No not the US ones. I'm having a moratorium on them right now. The Romanian ones. The election for president of Romania is coming up at the end of the month, and I thought you might need a little background knowledge on who the candidates are.
First up we have Adrian Nastase. No relation to Ilie, as far as I am aware. He's the current prime minister and preferred candidate of the outgoing president Ion Iliescu. This in my mind makes me suspect that Nastase is no better than his sponsor. And thus not very good. He says diplomatically. However Nastase is younger than Iliescu and presumably not a powerful member of the Ceasescu administration, so at least that tainting by association is second generational rather than first.
Then we have Traian Basescu, the mayor of Bucharest. he recently stepped in to the role of primary challenger to Nastase after some guy called Stolojan pulled out citing health reasons. Basescu has two things going for him (a) he is named after a Roman emperor. I mean, how cool is that? (b) he seems to speak his mind and be fairly upbeat. Thinking is that he is likely to get closer to Nastase than Stolojan would have for precisely that reason.
Next we have the odious Cornelius Vadim Tudor who is not, as the name might suggest, a villan from the Harry Potter books, but a living and breathing villain in his own right. A horrible racist bigot, he taps into Romanian nationalist sentiment and is liable to poll somewhere around about 15%. The guy is a complete psycho. In the last election he came out with some outrageous anti-semitic bullshit the likes of which were probably unseen in European politics since ooh, about 1933, at a guess. Since then he has undergone a "dramatic conversion" and now loves Jews. His vitriol this time round is directed mostly at Hungarians and Roma. His conversion to pro-semitism came after he was invited to visit Israel. Probably he saw how the Palestinians were treated there and decided that the Israeli government at least were of a type to aspire to. I'm intrigued by the idea that you can be a complete bigoted racist bastard and get a free trip to a country out of it. Those bloody Seychellois - they are at the root of all the World's problems.
If Vadim Tudor were a character in Harry Potter he'd be a death eater in thrall to the great unmentionables of 20th Century European politics the three headed Voldemort of Hitler, Stalin, and Ceasescu. The idea that he can get 1 vote astounds me, frankly, but the fact that he's likely to get 15% is appalling.
The only other one I know of is Marko Bela, the candidate of the Hungarian ethnic party. Frankly I don't really know why they have a candidate in national elections. Many Hungarians will likely vote for him, which means that he'll get about 7% of the vote - but why? Surely they'd be better advocating for one of the likely winners to speak to Hungarian issues and make some promises to the community, and therefore use their voting power to bolster support for one of the likely winners. As it stands, basicaly they'll say "Look we're Hungarian and we want you to know that" and the winner will get in and ignore them. Seems weird to me.
I'll keep you updated. I bet you're excited aren't you?