BBC, September 24, 2022 – “Ukraine ‘referendums’: Soldiers go door-to-door for votes in polls”
“You have to answer verbally and the soldier marks the answer on the sheet and keeps it. … there was one ballot for the entire household, rather than per person.”

Putin is green; the greenest leader ever. By cutting down the world’s supply of gas and oil, he has contributed so much to cleaning the environment that the opulent, avaricious nations and their leaders have been polluting at a frenetic pace. Before that was Xi, who during the Olympics had shut down everything – factories, construction and roads, to clean the air. The green efforts of such great leaders are obscured by the fact that certain religious zealots, living in sandy deserts fattening themselves on oil, use green flags. They blew up a few planes and a few buildings, aptly described by the religious zealot Ilhan Omar of the US Congress as “some people did something”.

These peaceniks, who spread their message of brotherhood through fiery speeches and fiery other things, have monopolised the colour and the word “green”. The likes of Xi and Putin consider it to be diversionary to be clubbed with them by being labelled green, even for lowering the greenhouse gas levels. Of course, Putin has been doing his bit of religious zealot kind of blast and boom. Xi too keeps talking of doing it across the Taiwan Straits, which should be called the Dire Straits because that is where the little strip of blues, I mean blue water puts the rest of world in.

But we digress. Nobody questions that Putin is evergreen. He has lasted and has claimed to be so fit that he has enunciated a green method of solving international disputes that does not involve any blasts and booms and fuel-guzzling jets and missiles streaking across the skies. On 26th June this year, the G-7 leaders met in the Bavarian Alps to discuss Putin. The Guardian reported the next day that Boris Johnson asked whether they should disrobe to show Putin their pecs. Justin Trudeau, who is never abstruse, or lucid, filled in the details, “bare-chested horseback riding”, so far an exclusive preserve of Putin. As expected Putin reacted very strongly to this naked violation of his Intellectual Property Right (IPR). The Telegraph reported Putin’s response on 30th June, “I don’t know how they wanted to get undressed, above or below the waist,” he said. “But I think it would be a disgusting sight in any case.” Not all that great men say gets reported. We have it from reliable sources, who work at the dining table in the Kremlin, that Putin suggested a wrestling match with Boris and even with evergreen Biden to sort out the Ukraine quagmire. He conveniently forgot to challenge Zelensky for obvious reasons.

Duelling was the method of choice for settling personal insults for the Victorian knights in shining armour. If Putin’s idea is sincerely followed, it will be the greenest method ever for avoiding wars and will consign an already redundant UN to the dustbin of history. It will certainly initiate the process for a well-deserved Nobel Peace Prize for Putin.

Nobel Prizes are given for a life-time’s hard work, not for a single brilliant flash. Putin’s refrendum in the Donbas and other regions will finally clinch the award for him. The BBC published on September 24, “Ukraine ‘referendums’: Soldiers go door-to-door for votes in polls”. These soldiers are armed, in addition to rifles, with ballots and boxes. They ask the choice from the “voter” orally, “Do you want to become part of Russia?” Without bothering the voter further, whose answer is an inaudible, scared murmur, the soldier ticks “Yes”, thanks the voter for his co-operation and time, shakes hands and moves on to the next home.

Further evidence of the deep thought-process that has gone into greening this democratic exercise is the fact that there is a single ballot paper for the whole family, a move that will save thousands of hectares of forest from being chopped down. Climate destroying Americans have huge ballot papers, with lots of small print, that are mailed to all and sundry in big envelopes for early voting. They stuff these in another big envelop and drive down, Americans never walk, to the nearest drop-box. Some of them then drive down to vote again at the polling station on the election day, wasting another large sheet of paper and more fuel. Democracy is so polluting and environment-degrading. The democrats, the green party of the US, have sought to minimise this impact by a simple method called “ballot harvesting”. One green volunteer goes door to door and just like Putin’s soldiers, he too is usually armed but with a deadlier AR-15. He collects the mostly unmarked (Americans are so lazy) ballot papers, marks these and even signs on behalf of the lazy and often ignorant voters and stuffs these into a drop-box, generally at midnight for obvious reasons. The polluting party of the US, called the GOP, is objecting to this green exercise.

Leaving aside these pugilistic American parties whose disagreement often results in arson and looting, another favorite of the Americans, the world is focussed, jaw-dropped, on Putin’s referendum. It involves no driving, very few ballot papers and liberates the voter from hesitation and mood swings so characteristics of democracies. Of course, the best part is that the outcome of the election is known in advance obviating the need for opinion polls, their margins of error and the TV anchors’ excitement about these polls which are not elections. There being no provision for a re-count or re-poll, Putin has already drafted the articles of annexation as also the resolution that will be approved in the Duma and sent for his signatures. Do we need further proof that dictators are more efficient than squabbling, litigating, hesitating democracies?

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