Since the Kremlin has already informed governors that it expects them to provide United Russia with no less than 70% of the vote, all of this ballot fixing is a little much. But then again, it has produced the Eternal Remont Quote Of The Year:
"I began touching them, and Volodin started to shout, 'Bakov is touching the balls!' Then other people tried to stop me." -- Anton Bakov from the Union of Right Forces (Thanks Chalmers!)
Meanwhile, Igor notes this recent survey by the Levada Center.
--55% want presidential term limits increased to 7 years
--53% want the constitution changed to let Putin stay for "three or four terms"
--BUT, only 17% want him to be "president for life," down (incredibly) from 35% in April
"I'm trying to straighten this out. If you increase the terms to 7 years, and give Putin two more of those (plus the three years that would be "left" in this term), the man will rule Russia for a total of 25 years. How is that not a "President for Life"?
Obviously, respondents weren't asked all those thing in combinations. But it still boggles the mind. P.S. The respondents also didn't like the "Putin as PM" ploy, only 23% in support, so I think Surkov and Co. missed on that one."