While the US politics is dramatic and filled with tensions, Russian politics is absolutely hilarious. Probably, not for the Russian people, but for those of us who observe the events in the country from the outside, Russian politics offers an endless supply of material for jokes.
The people of Russia are preparing for the elections. Today, Russian leaders made an announcement that Prime-Minister Putin will “run” for President. As you must remember, Putin had moved out of the Presidential seat for the last elections and allowed his puppet Dmitri Medvedev to take his place. This was done to pretend that Putin respected the Constitution that didn’t allow him to run for the third term. Now, after Medvedev’s interim Presidency during which this poor puppet didn’t dare to breathe without Putin’s approval, Putin will move back into the President’s office once again. When his new two terms expire, he will probably perform the same trick: appoint some interim schmuck as President, sit out his term as the Prime-Minister, and become President all over again.
This has all been decided before the elections because the elections in Russia have become such a joke that nobody in their right mind takes them seriously. To give an especially egregious example, one of the leaders of one of the strongest parties of the opposition discovered – to his huge surprise – that at the polling station where he and his family voted, not a single vote had been given to his party.
Putin’s ruling party has become so shameless that it just ships in fake ballots by the kilo and substitutes all the actual ballots people deposited in the voting booths.
This is why when I hear people talk about “democracy in Russia” and the “collapse of the Soviet Union” I always have uncontrollable fits of laughter.