007 @04:55AM (#21622415) Homepage
      I suspect he did not. In fact I suspect none of his immediate surrounding did. As many people pointed out they had no need whatsoever to do it.

      Now, cronies and henchmen in remote regions are a completely different story.

      Realistically, the feudalism never went away in the Soviet Union (and Russia for that matter). Many of the remote places and nearly all of the so called "autonomous republics" and "autonomous areas" are ruled in a feudal manner. In fact usually the rule inherited from father to son.

      It is essential for a vassal to demonstrate his true loyalty to the ruling feudal. In the middle ages it was the oath of allegiance. Now it is votes. This is exactly what is happening here. Chechnia, various tatar states and other fiefdoms demonstrating their loyalty to the king. Move along people, there is nothing we can do to fix it for at least a 100 more years. Old habits die hard. Really hard.

      Also, they are a blip on the overall statistics radar. In total we are talking about less votes than Moscow and St Petersburg which were not rigged and had the highest opposition representation which were not rigged this way. In fact I would expect less than 2-3% of the overall vote to be subjected to such rigging (the fiefdoms in question are not particularly large).

      The real killer was the strict prohibition on foreign funding.

      There were anything between 30-200 million of American money behind every mid-right wing win in Eastern Europe for the last 15 years (I have personally seen some of it). Without this level of support none of the right-wing "blue" muppets would have gotten even close to winning an election in Bulgaria, Romania, etc. By yanking the plug and making sure that none of the local oligarghs gives money to the opposition Putin has guaranteed his win. The 7% was simply a topup just to make sure.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      The election was widely touted as a "referendum in support of the President". Therefore, they needed to do their best to get the majority of the voters to express their support, for the undoubtedly-coming constitutional reform (the one to introduce the position of a "national leader" for Putin) to have at least some look of legitimacy.

      Interestingly enough, with all the fraud, they've still failed - only 59% of those eligible to vote did so, and of those, 64.3% voted for Putin's United Russia. That makes 3

  • I heard people in hospitals were denied medications unless they voted for him. Very mean and dishonist thing to do. 1st post by the way :)
    • Troll? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by cduffy (652)

      I heard people in hospitals were denied medications unless they voted for him. Very mean and dishonist thing to do.
      This is a well-published allegation. How is it a troll?
    • Yep, that is true (Score:5, Informative)

      by gritzko (973184) on Saturday December 08, 2007 @06:54AM (#21622821)
      I am from Ekaterinburg, Sverdlovskaya oblast, Russia.
      Also, all government employees were forced to vote (e.g. teachers).
      The Sunday was made a working day in some institutes (4 in our city) to make students vote right there.
      Obviously, soldiers, prisoners and mental patients all voted for Putin's party.
      I've seen a lot of things of this kind here.
  • Whoopsie! (Score:5, Funny)

    by mctk (840035) on Friday December 07, 2007 @09:13PM (#21620159) Homepage
    "I guess the people who have rigged the vote have never heard about Correlation Cofficient."

    And apparently neither has the person who wrote the summary.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bob54321 (911744)
      Exactly. Correlation != Causation. But still...
      • No, "the Cofficient", is nicht der Koeffizient [leo.org] , hoping that switching languages will help draw attention to the rather typical /. non-command of spelling.
        I guess back in his KGB days, Vladimir spent enough time in Germany that he's fluent and doesn't even need subtitles on German TV.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by burni (930725)
          Some years ago, he held a speech in front of the german parliament (the "Bundestag" ) in german
          and you could clearly hear, how even then he tried to cover his accent, while his use of the german language was overall very good.
          • by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross&yahoo,ca> on Saturday December 08, 2007 @07:55AM (#21623043)
            I like your comment "How even then he tried to cover his accent..."

            Hmmm, he wants to blend in with the natives... I wonder why? hmmm, let's think on this one...

            Oh yeah I got it, maybe because he was a spy?

            I remember when Bush met Putin for the first time and said, "I looked the man in the eyes..."

            At that point I thought, Bush, are you daft? The man in front of you was (is?) a spy and he would try to make himself appear like the Dali Lama himself...

