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George, Hugo, and Vladimir

Two votes. Two decidedly different outcomes.

Voters took to the polls overseas this weekend and the results are an illuminating look at how the US has handled its foreign policy. For in a country we ostensibly label an ally, democracy has taken even more of a backslide while in one constantly denounced as authoritarian, the voice of the people rang loud and rang true.

First up: Russia where President Vladimir Putin's party won a landslide sweep in the parliamentary elections. Speculation is already off and running that Putin will use this win to continue to remain in power past the end of his term early next year. What form that will take remains to be seen but it is a safe bet that like his soul eyed counterpart in the US, Putin will find someway to remain influential beyond his tenure.

But such an authoritarian move is getting very little attention as compared to that of the defeat of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's referendum seeking more power. Unlike Putin, Chavez put the issue of whether he could stay past his current term to a vote and the people responded. Even more surprising is that Chavez, though chastised, vows to abide by the vote and even goes to far as claim it as proof that there is no dictatorship in his country.

So on the one hand we have a man who has been referred to as a Latin American version of Hitler praising a vote against him and on the other we have a man who seems bent subverting democracy to stay in power at all costs.

No wonder Bush sees eye to eye far more with the latter than he does with the former.

See also Cernig.

Blog Thanks: Salon's Blog Report for linking to the ASZ of this post.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)

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