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copper123

Threaten 'em with Novichok and see what you get

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A majority of Russians have approved amendments to Russia’s constitution allowing President Vladimir Putin to hold power until 2036, election officials said.

However, the referendum was tarnished by widespread reports of pressure on voters and other irregularities.

With most of the nation’s polls closed and 15% of precincts counted, 71% voted for the changes, according to officials.

For the first time in Russia, polls were kept open for a week to bolster turnout amid the coronavirus pandemic — a provision that Kremlin critics denounced as an extra tool to manipulate the outcome.

A massive propaganda campaign and the opposition’s failure to mount a coordinated challenge helped Mr Putin get the result he wanted, but the plebiscite could end up eroding his position because of the unconventional methods used to boost participation and the dubious legal basis for the balloting.

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I wasn't sure why they bothered having a vote in the first place given the outcome was pre-determined and wasn't really up for discussion in the first place / would have had to be re-run in the event of a voter mistake. When the opposition is blocked from campaigning, it proves to the world that nothing has changed. Same could be said for at least half the countries of this world.

I noticed on the 10 o'clock news that there were prizes available as part of the election, but it wasn't clear whether they were for apparatchiks or repentant free minds.

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It's a wonder it wasn't 99% in favour, in the time honoured way of the old communist bloc.  

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It seems some countries are predisposed to choose to be run by dictators/emperors. Both Russia and China have spent most of their history this way, and despite brief forays into democracy in the 20th century, have now reverted to form.

Maybe it is us in the West, with our fixation on democracy, who are being unrealistic in our expectations?

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20 minutes ago, Paddy said:

Maybe it is us in the West, with our fixation on democracy, who are being unrealistic in our expectations?

As we get more and more divided by issues like Brexit, left v right, handling of the virus, etc, you may have a point.

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We have the option of voting in a repressive one-party system if they were to put themselves forward as candidates. However divided we might be in our opinions, a mechanism is in place to change direction peacefully without bloodshed. That is never an option once the state removes or nullifies that choice. So, no I don't think we are being unrealistic.

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I was using the word "realistic" in relation to our expectation that the rest of the world should adopt democracy as the optimum.

I was in Hong Kong in the 1980s when democracy was being pushed by the then British rule. The reaction of the local populace was interesting - the bulk of the local Chinese could not grasp the concept and were fearful of expressing any political opinion. I suspect it is now part of their evolutionary DNA after thousands of years during which expressing any dissent from the ruling Emperor was a short cut to execution. Yes, some of the more intelligent and Westernised took to the idea enthusiastically, but it is that minority that are now suffering the wrath of the dictatorship.

For most of the West, democracy in one form or another is now ingrained, and unlikely to be replaced. It does not always produce the best results for society as we tend to oscillate from one extreme to another. For some reason the middle ground seems elusive - parties that claim to represent it never do well.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Paddy said:

I was using the word "realistic" in relation to our expectation that the rest of the world should adopt democracy as the optimum.

I was in Hong Kong in the 1980s when democracy was being pushed by the then British rule. The reaction of the local populace was interesting - the bulk of the local Chinese could not grasp the concept and were fearful of expressing any political opinion. I suspect it is now part of their evolutionary DNA after thousands of years during which expressing any dissent from the ruling Emperor was a short cut to execution. Yes, some of the more intelligent and Westernised took to the idea enthusiastically, but it is that minority that are now suffering the wrath of the dictatorship.

For most of the West, democracy in one form or another is now ingrained, and unlikely to be replaced. It does not always produce the best results for society as we tend to oscillate from one extreme to another. For some reason the middle ground seems elusive - parties that claim to represent it never do well.

Probably because they don't shout it from the rafters but consider it the norm. The amount of noise generated seems to be inversely proportional to the proximity to the centre and he who shouts loudest gets heard. The centre ground is a broad set of principles that can work reasonably well for all because of a general acceptance we are not ideological/racial/religious clones and so we give and take a bit to accommodate diversity of just about everything. The problems often arise when a (usually relatively small) sub-section of society works to impose its expectations on the majority.

Edited by Rob
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2 hours ago, Paddy said:

I was using the word "realistic" in relation to our expectation that the rest of the world should adopt democracy as the optimum.

I was in Hong Kong in the 1980s when democracy was being pushed by the then British rule. The reaction of the local populace was interesting - the bulk of the local Chinese could not grasp the concept and were fearful of expressing any political opinion. I suspect it is now part of their evolutionary DNA after thousands of years during which expressing any dissent from the ruling Emperor was a short cut to execution. Yes, some of the more intelligent and Westernised took to the idea enthusiastically, but it is that minority that are now suffering the wrath of the dictatorship.

For most of the West, democracy in one form or another is now ingrained, and unlikely to be replaced. It does not always produce the best results for society as we tend to oscillate from one extreme to another. For some reason the middle ground seems elusive - parties that claim to represent it never do well.

Are the Chinese government for real? First they blatantly renege on their commitment to honour the one nation two systems concept for 50 years, then they get angry because the UK has apparently "broken promises" by potentially granting UK citizenship for up to 3 million Hong Kong people.

I don't think they were expecting this swerve by the UK, and they're well rattled, as they obviously don't have an immediate effective riposte to it.   

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3 hours ago, Rob said:

We have the option of voting in a repressive one-party system if they were to put themselves forward as candidates. However divided we might be in our opinions, a mechanism is in place to change direction peacefully without bloodshed. That is never an option once the state removes or nullifies that choice. So, no I don't think we are being unrealistic.

Agreed. Once you get a one party state in power, the right of the ordinary person to criticise or make fun of the political operators, is immediately negated. Not a pleasant prospect. 

