What do you call it when a vote is rigged even when it maybe didn’t even have to be?
Lawmakers in the embattled Crimean region of Ukraine decided Thursday to hold a referendum March 16 on whether Crimea should become part of Russia, a move likely to further ratchet up tensions.
“This is our response to the disorder and lawlessness in Kiev,” Sergei Shuvainikov, a member of the local Crimean legislature, said. “We will decide our future ourselves.”
The parliament in Crimea, which enjoys a degree of autonomy under current Ukrainian law, voted 78 with eight abstentions in favor of holding the referendum. Local voters will also be given the choice of deciding to remain part of Ukraine, but with enhanced local powers.
…because I do suspect that Russia could actually win that vote without cheating (although of course they will cheat, for safety’s sake). There is, after all, a reason why the Crimea ‘enjoys a degree of autonomy under current Ukrainian law:’ the breakup of the Soviet Union was particularly problematical in Ukraine. It’s not shocking to think that the Crimeans might decide that Russia is their least-bad choice.
None of which excuses the Russians trying to rebuild their imperial state, of course. We weren’t joking when we called it the Evil Empire.