When I was a kid, Russia was always in the news. It was the COLD WAR and Americans were obsessed with the day-to-day operations of the Soviet Union. Newspapers were filled articles about LEONID BREZHNEV's failing health. There were tons of television interviews with dissidents decrying Russia's lack of personal freedoms. All the while, American satellites were constantly spying on the frozen land from space. Well...the times have changed. The Russian Presidential Elections are THIS SUNDAY! But don't look on the front page of your newspaper for an article. My local paper has the story about the upcoming vote buried on Page C22...near the obituaries.
But that's why you read DUNER'S BLOG! Here's a quick recap of the campaign so far: Initially, it was shaping up to be quite an event. There were compelling politicians debating real issues that could improve the lives of all 150 million Russians. Communist Party candidate GENNADY ZYUGANOV insisted the nation return to Soviet-style politics. Six months ago, pollsters pegged him with 20% of the vote. VLADIMIR ZHIRINOVKY and the Liberal Democratic Party also fared well in the polls...with the complete opposite agenda of the Reds. A new party, A Just Russia was in the mix, as was independent billionaire MIKHAIL PROKHOROV. It looked like the PUTIN / MEDVEDEV stranglehold on Russian politics might finally be loosening.
So far, Putin's plan has worked wondrously. People all over Russia have voiced their opinions about new time zones and how to celebrate the new holiday. No one is talking about corruption and income gaps. However...a true tyrant like 'Mad Vlad' still didn't trust opinion polls...even though they have him winning 65% of the vote. So he went back to another tired and true campaign strategy: FEAR! In a joint Russian / Ukrainian Secret Service Operation, officials announced the foiling a Putin assassination plot. Photos of four, very evil-looking, Muslims appeared in newspapers nationwide. All of which forced Russians to ask themselves the question: Which candidate can best protect me from Islam? The answer is: PUTIN!
|Putin: Russia's toughest leader since Ivan the Terrible.|