Comment: What will the Russians make of us?

PUBLISHED: 11:58 27 April 2007 | UPDATED: 22:46 28 May 2010

A WEEK today we will be hosting a visit from three Russian journalists who have chosen this of all days to pay a visit to the Fens. We could, of course, take them for a lunch of pizza and chips at Bar 23 in March, or offer them a guided tour of Elgoods br

A WEEK today we will be hosting a visit from three Russian journalists who have chosen this of all days to pay a visit to the Fens.

We could, of course, take them for a lunch of pizza and chips at Bar 23 in March, or offer them a guided tour of Elgoods brewery or the Nene Waterfront development in Wisbech.

Instead we thought an altogether more illuminating day might be spent watching votes being counted at Fenland Hall for the district, town and parish council elections.

They will, of course, be able to make such comparisons as they see fit with their own democratic processes, and wonder, no doubt, at not only how few in number are those who bother to vote but stare incredulously at the many candidates elected unopposed.

From a society where, only quite recently, many fought bitterly and for sometime to establish the semblance of a democratic system, thanks in no small part to Boris Yeltsin who died this week, our visitors will doubtles be astonished at the disinterest shown by the British electorate.

But whether they find reassurance or hilarity in our system, it's the only one we've got and it seems to work (just).

For the record, in case you are so tempted, elections for Fenland Council are being held in 22 of the 40 wards. Everyone else has a bye.

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