But in 2012 the political cycles of four out of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council happen to coincide; and those five – the US, Britain, France, Russia and China – are still the world’s most influential political powers.
Only Britain won’t choose a new government this year.
Let’s begin with Russia. Tomorrow will be the first and probably only round of the presidential election there.
After his constitutional pas-de-deux with Dmitri Medvedev, the deputy prime minister who became president for a term, Vladimir Putin can climb back into the presidential chair again.