Posted 7 февраля 2022, 12:15
Published 7 февраля 2022, 12:15
Modified 24 декабря 2022, 22:38
Updated 24 декабря 2022, 22:38
The mayor's office of Novosibirsk stopped the electronic voting on the choice of the city's mascot a day before the end of the procedure, since the orangutan was in the first place. The Novosibirsk authorities announced the vote in mid-January, offering residents to choose between five inhabitants of the local zoo: the Amur tiger Max, the snow leopard Sayan, the polar bear cub Shilka, the cat Aisha and the orangutan Batu.
At first, the snow leopard and the manul were in the lead, but then, when the Novosibirsk politician Boyko called on his supporters, independent deputies, and journalists to vote for the orangutan, the monkey pulled ahead, gaining almost 40% of the vote.
According to local media reports, the administration of the President of the Russian Federation was very worried about the vote - allegedly, the mayor's office of Novosibirsk received a "request from above" that the orangutan should not become a symbol of the New Year's capital. And this morning, unexpectedly, the snow leopard Sayan rose from the last line and got ahead of Batu - about 20 thousand votes were thrown at him overnight. The elections were eventually stopped ahead of schedule because the zoo did not like the "political overtones" and "offensive memes". Batu still took the lead, but officials are now not going to take into account the results of the survey.
However, Gleb Cherepanov, the mayor's spokesman, told Podyom that he was unaware of the Kremlin's demand to prevent the monkey from winning:
“I don’t know where the information comes from that someone contacted someone, I don’t know about any calls from the presidential plenipotentiary.
In general, Novosibirsk citizens express their opinion and vote on different platforms: on our municipal platform, on State Services, and on social networks. The topic evoked a lively response from the townspeople, we only welcome it. There are many venues, whether there were cheats there, I can’t say. But this is the site of the mayor's office - what kind of cheats can there be?
This hilarious event generated copious comments in both the media and social media. Journalist Dmitry Kolezev notes that the authorities were frightened even by such a comical form of protest:
“In favor of Batu, opposition-minded politicians and bloggers spoke out. The orangutan was also supported by federal bloggers (for example, Ilya Varlamov). Even the head of the city, Anatoly Lokt, had to comment on the elections.
A wonderful story turned out not only about Novosibirsk and not only about the zoo. It is about how people need elections and, in general, any form of collective participation of citizens in the life of society. About how protest moods can take the most bizarre forms. About how the authorities are afraid of even such a comical protest. Finally, about the fact that the organizers of the elections, if there is no public control over them, do not accept the result with which they do not agree.
Any collective action of citizens carries a political connotation. When there is virtually no public competition policy in the country, even the election of the city's mascot, on which nothing at all depends, turns into an important political phenomenon. Elections themselves consolidate people, mobilize them, form groups, and identify leaders. This process is complex and, if you do not drive it into a rigid framework, poorly predictable. Even tough filtering of candidates does not solve the problem of protest voting. If people are tired of the current government, they are ready to vote even for an orangutan. Naturally, the election authorities are afraid - as we had the pleasure of seeing - but their anxiety only fuels the protest.
I think the story of the orangutan Batu must definitely get into textbooks on the latest political history of Russia, if any are ever written ... "
Journalist Igor Shulika is even more outspoken:
“The administration told Novosibirsk that it was possible to elect an orangutan-Stalinist as the mayor of the city, but not a symbol of the New Year’s capital. Residents do not agree with this, they vote for the monkey, and bots vote against. Everything is like in real elections. Especially if you use DEG ... "
Meanwhile, such comparisons appear on the network:
“Why should the orangutan Batu be the mayor of Novosibirsk, and not the communist Anatoly Lokot:
1) the orangutan is a peaceful animal. He does not demand the capture of Kiev and the bombing of Mariupol;
2) the orangutan will be very inexpensive for taxpayers. He is ready to be satisfied with the bark of trees, branches and even insects. He doesn't need a personal black Lexus;
3) the orangutan is a very honest primate. In 2008, at the Leipzig Zoo, scientists recorded “reciprocity of convenience” between orangutans: they exchanged gifts and before that they weighed them so that the gifts were of equal value;
4) the orangutan does not open new monuments to Stalin and memorial plaques to Kim Il Sung;
5) an orangutan is a well-bred animal. After eating the fruit, he wipes his lips with a leaf, as with a napkin;
6) the orangutan is explained by gestures. Therefore, he will not bother others with flat jokes and anecdotes ... "
Meanwhile, the authorities did not jokingly consider that some dark extremist forces were behind the vote.
Public figure Vyacheslav Chernov comments on this statement as follows:
"Very funny. They threw it in, and "organized groups" are citizens who honestly voted. How firmly in their rotten heads the idea has settled that people who do not share their views are organized crime ... "
The writer Sergei Besedin habitually translated the situation into a satirical channel, where, in fact, she belongs to them:
“Novosibirsk City Hall, at the request of the zoo, canceled the vote for the symbol of the New Year's capital, in which the orangutan Batu was in the lead. “It is not good when animals are created into offensive memes and used as an instrument of their political ambitions,” the zoo management said.
The head of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, Alexander Bastrykin, has already stated that he will apply for Batu to be given the status of a foreign agent. “It turned out that the orangutan does not even have Russian citizenship - only a residence permit,” Alexander Ivanovich added. - Recently, Batu has been repeatedly seen in extremist antics: inarticulate cries, clearly anti-Russian, showing his ass to high-ranking guests of the zoo, among whom, by the way, were the governor, the plenipotentiary and the metropolitan. Unfortunately, we cannot initiate a criminal case, since Batu is already serving a life sentence, but there is a proposal to subject him to deportation to his historical homeland in Indonesia.”
Rosfinmonitoring announced that Batu's personal campaign account was blocked, and everyone who fed him bananas would fall under close banking control.
Vladimir Solovyov said that he was preparing a special issue of his YouTube program dedicated to the orangutan, and was already successfully rehearsing a parody of the primate in front of the mirror.
"Scum" and "zoological Russophobe" called Batu Vladimir Zhirinovsky. “Do we have few truly Russian animals? Why do we need this alien? - the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party was indignant. - We have our own, native hamster, wolverine, mammoth and indrik-beast. You should have chosen an English bulldog!”
Dmitry Kiselev did not stand aside either. “The orangutan and the orange revolution have the same root. Coincidence? I do not think!" - said the venerable presenter.
We continue to monitor the development of the situation…”