It would be unusual, to say the least, for a proud people like those of the Russian Federation to name someone who has no connection to their land as the most important figure in history. But Winston Churchill came very close in this exercise in Russia, which was intended to ensure that the country is completely prepared for the logistics involved in their upcoming election. Voters were asked to appear at twelve polling stations around the city of Moscow and cast their vote for the “maker of world destinies,” a made-up title indicating the most important historical figure of all time.
Churchill faced stiff competition against a line-up including Peter the Great, Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, and Napoleon. Voters were able to acquaint themselves with the candidates’ biographies and achievements before casting their vote, so it was not necessary to be a skilled historian before getting started. Despite Russia’s great pride and vibrant history, Russian emperor Peter the Great won by a relatively slim margin against Sir Winston, who came out the second out of the five contenders. This may go to show that Russia still prizes its vital role defeating the Nazi regime in the Second World War.
Although this may sound like a fun diversion, it is actually a very important part of preparing the country for its upcoming election. In the election, webcams will be used at each polling station so that -- for the first time in Russia, and perhaps for the first time anywhere -- anyone with internet access will be able to personally monitor the democratic process. Let’s hope that the outcome of the real election is just as favorable to genuine leadership.