NY Times Op-ed columns continue to be above fact checking:
An irritated Mr. Putin compared the Russian system to the American Electoral College, perhaps reminding the man preaching to him about democracy that he had come in second in 2000 according to the popular vote, the standard most democracies use.
The Academy doubts that 'most democracies' use any standard at all. Tony Blair is not the Prime Minister because he stood for election on his own, but because his party--Labour--holds the most seats in Parliament. Each Member of Parliament stood for election in his (or her) district, and many didn't win majorities in those districts. Variations on this system are common in former parts of the British Empire.
Europe's Continental democracies often are proportionally representative democracies, some with a separately elected head of government, some with a parliamentarian prime minister.
Wethinks the lady doeth protest Condi's wardrobe too much to bother to think the issue through:
Mr. Bush and Condi Rice strut in their speeches - the secretary of state also strutted in Wiesbaden in her foxy "Matrix"-dominatrix black leather stiletto boots....