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Monday, December 03, 2007


The Vienna-based OSCE, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said the election failed to meet many of the standards and also commitments of the OSCE, of which Russia is a member. The OSCE statement said the polls "took place in an atmosphere which limited political competition” and that "there was not a level playing field”. "Frequent abuse of administrative resources, media coverage strongly in favor of the ruling party and an election code whose cumulative effect hindered political pluralism” had tainted the polls, the observers said.

Having stood for the 9% Growth Party at the last election I would welcome media coverage which was merely biased towards the main parties rather than virtually monopolised by them. An atmosphere which allowed political competition (for example by those churches organising hustings inviting all the candidates rather than merely those & such as those) would be a welcome novelty. I don't think anybody can deny that the FPTP electoral system does strongly "hinder political pluralism", indeed its supporters give this as a reason to support it, since it provides the jots of "strong government" & "extreme" parties not being elected. Level playing fields are also conspicuous by their absence - I am convinced that if allowed to debate Nicol "nuclear is the easy answer so we mustn't let the common people know it" Stephen, LibDim leader, I would wipe the floor with him. Giving money to ASH, Friends of the Earth & the ubiquitous government advertising campaigns peaking shortly before elections also constitute "abuse of administrative resources.

I will certainly mention these to the OSCE should any passing inspector show any interest in British elections.

In fact no evidence has been produced that the Russian election was not conducted at least as well as ours, even excluding our undemocratic electoral system. The Russian people have quite sensibly voted for a leader who has provided 8% growth nearly doubling GNP in 8 years. Putin's fault seems not to be lack of democracy but lack of subservience to western leaders.

I don't think anybody can deny that the FTPT electoral system does not "hinder political pluralism", indeed its supporters give this as a reason to support it.

I take it this should read 'the FPTP electoral system hinders political pluralism'?
Thanks - I have, belatedly, corrected.
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