“I went half expecting to see a poorly designed system vulnerable to fraud. I was stunned to discover instead a robust, transparent and properly democratic system that made me even more aware than ever of the truly shocking failings of the archaic and corrupted shambles that masquerades as free and fair elections in Great Britain.”
This is the – perhaps to some – surprising initial verdict on the Russian Duma elections as seen by Nick Griffin MEP.
The British National Party leader was among more than fifty experienced independent observers who attended Russia’s state parliament elections on Sunday. Mr. Griffin was invited by Civil Control, a broad alliance of Russian NGOs involved in broadening and deepening popular involvement in civic life in the largest traditionally European nation on the planet.
“It’s strange, because while I was of course only too well aware of many grotesquely unfair and undemocratic practices in the UK’s electoral process, it was only when I saw the strenuous efforts that the young Russian democracy has made to ensure fairness that I grasped the full picture of just how far Britain falls short of the mark.”
The British system of mass postal voting was rightly slammed by Judge Richard Mawrey QC in April 2005, when he stated that: ‘The deputy high court judge said the system was "hopelessly insecure" and expressed regret that recent warnings about the failings had been dismissed by the government as "scaremongering".
He criticised the government's insistence that the current postal voting system was working, adding: "Anybody who has sat through the case I have just tried and listened to evidence of electoral fraud that would disgrace a banana republic would find this statement surprising."
Russia more democratic
“Sadly, the corruption of the British system goes way beyond the postal vote scandal,” says Mr. Griffin. “I will be publishing a full report contrasting the British and Russian systems in due course, but for the time being here are just a few of the ways in which Putin’s Russia is more democratic than Cameron’s UK Banana Republic:
• In Britain, the BBC and other controlled media blatantly discriminate against the British National Party and routinely refuse to allow its spokesmen to appear and state their case. In Russia, local and national TV stations carry regular debates between all the parties.
• In Britain, opposition activists and candidates are physically attacked by gangs of thugs (the so-called UAF) officially sponsored by senior members of the parties of government, including the Prime Minister himself. The anti-Russian controlled media in the West have not even made such a claim about elections in Russia.
• In Britain, people register to vote by post and are allowed to vote by post or without providing any proof of who they are in the polling station. In Russia, voters must vote in person and produce their ID cards to prove who they are.
• In Britain, the officials who run local polling stations are appointed by the political party that controls the local council. In Russia, they are chosen by local Electoral Commissions on which all the parties have representation. ‘It’s not the people who vote that count, it’s the people who count the votes.’ At some counts in Britain, the counting staff have been seen wearing anti-BNP T-shirts.
• In Britain, huge numbers of postal votes are kept in council buildings controlled by members of the local ruling party, and when polling closes all ballot boxes are transported by council officials to central counting points – they are often out of sight of independent scrutineers for several hours. In Russia, all ballot boxes are counted in the station where they were used. They are never out of the sight of the observers from all parties, who are allowed to spend the whole day in every polling station, watching that everything is done properly.
“When I explained how things are done in the UK to various Russians, and indeed to observers from other countries, they could scarcely believe what they were hearing,” reports Mr. Griffin. “Only the three Americans, one a lawyer, one businessman and one experienced political researcher, were unsurprised, because the system in the USA is, in its own ways, just as flawed as Britain’s.
“I have already spoken with several of the organisations involved in the election monitoring to ask them to come and monitor the next elections in Britain,” explains Nick Griffin. “They have expressed a willingness to come and asked to see my main report, which I will be writing while in Strasbourg next week. Naturally, it will also be published on our website.
“My thanks to those who invited me and the other overseas observers. We were treated very kindly, and were at all times free to go wherever we wanted and speak to whoever we wanted. I made a point of speaking with activists from the outspokenly anti-Putin liberal ‘Apple’ Party and with members of the Communist Party and Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s nationalist Liberal Democrats.
“None of them had a good word to say about Prime Minister Putin or his United Russia Party, but none of them could give me any evidence of electoral fraud either. That’s more than can be said of affair in Britain. The system here absolutely stinks; as in so many other ways, Britain needs a damn good clean-up!”
• Mr. Griffin has also written a report on his Russian visit for this Friday’s World @ 8 with Lynn Mozar. This particularly deals with the anti-Russian allegations being made in the controlled media, so listen in.
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