            I once asked a Russian when Putin was elected whether he was good or bad for the country. He replied, "does it matter?" I was completely surprised by this answer. He explained himself and said, "Mother Russia has always been ruled by an iron fist, and no politics whether communism, a tzar or free market will change that. Russia is one of the few places where a powerful person will drive over the shoes of a policeman, and the policeman will smile and say, "thank-you you are free to do that again""
  • by GWLlosa (800011) on Friday December 07, 2007 @09:14PM (#21620165)
    Ballots stuff you?
  • by crath (80215) on Friday December 07, 2007 @09:15PM (#21620167) Homepage

    I guess the people who have rigged the vote have never heard about Correlation Cofficient.

    You don't need brains to run a dictatorship, just a rampant willingness to fuck people over. Reminds me of some of our own leaders here in The West!

  • by explosivejared (1186049) <hagan@jared.gmail@com> on Friday December 07, 2007 @09:16PM (#21620177)
    I mean really! Dissident journalists have been murdered. A rival was imprisoned for political reasons. Gee, and I thought this election had a shot to be a fair one! Anyone surprised by this doesn't follow Russian politics at all. Putin doesn't play around. He used one of the most devious Russian reversals of all time. He found that in Soviet Russia corruption empowers you absolutely!
  • Not surprising (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ls671 (1122017)
    This doesn't surprise me at all, I guess anybody that follows what happens in Russia suspected this. Still, it will be interesting to see how much evidence is left behind or in other words, how good a job they did at rigging the election ;-)
  • "Graft Shows Fraud in Russian Elections"...

    But, nyet, nyet...

    (Spasibo, & dasvidanya, Comrade...)
  • by Brad1138 (590148) <brad1138@yahoo.com> on Friday December 07, 2007 @09:26PM (#21620233)
    American Democracy is truly spreading across the globe.
    • by dpilot (134227)
      So has anyone performed a similar analysis of the 2000 or 2004 US Presidential elections. At the national level I can believe any skulduggery would be buried in the noise, but how about in select spots??? (Forida, Ohio, etc.)
      • by fm6 (162816)
        As I recall, there were no accusations of ballot box stuffing in Florida. Which is not to say that there was no vote rigging. There were many claims that people from pro-Gore demographic groups finding it hard to cast their ballots.
        • by phayes (202222) on Saturday December 08, 2007 @12:00AM (#21621201) Homepage
          There were complaints thet the ballots were hard to use statewide but the Dems chose to request recounts only in areas where they expected to gain proportionately more. Gore's request would have carried more weight if he had requested recounts statewide & not just in Dem dominated areas. In the end, the supreme court shut down the recounts because this method of selectively recounting meant that miscounted Dem votes would have counted more than miscounted Rep votes. However, statewide recounts would have taken even longer & would have been very unlikely to have reversed Florida's pro Bush vote.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Opportunist (166417)
        There's no need to rig the election in the US in an illegal way. The legal options, from gerrymandering to the election system itself, are plenty if you want to tweak the system in your favor.

        Provided you already are in power.
      • by EllisDees (268037) on Friday December 07, 2007 @11:46PM (#21621111)
        While it doesn't do this exact type of analysis, Rolling Stone make a pretty convincing case [rollingstone.com] that there was some serious meddling going on in the Ohio election in 2004.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Alsee (515537)
          A pretty convincing case, yeah right. Flagrant partisan bias.
          It only makes "a pretty convincing case" if you're a member of the reality based community.

          -
    • by jo7hs2 (884069)
      Not even remotely insightful. PROVE one American presidential election was rigged in such a fashion as this, and I will eat my hat.
  • by Derling Whirvish (636322) on Friday December 07, 2007 @09:31PM (#21620257) Journal
    For comparisons' sake I would like to see the same graph of percentage vs turnout in the presidential race for Florida counties in 2000 and Ohio counties in 2004.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    What a lot of people don't understand here in the US is that Putin is really effing popular in Russia. We hear a lot of talk about how Putin silences critics, wants to set up an ex-KGB dictatorship, etc. And it's probably all true. But again. Putinism is popular and Russians will keep voting for it. This is no surprise if you talk to more than a handful of Russians. They don't need to commit electoral fraud because they've already got the populace on their side.

    I didn't realize the extent of this un
    • I read a front-page Wall Street Journal article a while back that said that Putin is wildly popular with Russian citizens because he's been successful at revitalizing the Russian economy. Before Putin - including after the fall of communism - the vast majority of Russians lived in very grim conditions.

      Putin has been successful in changing all that; I would imagine the giving people enough to eat and decent housing can excuse a lot of police-state abuses.

