GETTING RUSSIA READY FOR A GOOD TIME

Happiness

“Happiness lies in love,” Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin gravely informed journalists a few months ago.

Considering Putin’s recent presidential campaign, it’s safe to assume that “love” means something close to “lust for hot girls and technological gadgets”. Over the past year, the Prime Minister has been wooing the Russian electorate with promises of an IPad 2 and more than a few sexy viral videos. Election day is imminent, so let's recap:

In one stirring advertisement, a young political activist encouraged her peers to tear apart their shirts and all the other “obstacles” that stand in the way of Putin’s re-election. It kind of makes sense if you’ve been paying attention to Putin’s other career as mankind’s vanguard in the struggle against oppressive upper-body wear. (Inexplicably, Ukrainians protesting against Putin’s politics are also going topless. A misunderstanding?)

In another video, Putin’s political party United Russia encouraged voters to do their civic duty during the upcoming election. By voting? No. In Moscow, patriots use voting booths to populate the Motherland with illegitimate, Putin-loving children.

Critiques of such populist advertising can't help but sound nerdy: "United Russia has forgotten that voting in Russia is meant to be secret,” says Gennady Gudkov, a member of an opposition party. "According to the law, a person who drops their ballot in the box should be completely alone in the booth."

But Putin knows that anyone who likes sex will like a sexy government. It's not by accident that, in 2007, even the Japanese voted Putin as one of the sexiest politicians in the world, and Time Magazine named him “Man of the Year”. He has 499 famous celebrity friends. He is an alpha-dog, the Batman to Medvedev’s Robin, an irresistable bender of frying pans.

And after a long, hot voting session, Putin’s still the kind of man who wants to cuddle. He cares about his countrymen, which is why he has promised to take drastic steps towards improving life in Russia, like restoring daylight savings time.

Despite the anti-government protests rocking Moscow, Putin’s return to the throne will soon have naysayers thinking in terms of sex, excitement and love, instead of boring old transparency, legal reform and equality of opportunity. Since Putin came to power in 2000, Russians have already learned to think more positive. In the words of political mastermind Iosif Dzhugashvili, “Life has become better, Comrades. Life has become more cheerful”. Putin is back to cheer you up.