(For previous examples in a collection I’ve recently decided to start, see here, here, here, here, and here.)
This week’s contestant? Kazakhstan, in the NYT’s words:
The Kazakh president, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev, won a third six-year term in December 2005, with 91 percent of the vote in an election that international observers said was flawed. Two opposition politicians have been murdered in six months, raising the specter of instability.
And here’s what Shotgun Dick had to say over the weekend, from the same report:
Asked afterward his opinion of democracy in Kazakhstan, the vice president endorsed the Nazarbayev government without qualification. “I have previously expressed my admiration for what has transpired here in Kazakhstan over the past 15 years,” he said, “both in terms of economic development as well as political development.”
Just because elections get fixed and opposition leaders get murdered doesn’t mean that a place isn’t a democracy, after all. Especially if they’ve got oil.