I’m back

January 3, 2011 § 3 Comments

Did I miss anything? As far as I’m aware:

The Ivory Coast is about to go up in flames, see posts passim.

Belarus had its worst election yet, the last I heard 7 of the 9 candidates who ran were in jail and the results have been exposed as a complete scam. World elections has more here.

Comoros had some fun with expelling “Juju men” for “bewitching voters”. Meanwhile Ikililou Dhoinine, the President’s chosen one, won with 61% of the vote.

I also found this. It sets out to do what I set out to do, and it does so for some 54 of the world’s most interesting countries. I’m not sure what to do about this. Should I just carry on regardless (there is room in the world for two summaries of the political situation in Mauritania, and multiple sources are better than one) or shall I try and work around and fill in the holes? Any thoughts?

In the meantime I’m going to write about the referendums in Sudan and then go on holiday to France for a week. I find the former quite painful because I wrote 2000 exquisite words on Sudan and then lost them all. Anyway, I’m now going to stir myself to re-write them. The next election will be Haiti’s second round on the 16th. I also need to redo the upcoming elections page.

In the meantime here are my awards for 2010:

The Abdul Rashid Dostum award for greatest political survivor:

Silvio Berlusconi. The orange one limps on, winning a vote of confidence by 3 votes after attempting to buy the support of the “Italian Values” party.

The Judean People’s Front award for worst name ever

A close one. I’m giving it to the Ugandan rebel group the “West Nile Bank Front two”. (Note to WBNF2: if a  name has already been taken, accept it and move on, don’t just put 2 on the end). Other nominees include Italy’s “Green Rainbow”(the Rainbow that doesn’t obtain), Albania’s “Unification for Changes” (they chose their name specially to distinguish themselves from the “Alliance for Change”), and the entire political system of Chad.

The “Fine! I’ll go build my own lunar lander, with blackjack and hookers. In fact, forget the lunar lander” award for really really petty party politicking

The Austrian SPO and Freedom parties. Both have brought out comic books to win over young voters. In the Freedom book ,a young kid fights an evil Turkish sultan called “Mustapha” by firing Viennese sausages at him. In the SPO book, a zombie Nazi called “Mr Poo” and his cocaine powered alien android army of “hate rappers” terrorise Austria.

The Bernard Madoff award for aptronymism

The balance of power in the Dutch parliament is held by one lone maverick called Hero Brinkman. Really.

The George Robertson award for starting ridiculous rumours

Whoever came up with the idea that Aung Sang Suu Kyi had been freed after the personal intervention of Roberto Baggio.

The Conrad Black award for surely you never thought you’d be able to get away with that

Portsmouth VA had to elect a new Mayor after James Holley became the first mayor in American history to be recalled twice. Holley was a retired dentist, a stylish dresser, and a former mate of Martin Luther King. He was recalled for asking his PA to perform a number of personal errands on his behalf on taxpayer time. These included:

1 Labelling his socks
2 Searching for English leather
3 Cancelling his playboy subscription
4 Buying tummy support t shirts
5 Finding Gillete hair paste
6 Buying hats
7 Buying exercise videos
8 Sourcing skin cream
9 Finding and buying medium sized wooden shoe trees
10 Ordering grass seed
11 Servicing his Koi pond
12 Scheduling his sprinkler system
13 Entering sweepstakes on his behalf
14 Liaising with his tailor
15 Filling in his travel details for him on websites
16 Buying books on men’s fashion
17 Arranging his holidays
18 Buying his trousers, watches, golf gloves, and reading glasses
19 Scheduling his manicurist
20 Buying him a taser
21 Buying his wife a treadmill
22 Buying statues
23 Buying toy trains and return the ones he didn’t like
24 Fetching his medicine
25 Organising his school reunion
26 Checking his credit status
27 Managing his social club
28 Delivering his magazine
29 Liaising with his social club
30 Indexing and categorising his slide collection
31 Buying knickers and forwarding to his friends
32 Liaising with his broker
33 Sorting out his children’s schedule
34 Paying his membership fees
35 Ordering his lunch
36 Ordering make up for his family
37 Polishing his brass
38 Doing his shopping from Wal Mart
39 Arranging his doctor’s appointments
40 Liaising with his accountant
41 Buying books about American Football
42 Looking up facts about pedigree dogs
43 Buying him gifts
44 Commissioning carpenters and plumbers for his house

Even without any of these things being euphemisms it’s quite a list.

The Pierre Bezukhov award for worst thought out plot ever

The former Chief of Police for Ecuador Freddy Martinez who launched a military coup without asking the army what their take on it all was first. Having tear-gassed the President of Ecuador in the face he then found that there was no-one supporting him. He was relieved of his command.

The troosamabinladine award for lazy copy and paste error / The Sylvio Burlesconi award for not even bothering to hide corruption

The electoral officials of Belarus for seemingly republishing the 2004 election results as the 2010 results.

The Vladimir Putin award for being Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin. This year he shot a whale with a crossbow and he sang blueberry hill to an audience of aged bratpackers:


§ 3 Responses to I’m back

  • glhermine says:

    Yes, you absolutely must/should continue the country profiles. They’re all complete, concise and interesting with stuff you’d never find on Wikipedia/on one single interweb site. Especially given that that specific site covers only a handful of countries and seems way too detailed to provide a good concise overview like you do.

    • Thank you. That’s always nice to hear. I think that is a sensible plan. In addition my ambition for this year is to encourage the website to become a forum for debate and not just a resource. By the way I’ve really enjoyed your last few posts.

  • EFreeman says:

    I agree, you should keep going. I love the country profiles, and they provide a context in which to read the blog posts.

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