On September 9, Moscow is electing its Mayor. The undoubted winner will be Sergey Sobyanin, who is poised to achieve about 70% of the vote.
The main “challenger” is KDPR candidate Vadim Kumin, who is slated to do at least twice better than LDPR candidate Mikhail Degtyarev. There are two factors favoring him. First, there is no “liberal candidate” (or “no oppositionist candidate”, in democratist discourse); under such conditions, oppositionist minded voters tend to vote for the commies, not nationalists (the only nationalists who are allowed to participate in mass politics must be strongly pro-Putin). Second, the pensions issue has swiped 15% points off “Kremlin” candidates across the board, at least for the time being; naturally, most of the surplus accrues to commies, who have made it their signature issue.
Welcome to City 17… it’s safer here.
Even so, the commies don’t pose more than a symbolic challenge to Sobyanin. He has been a highly efficient technocrat, and far less nepotistic than his predecessor Luzhkov. He has driven through the gentrification of Moscow, such that large parts of the megapolis are now a SWPL paradise, and comparable to some of the best European cities (but with more 24/7 establishments and less vibrant diversity). He is genuinely popular, and so far as I can see this is well-deserved.
Even Gastarbeiters support LDPR. Sieg Heil!
My usual MO is to vote for the LDPR candidate on the basis that Russian elections may be considered as regime referendums. At the very least, a culture that is more nationalist will be a culture in which I increase my chances of being able to lawfully own a Glock and decrease my chances of getting sent to jail under Article 282 because some “linguistic expert” and graduate of Scientific Communism studies decides I’m an extremist.
However, in this case, I am sufficiently impressed with Sobyanin, and sufficiently unimpressed with LDPR candidate Degtyarev, to vote for the Kremlin candidate.
On September 2, I went to an LDPR rally in front of the US Embassy in support of #FreeButina, though it also doubled as election campaigning for Mikhail Degtyarev, the LDPR candidate for the Mayoralty.
I wasn’t personally impressed with Degtyarev, who talked about geopolitics as opposed to what he’d do as Mayor. Not that it’s necessarily a problem, since I’m personally always done for a fiery rant against American imperialism.
But it’s quite lame when he couches it in SJW speak (e.g. American policemen are shooting Negroes!).
He should leave the ranting to Papa Zhirik, and in all fairness to Degtyarev, at least his speech was mercifully short.
Zhirinovsky in the flesh! Strong performance. He condemns the Communists as anti-Russian nutjobs who killed millions of people, voiced support for the pensions reform (brave political move), and warns of American attempts to divide Russia and China. It was good to see there was none of the kneejerk Sinophobia that’s quite prevalent within their silovik constituency. I have been claiming China would be the next superpower literally since I began blogging a decade ago, and that gratuitous Sinophobia would be ruinous for Russia; bearing in mind the current trajectory of West-Russia relations, it’s safe to say that I have been vindicated.
PS. You can browse through my coverage of the Moscow Elections 2013 here: http://akarlin.com/tag/moscow/