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21 hours ago, Rob said:

I wasn't sure why they bothered having a vote in the first place given the outcome was pre-determined and wasn't really up for discussion in the first place / would have had to be re-run in the event of a voter mistake. When the opposition is blocked from campaigning, it proves to the world that nothing has changed. Same could be said for at least half the countries of this world.

I noticed on the 10 o'clock news that there were" prizes available as part of the election", but it wasn't clear whether they were for apparatchiks or repentant free minds.

I did say novichok to the losers

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Russia seems intent on recovering its territory lost in the collapse of the Soviet Union,, occupation of the Crimea, destablizing Ukraine and the Baltic States the list goes on. When is Western Europe going to wake up to the threat of Russian aggression which is remarkably similar to Germany's actions in the 1930s. Western Europe's defenses have fallen to dangerously low levels were the UK's defense spending has dropped from about 7% GNP in 1960 to 2.5% of GNP in 2020 while the threat from Russia and China increases. The threat of China has diverted US attention from Europe to the Pacific with Trump telling Europe not to depend on US support so much and should increase their defense budgets. Something that seems to have fallen on deaf ears. So far the increasing belligerence from Russia has been ignored to the peril of the West. Whether Russia is just intent in recovering its lost territories or wants to regain these plus Eastern Europe it gained control of in 1945 is hard to say but I notice Poland is worried while Germany seems blissfully ignorant of the potential threat. In the meantime it would be better to prepare for the worst rather than  ignore the threat from the East.

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8 hours ago, ozjohn said:

Russia seems intent on recovering its territory lost in the collapse of the Soviet Union,, occupation of the Crimea, destablizing Ukraine and the Baltic States the list goes on. When is Western Europe going to wake up to the threat of Russian aggression which is remarkably similar to Germany's actions in the 1930s. Western Europe's defenses have fallen to dangerously low levels were the UK's defense spending has dropped from about 7% GNP in 1960 to 2.5% of GNP in 2020 while the threat from Russia and China increases. The threat of China has diverted US attention from Europe to the Pacific with Trump telling Europe not to depend on US support so much and should increase their defense budgets. Something that seems to have fallen on deaf ears. So far the increasing belligerence from Russia has been ignored to the peril of the West. Whether Russia is just intent in recovering its lost territories or wants to regain these plus Eastern Europe it gained control of in 1945 is hard to say but I notice Poland is worried while Germany seems blissfully ignorant of the potential threat. In the meantime it would be better to prepare for the worst rather than  ignore the threat from the East.

Problem these days is that the West is so acutely distracted with other things, that the Russians might (not unreasonably) assume we'd gone soft.

It's noteworthy that they don't care one jot about the things we care about, nor do they ever receive one jot of criticism for not doing so.  It's as though they're 100% exempt.

 

 

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1 hour ago, 1949threepence said:

Problem these days is that the West is so acutely distracted with other things, that the Russians might (not unreasonably) assume we'd gone soft.

Yes the attack on the uk with Novichok cost the UK goverment (taxpayer really) £100, 000,000 or was it £10,000,000  I forget now anyway it was quite a few bob  and the comebacks?

Nothing as far as I can see .

Two people have been forever barred from the uk I suspect, they do love wiltshire a lot as well - bet they are gutted.

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, 1949threepence said:

Problem these days is that the West is so acutely distracted with other things, that the Russians might (not unreasonably) assume we'd gone soft.

It's noteworthy that they don't care one jot about the things we care about, nor do they ever receive one jot of criticism for not doing so.  It's as though they're 100% exempt.

I rather think - though it took long enough - that their ongoing ban from international sporting competition continues to sting them.

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I dont really see the connection with sport and novichock I am pretty sure they are barred for cheating , I rather suspect they were cheating for many years , anyone remember how russia took medal after medal in the seventies- early eighties

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18 minutes ago, copper123 said:

I dont really see the connection with sport and novichock I am pretty sure they are barred for cheating , I rather suspect they were cheating for many years , anyone remember how russia took medal after medal in the seventies- early eighties

And East Germany.

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On 7/3/2020 at 7:10 PM, Peckris 2 said:

I rather think - though it took long enough - that their ongoing ban from international sporting competition continues to sting them.

Well they shouldn't cheat. They've got form for it right down the decades, and you'd think it would be obvious to them by now that any wins they do get are tainted by association. Also as you say, East Germany when they were under Russian control, producing female athletes given shots of male hormones etc. Just outright cheating. How else would such a small "nation" have gained so many gold medals at the Olympics? Of course it never worked with football, nor could it. Hence their singular lack of success in that direction.  

Athletes should stick to altitude training. It's very effective and 100% within the rules.  

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12 hours ago, 1949threepence said:

Of course it never worked with football, nor could it. Hence their singular lack of success in that direction. 

Football is a team game. There's no 'team' in EAsT gerMany. (Oops).

 

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On 8/27/2020 at 10:47 PM, Peckris 2 said:

And East Germany.

yes and the rest ov the old soviet block they all pissed in the same pot had the same morals etc

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The back end of 1983, I installed a piece of kit at the Bulgarian doping control labs in Sofia. Drugs in sport were already an issue, so needless to say opinions this end were given that they were looking for chemicals that didn't give a good response, or at least an ambiguous one. ;)

Weird place.

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On 8/29/2020 at 3:37 PM, Rob said:

The back end of 1983, I installed a piece of kit at the Bulgarian doping control labs in Sofia. Drugs in sport were already an issue, so needless to say opinions this end were given that they were looking for chemicals that didn't give a good response, or at least an ambiguous one. ;)

Weird place.

Nobody likes poking around in a flask of urine , LOL.

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Novichock in the enemies undies , whatever next .........

Beat that for an original punishment ...........

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