      For example, that WSJ article covered a Soviet

      • so did Hitler (Score:2, Insightful)

        by m2943 (1140797)
        Why do you think Hitler became popular in Germany? The country was in economic shambles after WW I, and the squabbling nascent democracy just didn't manage to put things together again. Hitler was a law-and-order, family values candidate who managed to put people to work and had simple, straightforward answers; this was just a few years before he then turned into a genocidal maniac who killed millions of people.

        And make no mistake about it: every nation is always at risk for those kinds of people.
        • Not always, but under certain circumstances. If you have a nation that was great, maybe even a world power, where people lived more or less well, who had jobs that didn't get them rich but put food on the table, then suddenly everything turns for the worse, people starving, unemployment going rampart, the former world power turning into the poor house of the world and being dependent on international aid... and then someone steps forwards, promising work, wealth and return to power, people will follow him.

          T
        • So he did (Score:3, Informative)

          by Burz (138833)
          ...but it's Bush who is warmongering while impoverishing his people. I'd say that Putin was above the both of them, though he will soon be ending his career with that horrific assault against the... arctic circle on his record. Oh the humanity.

          Now if you'll excuse me, I'll wash my hands after partaking in one of Slashdot's redmeat xenophobe stories. Call me when you all have something positive to post about Russians or Chinese for a change: Until then, the usual Anglosphere "coverage" of the other major pow
          • Uh, Slashdot publishes many more negative stories about the US. That doesn't make it anti-American, just like negative stories about Russia and China don't make it xenophobic.

            Any news agency will tell you negative news sells better.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sparohok (318277)
        Putin didn't lift anyone from poverty, commodities prices did. If oil were still $12/bbl, as it was when Putin took office, instead of $88 as it is today, he would be a footnote to history. Your gas guzzling SUV gave Vladimir Putin the opportunity to do shit like this.

        It is not a coincidence that countries rich in natural resources tend to have the least democratic governments.
    • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Friday December 07, 2007 @09:59PM (#21620457) Homepage Journal
      As I understand it, Putin has been reasonably effective at crushing the Oligarchies that were running rampant throughout Russia, this has made him a bit unpopular with the current US government because a lot of those Oligarchs were business partners. Unfortunately, his method of stamping them out has been largely to just take over the businesses directly. This has been a boon for the government's bottom line, but in the long run it stifles growth, however the people love it because they're finally seeing some of their country's wealth and frankly I can't blame them. I have no doubt in a few years Putin (or his successor) will finally toss away the pretense of being a Democracy and really start putting the screws to the people, but in the short term they are way better than the previous owners.
    • by danielk1982 (868580) on Saturday December 08, 2007 @12:46AM (#21621467)
      As someone else mentioned - Putin's party was going to win majority in a rigged or fair election. But in a fair election they most likely wouldn't get a super majority to push through constitutional changes.
  • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Friday December 07, 2007 @09:35PM (#21620287)
    A.N. Kolmogorov must be weeping.

  • Detailed tests? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Iwanowitch (993961) on Friday December 07, 2007 @09:36PM (#21620291)
    It certainly seems like the distribution of the red dots is different from the others from a graphical impression.. But can someone remind me on what the correct statistical procedure is to 'determine fraud' here? Nonparametric ANOVA, comparing the groups? I mean, noting that the correlation coefficient is 0.9 doesn't really prove anything, does it...
    I've had some statistics but I was never really good at it... I developed a radar for lousy statistics, though. Hard numbers please.
    • Re:Detailed tests? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Gorobei (127755) on Friday December 07, 2007 @10:57PM (#21620803)
      There is no statistic to determine fraud, almost by definition. The various statistical tests look for improbable departures from expectations, and the fraudster tries to modify the data in a way that doesn't look improbable.

      Given we have few datasets of fraudulent vs non-fraudulent numbers, it is hard to generate hard numbers. Instead, we look at tests the fraudsters didn't consider or understand, and these tests usually show such extreme numbers that any statistician would assume the data was manipulated. For example:

      1. Faked biology data (several known examples) - means look good, but higher order stats are way outside a normal distribution. Luckily, you can repeat the experiments, and see the repeats don't show the reported results.

      2. Faked accounting data (tons of examples.) Most fakers make really basic mistakes. E.g. around 27%? of financial numbers should begin with 1, faked data usually has the wrong leading number distribution. Again, forensic accountants dig here and usualy hit paydirt.

