Putin’s party is said to have won nearly 63% of the vote. Putin-allied parties are set to gain nearly 17% of the vote. When the ruling party gets that high a percentage and its primary opposition is actually shut out of Parlaiment all together, that in and of itself smells of fraud…when you add in all the voting irregularities reported, it becomes pretty clear that Putin has engineered himself an absolute majority which will now be able to adjust Russian law however necessary to allow Putin to remain in power, even if he officially leaves office at the end of his current terms as President.
Its really rather sad, and extraordinarily foolish of Putin to pull this – even supposing that Putin and his party are best equipped to govern Russia equitibly (and that is a bit of a stretch), Putin should realise that all he’s done is set up a dictatorial system which is bound to suppress Russia’s ability to fully harness its resources while at the same time opening up the myriad opportunities for corruption which has always been the bane of Russian progress. Watching from afar, I get the impression of a Great Russian patriot in Putin but like all too many such in Russia’s history, Putin lacks that sense of proportion which would allow him to share power with others – Putin will, I believe, be classed with Witte, Stolypin and Kruschev who set out to remake Russia, and made a hash of it.
All we can do is class Russia as a potential enemy in world affairs, and build our alliances with Poland, Georgia and other nations on Russia’s periphery who would like very much to stay out of Russia’s grasp.