"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.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.
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."'
(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