Cairo is in the grip of civil unrest, as Egyptians realise that the expensive bottled "democracy" that had been marketed throughout the Arab region may just be the "bog standard" drinking variety. Despite the luxurious packaging, extensive retailing and U.S. endorsement there is a growing suspicion that this "democracy" may not be as refreshing as once thought. President Mohammed Morsi has been accused of having the same still, slightly bland, taste of previous regimes.
A spokesmen for the Natural Resources Defense Council suggested that the Egyptians were confused: "Criticizing the country's first Islamist president for being ordinary on-tap democracy is ridiculous. He's the same carbonated system that was so effervescent throughout all the Arabic countries. But just like all the others, when he loses his fizz you suddenly realise there's no difference between the two. In fact, thanks to political donations and lobbying, the U.S. consumers pay $3 per bottle for something they could have got from the faucet for less than one cent. Democracy may not fall from the sky, but we seem strangely happy to let others monopolize it, re-brand it and sell it back to us a vastly inflated prices."
Opposition activists say more than 22 million people have signed a petition. seeking a snap election to challenge the health benefits of liberty in transparent containers: "There is billion dollar market for sparkling freedom, but the reality is that consumers are much less likely to spot or report contamination," complained one protester. "By assuming it's better for you, we get complacent and ignore our civic responsibilities. Yes, socialist models come with hidden fluoride but that's to stop your teeth falling out. The assumption that bottled democracy is purer is not true ...it just looks more desirable for those with a thirst."
In the drive to democratize the Arab World, some Westerners are hoping to off load their own "shelf-life limited" electoral disappointments; these healthy products include Blair Smoothies, Sundried Berlusconi and Free-Range special interest groups.