We manage to avoid this kind of pain in the UK, because election terms aren't fixed, so you tend to get a few weeks notice. Everyone turns off their TVs and stops buying newspapers, and in next to no time they've decided which of the loonies is going to run the asylum and we all get back to our daily lives.
It's different when you have these fixed presidential terms. They can start planning, commenting, speculating, years in advance. Not being a political person, I've avoid letting all this pollute my blog, but I thought I should have a go at this pundit thing.
Commenting about another country's politics is a dangerous business. I could offend someone. With that aim in mind, I thought I'd give my worthless opinion on a topic that I don't really know that much about. It's always far easier to come up with crude generalisations from a state of ignorance.
So, here goes:
Brian's Guide to the Presidential Race
I wanted to start by giving my prediction for who will win, but I forgot to ask Jean Knee. The main contenders are pretty much level pegging in the polls, and I couldn't find a swingometer in any of the DIY stores.
The Middle Ground
Name: Tassos Papadopoulos.
Current occupation: President of Cyprus.
Details: Okay, it's true that he's had five years and hasn't solved the Cyprus Problem, but re-elect him and he will this time. Supports a bizonal, bi-ethnic federation. Unlike the other candidates, his solution won't lead to the island being divided.
The Worker's Friend
Name: Dimitris Christofias
Current Occupation: President of the Cyprus Parliament
Details: Former ally of Tassos, he's appalled at the mismanagement and broken promises of the last five years. And he's not responsible for any of it. Supports a bizonal, bi-ethnic federation. Unlike the other candidates, his solution won't lead to the island being divided. Oh, and don't mention the word "Communist", Comrade.
Name: Ioannis Kasoulides
Current Occupation: Euro-MP
Details: Was foreign minister in a previous government. Centre right candidate. A former doctor, he recently interrupted a speech to administer first aid to one of the audience. Supports a bizonal, bi-ethnic federation. Unlike the other candidates, his solution won't lead to the island being divided.
There are several other candidates, including a guy in a tracksuit and a bandana, that unfortunately I couldn't find a picture of. There's also a candidate using the "Guinness Book of Records" logo as his official symbol. Apparently he's allowed to because he's named in the book. I'm not sure what he did, but it's not going to get him elected. All these others account for a couple of percent in the polls.
There's lots of good news. All the candidates are going to solve the Cyprus Problem, and their solution is the best.
But the really good news is that it'll all be over in a few weeks - the first round is Feb 17, and the second Feb 24. Unlike in America where there's almost a year to go.