Sunday, March 02, 2008

Hmm...I Wonder Who Will Win?

The Russians are voting today.
"Medvedev is a wonderful, young, handsome energetic man who will continue Putin's work and be a shining example to our children," said Tamara Razumova, who works in a polling station in Moscow."*
Wonderful. Young. Handsome. Energetic. Yeah, that'll get the job done. What more do you need? (I've actually heard my fellow citizens using these same adjectives to explain why they're voting for Obama.)
"Polling stations offered food and office supplies at a discount. In Medvedev's native St. Petersburg, some voters quaffed bargain beer at their polling place. Others showed up for the goods - but didn't bother to vote."
Bargain beer. An idea whose time has come? I imagine the vote would increase among certain U.S. constituents if amber liquid beckoned at polling places. If I weren't already a faithful voter the office supplies would tempt me.

But the Russian election is no laughing matter. No matter how unhappy I am with McCain, Obama, and Clinton at least I have a certain amount of voice. Plus I can choose whether or not to vote at all without jeopardizing my livelihood.
"Government-paid teachers and doctors across the country complained that they were being pressured to vote at their workplace under the gaze of their superiors, to ensure a convincing win and a high turnout for Medvedev. Golos, an election monitoring group, reported similar accounts.

Sofia, 25, a history teacher in southwestern Moscow, said the principal required her and colleagues to cast ballots at a polling station set up on the school premises.

'This is terrible, they are not leaving us any choice,' said Sofia, who declined to give her last name out of fear of losing her job. She said she destroyed her ballot in protest."'
Keeping Russian elections in mind, I will curtail my sniveling about the madness of a U.S. election year. I will be grateful for what I have, vote the best I can, and consider that the strength of our country lies within each of its citizens. If we don't like it, we need to work for our desired changes. While holding onto good we can work for better.

(And if anyone bribes your vote at the polling station have the class to sell it for premium brew only. Your vote it worth more than a Bud Light.)

* All quotes from the Associated Press

15 comments:

Sandy's Notes said...

Cherie, in today's world you would think life is better than this. I have such a hard time accepting that there are people running countries in such archaic ways.

This is a great post. I must admit, I am enjoying this whole process of the presidential race. I see it through much older eyes now and love the freedom we have to accept, criticize, and ultimately vote for what we believe. I still don't know who I'm voting for.

Cecily said...

It's an interesting one, Russia, isn't it. I have been feeling very sad (perhaps even more than sad) for the people, for they are unable to see the way they are manipulated. OK, so beer at the polling booth is pretty obvious, but media manipulation is not so obvious when you are the one being manipulated.

Cherie said...

I agree, Sandy. Hard to believe, but true. I don't know who I'm going to vote for either so we are in the same boat there.

Cecily, I too feel very bad for the Russian people, objects of power hungry others who use them for their own objectives. It's awful. And frightening.

Mike S said...

"objects of power hungry others who use them for their own objectives"

Although I generally refrain from political comentary, this made me wonder if Exxon-Mobile, Haliburton, KBR, etc, etc,... aren't just as bad, only different? Granted, we CAN express ourselves pretty freely, but it's frightening to realize that the USA has a percentage of its population incarcerated nearly equal to that of the USSR at the height of Stalin's pogroms. Now this administration is trying its hardest to erase many of the constitutional protections and consolidate power in a near-imperial presidential office.
Who feels it more? Those who haven't really known freedom like the Russians, or those like us who have it and are letting it errode through populism and apathy?

Mike S said...

Addendum...it'll take a good single malt Scotch to bribe THIS Old Indian Fella!!

SEAN RECKLESS said...

I'm not voting unless they have Guinness, and a small chaser, please, and thank you.
-----------
Observers from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) said Russia's "democratic potential" was unfulfilled.
--------
Nothing has changed in Russia- the Ministeries are now the companies, protected by private malitia who make sure their masters get what they desire without even having to ask. That's how the likes of Putin can wash his hands of the murder of ANNA POLITKOVSKAYA: a fine journalist, and a tireless critic of the Kremlin and of President Vladimir V. Putin,+ an advocate for victims of human rights abuses.
Look at Russia, and remember- this is what happens when you become less involved in the democratic process, and make sure the checks, and balances there-in are maintained- freedom of speech, to assemble, undue process, the right to bear arms, ........... freedom of minorities ...
Great Post!
-------------
Quote: "I'll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest,
Where the people are many and their hands are all empty,
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters,
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison,
Where the executioner's face is always well hidden,
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten,
Where black is the color, where none is the number,
And I'll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it,
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it ...."

Cherie said...

All things that concern me, too, Mike.

"Who feels it more? Those who haven't really known freedom like the Russians, or those like us who have it and are letting it errode through populism and apathy."

I know that the eroding freedoms are very apparent to me and I rail against the system. It seems that those who have felt freedom find ways, in their frustrations, to get it back that are sometimes, well, not what Big Brother would smile upon. I don't think the outcome of this election is going set in motion the freeing up of those restraints, but I'm still going to vote the best I can. I figured you'd prefer Scotch! :D

Sean, you made my morning by quoting Bobby. These lyrics go through my mind often these days.

"Look at Russia, and remember- this is what happens when you become less involved in the democratic process, and make sure the checks, and balances there-in are maintained- freedom of speech, to assemble, undue process, the right to bear arms, ........... freedom of minorities ..." This is so right on. Apathy is an enemy of freedom.

You know how frightening I find all of this. It's encouraging to find people like you and Mike who will discuss it. Knowledge is power and we get a lot of knowledge by observing others - and ourselves. And I figured it was Guinness for you (I even considered changing the phrase 'amber liquid' to represent something, you know, darker. :D

Thanks to you both for very insightful comments. I wish I could respond better but I'm looking down the barrel of a dentist appointment in a few minutes.

tony said...

never trust anyone who says they like black sabbath...........

tshsmom said...

Mike and Sean beat me to it!

I plan on writing in a candidate of MY choice to show the 2-party system my lack of confidence in them!

Cherie said...

Tony, HA!! Got me laughing now.

Tshs: Are you writing in L? ;)

tshsmom said...

Nah, he's too honest to be a politician. ;)

I've been known to write in "None of the Above".

Cherie said...

None of the above.....now that's an honest vote.

Mike S said...

I refuse to NOT vote, so none of the above may appear on my ballot as well. It'd take a lotta Scotch to make me want any of the present choices methinks.

tshsmom said...

Me too Mike!!
If we don't vote, everybody says we're too apathetic to vote. This way I don't get accused of being apathetic or lazy. Plus, I can make my own statement about the poor quality candidates we have to choose from.

Cherie said...

I'm with you, Mike. I refuse to NOT vote. A lot of us are wondering who's name to mark on election day. Weird. A whole lotta Scotch, huh. ;D

Tshs: I vote the best I can because I refuse to be turned away from the privilege. Feels like my vote is worthless as far as effecting any change sometimes, but the act itself keeps me plugged into my country and my freedom. Seems like a small thing, but it's not. Some elections my voice makes more of a difference, I suppose. There are always local issues and candidates that my vote really does effect. I've voted in every election since I was 18. Sure look forward to the day when we have some good candidates, though! Been a long dry spell...