Democracy, from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary: "A government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections."
Now, after reading the definition of democracy, let's examine the results of the Donetsk referendum held yesterday. So far, the results say that 90% of voters chose to secede from Ukraine. This does not mean that the region will join Russia. Another referendum will be held at a later date asking voters if they want to reunify with the Russian Federation.
90% in favor. 71.4% turnout. According to the Separatist regime. The regime that was not elected by the people of the region. This 'government' was created by force, not by democracy. Guns, not votes. We are in 2014. The violent takeover of a government should not be happening.
When the rebels set the referendum in place, the entire West (Europe, Canada and the US) decried it, arguing that the results would be illegitimate. Indeed, the results aren't legitimate at all. Reuters reports that some of the ballots arrived already pre-marked 'yes,' in favor of seperating from Ukraine. There are also news reports that some people voted multiple times.
When people vote more than once, and when ballots come to the polling stations already marked, that's not democracy. It's a farce. Democracy is when an election or referendum is held with blank ballots. People are only allowed one vote. It's unfortunate that the Russian Federation is even recognizing these results.
A year ago, Russia was a growing country, the economy was booming and the people were happy. Now, because of Russia's Soviet-style anti-democratic actions, they will continue to be punished.
About The Author
Matthew Frank Kot was born and raised here in Sault Ste Marie. He first starting writing articles for Soonews.ca in early 2008, becoming the city's youngest columnist and journalist. He then went on to write for Local2, and for a short time had his "MATTer of Opinion" column on SaultOnline.com. Matthew was very involved in the 2010 and 2014 Municipal Elections and wrote several opinion pieces about important issues. In 2011, Matthew started Sault Transit Reform and has continued advocating for a better transit system since then.