The Ultimate Promise: Never-Ending Summer

With parliamentary elections just six months away, there is a lot of talk these days about political parties.

Most prominent, of course, is Nash Dom -- Rossia (Our Home Is Russia), Viktor Chernomyrdin's bloc that, despite accusations of a nomenklatura revival, signaled its new ways a few weeks ago by holding an opening bash at a flashy nightclub.

But enough of circles of power. There is another, little-known party that, in this writer's view, has much more to offer. It's a party that warms to its agenda like no other: Dvizheniye Subtropicheskaya Rossia (The Subtropical Russia Movement).

Modest, low-key, and full of plans for a bright future, the party's goal, besides getting elected, is ulushchenii klimata, povyshenii temperatury okruzhaiyushchei sredy i ustanovlenii vyechnogo lyeta (improvement in climate, raising of environmental temperature and establishment of eternal summer).

Surely Subtropic Russia's main goal, radikalnaya klimaticheskaya reforma (radical climatic reform) is as realistic as bringing inflation down. Once its leaders come to power minimalnaya temperatura okruzhaiyushchei sredy (minimal temperature in the environment) will be 20 degrees Celsius.

The party's only requirement is that you own a Hawaiian shirt. With such admirable aims it may even put the Beer Lovers' Party to shame.

In a xeroxed set of programniye tezisy (program theses) penned in perfect party bureaucratese, the interested political activist may easily acquaint him or herself with Subtropic Russia's plan of action.

Among the reasons to cast your vote for these mavericks is that massive state funds will be saved for other purposes because much less will have to be spent on heating. And the food problem will be automatically resolved V nashei strane budut proisrastat' vse subtropicheskiye kultury, uvelichitsya urozhainost traditsionnykh kultur (All subtropical crops will grow in our country, and the capacity of traditional crops will also increase), the party promises.

Problemy sotsial'nogo obespecheniya i zdravokhraneniya (problems of social security and health) will also be resolved, according to the theses, because voters will no longer have to waste money on warm clothing and because those nasty winter colds will disappear, saving the medical establishment's and the employer's money and time.

The party also has its own voyennaya politika (military policy). In view of the new leisurely subtropic climate, the military machine must transform its facilities into doma otdykha (rest homes) and sanatorii (sanitariums).

Of course, these are all campaign promises. But Subtropic Russia is already bringing some of them to fruition. How else, after all, would we be getting 30 degrees of sun in May?