I'm glad you asked, atalanta. I was going to. I tried it in google. All I could find was it being used in commentaries like the one currently circulating. I think the oldest reference I found was a little less than a year old. I was wondering just when and where Old Joe said it. I didn't turn up any cites in quotation reference books.
quote:Originally posted by atalanta16: I have seen the quote on political placards, in Florida, but I still don't find any reputable source or context cited.
Attached is my response to Jim Condit's excuse for spreading this information:
Subj: Re: Stalin Quote Date: 11/28/00 5:52:13 AM Pacific Standard Time From: Atalanta16 To: firstname.lastname@example.org
In a message dated 11/28/00 4:27:57 AM Pacific Standard Time, email@example.com writes:
<< Dear Atalanta -- I was just passing on the quote as told to me by a caller on a call in show and by several who wrote. The whole story is told on "Rush Limbaugh quotes Stalin" in our "red hot news" section under I believe e-wire Nov 24, 2000 or so. Regards, Jim Condit Jr. >> Jim,
Unfortunately, after three weeks of research the best I can find regarding this quote is that it is merely "attributed" to Josef Stalin. Not a single reference to the context or source of the statement. This particularly "myth" has finally been '"passed on" to the placards of demonsrators in Florida. What a sad commentary on our times that we accept without question whatever we are told. A victory for Stalin, don't you think?
You are a crusader against voter fraud... i would think your standards would be a little higher. It undermines the credibility of your efforts.
quote:Originally posted by atalanta16: Can anybody confirm or deny this quote attributed to Stalin? I can't find it in Bartlett's but it's being posted everywhere.
The people who vote decide nothing. The people WHO COUNT the vote decide everything."
I agree with the others who say that this probably was not said by Stalin. It sounds more like a politician who doesn't have the ability to just have his enemies killed if they irritate him. I would think it might be attributable to Mayor Daley or LBJ or Plunkett of Tammeny Hall.
You think it's bad finding the source in English...try it in Russian. It pops up a lot in Russian sites, usually surrounding elections in the last few years. The way it's mentioned though is as if it has been around a long time. It is either attributed to Stalin, or just "the old saying." The problem is that I found ten variations of it, and I'm not sure that's all. None say where or when Comrade Stalin allegedly said this nor do they give any other context. The most common version is "Ne vazhno, kak golosuyut. Vazhno, kto schitaet"---It is not important how (they) vote. It is important who counts. Other versions are:
Ne vazhno, kak golosovali lyudi, vazhno, kak schitali---It's not important how the people voted, it's important how they were counted.
Na vyborakh ne vazhno kak golosuyut, vazhno kak schitayut---In elections it's not important how they vote, it's important how they count.
Ne vazhno, kak golosuyut, vazhno ---kak schitayut---It's not important how they vote, it's important how they count.
Ne vazhno, kak golosuyet elektorat, vazhno kto schitaet.--It's not important how the electorate votes, it's important who counts.
Ne vazhno, kto golosuyet, vazhno, kto schitaet---It's not important who votes, it's important who counts.
Ne vazhno, kto kak golosuyet. Vazhno kto schitaet. It's not important how someone votes, it's important who counts.
Eto ne vazhno, kto golosuyet. Vazhno kto schitaet golosa. It is not important who votes. It is important who counts the votes.
Ne vazhno, kto vybiraet, vazhno, kto schitaet golosa. It is not important who chooses, it's important who counts the vote.
Ne vazhno kak progolosuyut, vazhno, kto schitat’ budet. It is not important who will vote, it's important who will be counting.
[This message has been edited by pinqy (edited 12-19-2000).]
I mentioned in another thread (which I can't now find) that Dick Durbin (D-IL) was among the first accused of quoting Stalin along these lines. I had heard him on the radio explaining that he was quoting a play, and promised to follow up with details when I got them.
The play was Jumpers by Tom Stoppard. The exact quote is "It's not the voting that's democracy; it's the counting." I don't have a copy of it, and am not going to buy one to verify it, but it sounds like the gist of it is not that cheaters win, but that while anyone can hold an election, a true democracy actually abides by the outcome.
It does sound like something that would be easy to confuse with the apparently well-known Russian proverb(s?) published by pinqy, and that's probably where the confusion came in. It would be easy for someone with a knowledge of Russian culture to "recognize" it, and then it's only a small step to attribute it to Stalin (who probably did say it at one time or another, if it was as popular in his era).
I don't have a copy of Durbin's original audio, so I don't know how accurately he quoted Stoppard.
[This message has been edited by huginn (edited 12-21-2000).]