Monday, March 23, 2009

Potemkin Ballot Boxes?

Having looked at some You Tube videos of the 2007 elections in the DPRK I notice that the same voting station appears again and again. My own photograph was taken and appears in the English language newspaper, The Pyongyang Times, for that week. This is interesting because I wonder if it is the only place where a pantomime of democracy was staged? Given the fact that the official news organs broadcast 100 percent turnouts this would seem to be very counterproductive propaganda. I would think that even the most brutal totalitarian states (of which the DPRK is surely one) it would make no sense for the state to tell everyone they had voted when they would know that they had not.
So, does the whole country go through the motions of rubber-stamping the only candidate they are allowed to or does only a fraction of the population get to do even that?



Theholyghost said...

I seem to remember Saddam claiming 100% turnout and 100% of the vote. Not sure who the electorate were though. Everybody or a chosen few?

angrysoba said...

Iraqi officials say President Saddam Hussein has won 100% backing in a referendum on whether he should rule for another seven years.
There were 11,445,638 eligible voters - and every one of them voted for the president, according to Izzat Ibrahim, Vice-Chairman of Iraq's Revolutionary Command Council.

I'm guessing that some of these would count as spoiled ballots in the UK, though.

During polling, many voters trampled American flags and some signed their ballot-papers in their own blood in a display of loyalty to their leader.

Still, he did better than his previous election in which he won a pitiful 99.96%