      3. Image manipulation. Again, the manipulator gets the first order stats right, but leaves a mess in terms of higher order stats (local vs global noise.)
    • Re:Detailed tests? (Score:4, Informative)

      by brit74 (831798) on Friday December 07, 2007 @11:05PM (#21620865)
      In general one would expect the dots to form vaguely horizontal bands across the graph. In other words, in districts where there was 50% turnout, 50% of the votes would be for Putin's party, and in districts with 90% turnout, approximately the same percentage (50%) of votes would be for Putin's party. That's what you wold expect from fair voting.

      On the other hand, if voter turnout was, say 40-60%, and you were stuffing the ballot boxes with an additional 0-30% votes - all of them for Putin's party, you would get the kind of pattern you see in that graph. You could also get this pattern if people were being forced to go and vote for Putin's party.
  • by Cyberax (705495) on Friday December 07, 2007 @09:36PM (#21620295)
    The most interesting question: why have they done that? I live in Russia and nobody here really doubts that the ruling party ("United Russia" - "Edinaja Rossija") influenced elections.

    The real approval rates of other opposition parties (communists excepted) were in single percents, anyway. And the real approval rate of United Russia was high enough - all manipulations possibly resulted in several extra seats in parliament for them. So it's not that Putin seriously risked losing his power.
    • Why poison with polonium? So everyone knows you did it and won't be afraid to do it again.
      • by Cyberax (705495)
        I still don't think that Russian special services killed Litvinenko. And it's not like anyone believed that the United Russia will not abuse his power...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by burni (930725)
      From my point of view, he is clearly up to something, some coup we cannot clearly think about.

      He wanted to be 100% sure that Putins party and his favoured
      others (Schirinowski) parties get

      1.) a clear +66 percent in the Duma (russian parliament)
      2.) Putin can show this result like a trophy that the russians fully trust him

      ( they entiteled him to be a leader )

      if you recall his announcement for his past presidential time, he don't want to become
      a Prime Minister, but he wants to stay as an influential adviser for
    • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday December 07, 2007 @10:25PM (#21620609)
      The tongue-in-cheek reply would be "old habits die hard". But it's something else. Blatant election fraud (and, pardon if I say it directly, I doubt they're so stupid to rig it so badly) serves only one goal: It's a statement. The statement says pretty much "Look. We can manipulate the election any way we want. And? Nobody cared. See? We will win. No matter what. So you better stop trying."
    • by gaika (975356) on Friday December 07, 2007 @10:31PM (#21620645) Homepage
      They need 2/3rds in the parliament to amend constitution.
    • by greg_barton (5551) *

      The real approval rates of other opposition parties (communists excepted) were in single percents, anyway.

      According to the state run media, you mean.

      What were their actual approval ratings?
      • by Cyberax (705495)
        Nope, independent exit polls showed pretty much the same result. "Liberal Forces Union" ("Souz Pravih Sil") got 1%, "Jabloko" ("Apple" in Russian :) ) got another 1%.

        Ok, maybe they could have got another 1-2% each without voting fraud. But it's still pitifully small.
  • by Takichi (1053302) on Friday December 07, 2007 @09:51PM (#21620403)
    And we all know the power of, The Graph! [phdcomics.com]
  • The nice thing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by evanbd (210358)

    About reputable news sources is that they have, well, a reputation for doing at least a decent job of statistics. Livejournal... doesn't.

    On the other hand, the nice thing about statistics is that without much work you can show what numbers you started with, what games you played with them, and what numbers you ended up with. And you can fairly easy say why you think those games were legitimate, and others can fairly easily say why they think they are or aren't, or can otherwise review your methodology.

  • I guess the people who have rigged the vote have never heard about Correlation Cofficient.
    The so-called "correlation coefficient" is just part of the vast CIA conspiracy to discredit Russia!
  • by xs650 (741277) on Friday December 07, 2007 @09:55PM (#21620423)
    "Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything." Josef Stalin
  • Explanation (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Hemogoblin (982564) on Friday December 07, 2007 @09:57PM (#21620435)
    Can someone give a better explanation? I'm taking actuarial mathematics and multiple regression courses, and even I have no clue what the guy is talking about.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ThreeGigs (239452)
      His argument boils down to this:

      There shouldn't be a correlation at all between voter turnout percentage and the percentage that voted for Putin's party.

