Politically-correct tigers and more “electioneering”

It’s been a great week for Russian politics, or for what passes for politics in Russia. The “election” season has started, which means lots of meaningless bullshit from all parties involved. Here’s a round-up:

First, we had President Medvedev convening a forum on how to root out the evils of xenophobia in Russia. The speaker of the Duma, Boris Gryzlov, of course added his two cents, and what shiny pennies they were. “We Russians want to live in friendship with others,” he said, adding that “this feature is not inherent to other nationalities.”

That same day, A Just Russia, the party organized by the Kremlin to be a faux opposition party but has since become lord knows what, decided to change its flag and find a new political mascot. They were looking for something to convey strength, honor, dignity. They wanted, according to a source cited in Kommersant, “some kind of animal — something powerful, noble, beautiful, politically correct.” The politically-correct animal they ended up settling for was the Ussuri tiger. How was its politesse made manifest? “The key is that the tiger is more powerful than the bear” — United Russia’s symbol — “people are scared of it.”

Moving right along, we come back to Gryzlov, the #2 in United Russia. The man has clearly hired a young marketing strategist who told him the party needs to rebrand, too, with something more positive, perhaps, than a bear. Coming fresh off the “we’re friendlier than all y’all” success, Gryzlov announced his version of the “Yes, we can!” slogan: “First in everything.” Rolls off the tongue and accurate.

And today we have the last and best installment — of good old fashioned mudslinging. United Russia Duma deputy Vladimir Medinsky took a stance on a real bread-and-butter issue: getting Lenin out of his damn tomb. “Lenin is an extremely controversial political figure, and his presence as a central figure housed in a necropolis in the heart of country is highly absurd,” Medinsky said, adding that the mausoleum was “an absurdist, pagan, necrophilic mission on Red Square.” “It’s satanism,” Medinsky added, for fear, perhaps, that his subtlety would be lost on the electorate.

It’s on, people. It is on.

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16 Responses to Politically-correct tigers and more “electioneering”

  1. marknesop says:

    ” The “election” season has started, which means lots of meaningless bullshit from all parties involved.”

    Fair enough. Just as long as you don’t subscribe to the notion it’s anything but lots of meaningless bullshit anywhere else.

  2. Igor says:

    Ржу нимагу- a politically correctly-scary animal just had to be the one with the stripes on the coat.

    IMHO a good piece – in line with J. Carson’s “What Democracy Means To Me” about US. And what can one do if “..unlike communism, democracy does not mean having just one ineffective political party; it means having two ineffective political parties “? I guess just laugh about it.

  3. Tim Newman says:

    We’ve got elections coming up in Nigeria. I’m not too sure what the various policies are under discussion, but we’ve been advised to stay off the streets and keep our heads down. Now that’s a proper election!

  4. grafomanka says:

    The tiger idea is not bad, maybe by emphasizing tiger as Russian’s symbol more money will pour into save the tiger initiatives (also what’s a politically incorrect animal? pedobear?)
    Kind of agree with Mr Medinsky, high time for Lenin to leave the Red Square.

  5. Pingback: Official Russia | Rebranding the One-Party State

  6. Igor says:

    Hm.. I suspect for a young female journalist there could be better ways to express her sentimental feelings, than to insist on putting a stuffed human corpse on public display.

  7. paul rimple says:

    Removing Volodya would be such a Stalin thing to do.

  8. Young male journalist says:

    I’d hate to see the tomb itself removed. I consider it one of Moscow’s architectural marvels, untouched by the construction boom. As for the dude inside… I dunno, I think he paid his debt to the country by being on public display for so many years. Maybe Slavik can outsource some Madam Tussaud professionals to fit the tomb with an exact replica – but made of wax… not flesh.
    Also an excellent opportunity to spend, say, a billion or two on the project, don’t you think?

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