Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Armour-plated police

Australian elections are sedate affairs. People queue up for a few minutes at the local primary school on their way to the shops on a Saturday morning. Voting is compulsory – if it wasn’t, everyone would just go straight to the shops. When the results are released, no one suggests there was election rigging. Just like supporters of the losing team at an Australian Rules football game, people shrug their shoulders and say to themselves ‘there’s always next week’. 

There is never, by the way, any spectator violence at Australian Rules games, despite the passion of the supporters. The umpire might be blind and stupid, depending on the decision they just gave, but no one really questions their fairness. Being unfair just isn’t Australian.

 It’s a happy place.

The Russian Presidential elections were held a couple of days ago. 

Yesterday I went for a walk down Tverskaya Ulitsa (street), near where I live. I felt I had walked on to the set of one of those 1960’s apocalyptic science-fiction movies, like Soylent Green. There were more police in Tverskaya than the whole of Australia (OK, I’m exaggerating, but I’m sure you get the drift – there very large numbers). Many were armour plated. 

Armour-plated police
 They had been brought there in military-style transports, and incongruously, mini-bus. There were heavy duty paddy-wagons. Lining the street there seemed to be every orange, city-maintenance truck in Moscow. There were barricades. 

Moscow is not a happy place.

Just some of the police transport vehicles

More armour-plated police
Paddy wagon

The communist rally at Pushkin Square. They came in second, with about 17% of the vote.
Lenin is still kicking on. The image on these flags is gazing at the largest McDonalds in Moscow.

1 comment:

  1. Well, when the Queen will install a Governor-General of Russia, elections here will became a sedate thing, like it in Australia.