      It's like saying "all of candidate A's supporters voted, only half of candidate B's supporters voted (or were allowed, enabled, not intimidated into not voting, etc.).
      • An alternative explanation is that Putin has an extreme majority in certain districts, and these supporters also happen to be very enthusiastic and turn out to vote. I'm not saying it's true or likely, but it's still an explanation. In my opinion, there probably was ballot stuffing, but this data doesn't convince me.

        What I would like to see is a comparison of actual voting results by district vs. anonymous non-biased polling numbers from before the election. Unfortunately, I doubt such numbers exist.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by tajmahall (997415)
      Rigging elections means fake votes are cast in your favor. Assuming that overall turnout had no correlation with political preference to begin with, regions with higher turnout would correspond to places where more fake votes were cast. If most fake votes were for Yedinaya Russia, you would see correlation between turnout and their vote share, which you do. Of course, more data is necessary to make the case. One ought to show that voter turnout shouldn't correspond to political preference.
  • by djmurdoch (306849) on Friday December 07, 2007 @09:59PM (#21620461)
    That graph was produced in Excel. I don't think Edward Tufte would like it.
    • Yeah, I was about to say that Tufte wouldn't be caught dead making graphs in Excel — it's the antithesis of his visual explanations.
  • by paulthomas (685756) on Friday December 07, 2007 @09:59PM (#21620463) Journal
    A sad state of affairs. The Economist had interesting coverage of the event from both the run-up to the "election" and its result.

    NOTHING was left to chance in Russia's parliamentary election. As polling stations closed on December 2nd, large lorries with military and riot police surrounded Moscow's main squares. There was no need for them: the city was quiet and nobody was protesting. Nor was there any need for the "tourist" buses ferrying voters from far-flung regions to cast multiple ballots in one polling station after another. "We have been going around polling stations since lunch time," grumbled one man, "and they have not paid us yet."
    http://economist.com/world/europe/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10268185 [economist.com]
    http://economist.com/world/europe/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10217312 [economist.com]
  • by edwardpickman (965122) on Friday December 07, 2007 @10:01PM (#21620477)
    It's impressive to have better than a 100% turn out when so few vote in this country. With the help of our current administration and Diebold maybe we can do as well in the next election. Hell this is America we should shoot for 200% voting!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by lelitsch (31136)
      Standards are slipping. We did have better than 100% turnout in Chicago during the entire first Daley administration.
  • by MrSteveSD (801820) on Friday December 07, 2007 @10:21PM (#21620581)
    In the US, UK and other countries with a "first past the post" scheme, the whole system is perpetually rigged in favour of two parties. Small parties find it very difficult because their support is spread thinly. Even if a new party comes along with some amazing ideas, it will likely never get a single seat due to the nature of the electoral system.

    If the way of voting was always rigged to favour one particular party, we would be up in arms, but having a system rigged in favour of two parties is not much better.
  • by noz (253073) on Friday December 07, 2007 @10:21PM (#21620585)

    I guess the people who have rigged the vote have never heard about Correlation Cofficient.
    Oh they have. They just edited Wikipedia first to make it sound absurd.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday December 07, 2007 @10:36PM (#21620681)
    "Comrade commissar, someone broke into the party head quarters. But don't worry, nothing irreplacable or secret was stolen. Only the manifest and the next five election results."
  • Putin is so popular in Russia (really) that he doesn't need to rig anyting. He would have won anyways. In Russia, most of the population indeed respects Putin and this is a result of all his years as a president. You may say he gradually eliminated opposition and I will agree. But he and whoever helps him are truly amazing in their ability to build a personal cult. I don't live in Russia anymore but I have a lot of friends there - and I saw their opinion gradually warming up to Putin. Part of this is manipu
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 07, 2007 @11:02PM (#21620841)
    I need to make an anonymous comment here.

    I worked at the election committee for the last elections of Russian president. The head of the committee gave me 10 passport (which used as IDs in Russia) numbers to register. I never saw the passwords, I never saw the people. The head filled out the bulletins for those 10 people (all votes for Putin) and went into a voting booth.

    I did not see much else, but I am sure it was not a unique case. Also, our district was rather small, in larger districts they probably used more "dead souls".

    I am not at all surprised at the fraud in last elections. In fact, I would be surprised if there was not any. As for why - I think (and this is my speculation) each committee must report at least x% (x >> 50) votes for Putin in the last president elections or for Unified Russia in these elections to show a good work. Thus the fraud despite the fact that the elections were decided WAY before the votes were counted.

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