Russia’s March Presidential Election
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Scheduled for March 18, eight candidates seek Russia’s highest public office, including:
Sergey Baburin (All-Russia National Union party)
Pavel Grudinin (Communist Party)
Vladimir Zhirinovsky (Liberal Democratic Party)
Ksenia Sobchak (Civil Initiative party)
Maxim Suraikin (Communists of Russia)
Boris Titov (Party of Growth)
Grigory Yavlinsky (Yabloko Party)
Vladimir Putin, running as an independent
US and Russian electoral politics are world’s apart. Aspirants for federal, state and local elections in America are money-controlled, notably candidates for the nation’s highest office.
In 2016, around $6.5 billion was spent on presidential and congressional elections combined, according to OpenSecrets.org – including primary races, most money spent for advertising, largely on television.
The 2016 presidential race began in early 2015. In order to compete, congressional members and aspirants spend an inordinate amount of time on fundraising.
Russian television channels Rossiya 1, Rossiya 24, Channel 1, TV Center, and Public Television of Russia provide free airtime for election campaigning.
So do Radio Rossii, Mayak and Vesti FM radio stations, part of the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK).
According to Russian law, one-third of airtime is for political parties of candidates, another third for aspirants, the remainder for political debates.
Unlike America’s endless money-controlled campaign season, Russia’s are relatively short. Candidates for president had to register no later than January 6, 2018.
Last December 6, Putin announced he’d run for reelection. Polls show over 80% of Russians support him, wanting no one else as head of state.
He’ll easily triumph over all challengers next month, reelection certain for another six-year term.
He declined to participate in televised debates. Public campaigning began in mid-February, continuing through March 16, ahead of a day of silence preceding the March 18 election.
Democracy in America is pure fantasy. In Russia, it’s the real thing, the process scrupulously open, free and fair, despite US propaganda claiming otherwise.
America and other Western countries lack leaders like Putin. None approach his stature – a peace champion, anti-imperialist defender of Russian sovereignty.
It’s why neocons infesting Washington and media scoundrels vilify him.
They can’t tolerate a leader head and shoulders in stature more preeminent than any US ones – notably a figure unwilling to bend to Washington’s will.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”