Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Russia and democracy.

There was an article about Gary Kasparov on BBC. The readers of this blog probably know that he is trying to create a civil society in Russia by forming an opposition to Vladimir Putin's administration. But the main obstacle I see for his movement is the sentiment captured in the picture above. People want Putin to stay on.

I am fortunate not to live in Russia so I can't say if I would side with Mr. Kasparov or with Ms. Murkulova. As someone living in the US I side with Mr. Kasparov. Having opposing political forces is an important aspect of having a democracy, and the winner should be decided by the people; if Mr. Putin is genuinely popular he should not have feared Mr. Kasparov and should not have cracked the heads of the opposition demonstrators a few months back.

I am partial for the virtually limitless time someone can be at the helm of a country. The British system is a good example of that - as long as the parliament allows, one person can remain the prime minister. I can see the good sides of it such as executing long term plans. But the two term limit of the American system is good as well as the president is renewed at an interval of eight years maximum ensuring new blood at the top. Unless it's something like the Bush Jr. administration with the cold war dinosaurs like the VP and a few of the secretaries.

The laws of the land have to be respected. The constitution in Russia bars more than 2 terms for the same person as a president so let's see who becomes the next president. I hope it is going to be someone with less authoritarian mindset. After all, in the long run authoritarian rule brings more harm to a society than good.

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