27 January, 2021

Red Straws In The Wind

Despite the West's knee-jerk reaction, the communist win is not bad news for democracy or reforms

Red Straws In The Wind
Communism is dead. Long live communism. That seems to be the theme song being played across most of Eastern Europe, much to the consternation of the better-dead-than-Red die-hards in the West, particularly the US. "Communism II, it's alive...just when you thought it was safe for democracy,'' screams a cartoon on the cover of The Economist , which conveniently ignores the fact that it was democracy itself that brought the communists back to power in these states.

As in Poland, Slovakia, Romania and some former Soviet states, most Russians voted for the Left in the recently concluded elections to the lower house of Parliament, or Duma, making the communists the single largest party with nearly 30 per cent of the votes. To balance it off, voters also rallied for the far right represented by Vladimir Zhirinovksy, who is known in certain circles as Moscow's court jester because every time he opens his mouth, the standard response is, "What? You must be joking!'' But his Liberal Democratic Party has come second in the polls after the communists with about 12 per cent of the...



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