Russia is a strange country where a beauty contest may precede a nationwide presidential election. As we all know that both of these issues are regular features at this (now sadly self-neglected) blog.
Presenting Miss Russia 2012...from the lovely backyard town of Smolensk
Both contests are meant to be hard and competitive. I am pretty sure that the first one (beauty contest) was very hard but the second had a winner even before it started. Not that I despise Mr.Russia, known as Vladimir Putin to all other ignorant westerners; but there is a growing and sickening similarity that I am slowly getting to realize between him and our beloved prime-minister Tayyip Erdogan.
Let every election be as eyecandy as this one
Turkish Invasion is known for its quasi-liberal and "opposition-no-thank-you" stance and adores all-power autocrats in all third world countries. Russia and Turkey are two of them. Another thing is that the business of opposition in Turkey, just like in Russia, can be more lethal than working in cadmium mines. You can simply get shot or incarcerated in a siberian labor camp in Russia and in Turkey, until a couple of years ago, mainly public ridicule was more than enough for insanely idiotic opposition leaders. Now for a couple of years, all able bodied and media backed opposition leaders and their au militairé supporters share bunkbeds in prison with "suspicion" of supporting terrorism or military coup or both. I am not sure if those bunch ever did support anything more than their pay raise but the judges are there to decide...the main allegation is that they are keeping that decision phase too long to get he inmates rot in prison.
First of all, the question to ask a victorious Putin or Erdogan would be, "Won but Against Whom?". The answer is a mixture of laughter and shame. In Turkey, where the Turkish people enjoy a considerably more colorful political arena than their Russian counterparts, are lucky to have participated their latest election where not a single project or proposal (at least the ones feasible by second grade mathematics) were proposed by the opposition parties. All the opposition created was open ended questions or clauses where Erdogan, with his magic wits (and dozens of creative writers backing him 24/7), glued glorious endings and doubled his vote among the masses, who, sadly, value his calculated arrogance and gallant manners more than his alleged hidden agenda...Hidden Agenda? Hmm...that is also not proved for 10+ years...
In Russia, almost all of the Russian people I know (and I know a lot) do not care about politics. The things they care are more likely: dollar fx rate, their salary increase, what to eat that evening, where to go to holidays in summer, would it snow much the other day, who is the next lover of a famous singer, where to buy a cell phone...etc. As you can see from above, most of these worries are economic of nature and economics of Russia, like most third world countries, depend on (mainly virtual) political stability. So the equation is: if you have stability and no gunshots or tanks in the street, don't change the ruler....that easy.
Erdogan: Yeah and You rule!
Putin: Yeah and so do you!
Erdogan: Hehe ..oh yeah!
I am not sure if Putin and the gang employed some tricks in the election (I don't think they need any and if they needed they would without anybody, even Putin's lappydog Medvedev, knowing it) but to reply these allegations, he ordered to deploy a webcam to every ballot place (I mean, all of them, ranging from rural schools and central government offices to nightclubs, which would be converted to makeshift ballots during the election day) so very interesting photos and caps came out from those cameras.
Erdogan: Yeah! it smells like teen spirit.