Tuesday, September 27, 2022

The Aesthetics of Election Rigging

Russia has announced the results of the totally free and fair referenda conducted in occupied Ukrainian territory and wouldn't you know it: everybody is just beside themselves with excitement at joining the Russia Federation.
The Russian state news media was reporting what it described as results showing enormous levels of support for joining Russia in four occupied territories. Tass, the Russian news agency, reported 92.68 percent in favor in Zaporizhzhia, 86 percent in Kherson in the south, and 93.95 percent in Donetsk and 98.53 in Luhansk in the east.

When it comes to these sorts of obviously rigged elections (remember when Azerbaijan accidentally released its election results the day before anyone had actually voted?), I always wonder how these figures are decided. Which bureaucrat is deciding that, yeah, 98.53% is the right figure for Luhansk? Not 98.52,% god help us not 97%, but 98.53%? There must be some thought that goes into it, yes? I wonder who has that job.

The other aspect of it is why the margins in these rigged elections are so ludicrously lopsided. I get wanting to have (the illusion of) a resounding consensus, but everyone knows results in the upper 90s are not even remotely credible. If they had made up a 60/40 victory spread, the news coverage probably would have concentrated on it being "surprisingly close", but it might have actually treated the election itself as if it wasn't transparently fixed. Sometimes less is more, people!

1 comment:

Erl said...

The plebiscite whereby Indonesia justified its acquisition of Western New Guinea goes by the appropriately Orwellian name of "The Act of Free Choice" and achieved a unanimous vote—by rounding up 1025 people and pointing guns at them so that they raised their hands.

Compared to that, I feel like even 98% in occupied Kherson lacks a certain sort of class.