Sunday, September 16, 2007

The State of Democracy in Russia

As many of you know (or at least those who read the blog) Russia ousted its old prime minister and Putin selected a new one. This may not seem like a very crucial change, however the implications of this change are indeed drastic. Viktor Zubkov the new prime minister is now in a position that has since been used to denote the next in line for the Presidency. Putin who must step down at the end of his second term has effectively made Zubkov the next President of Russia. Whats even more interesting is why he would do this, as an NPR analyst suggests its merely to keep the Kremlin seat warm for Putin as he would not be barred from running again after taking a one term break from being President. This delightful little piece can be listened to here.

1 comment:

Dr. Michael A. Denner said...

Hm. I like Schorr. I don't really disagree with much that he says, though he overlooks all the possible permutations that Putin could also put into play in order ot maintain power.

One thing that drives me a bit crazy, tho, is the way the US media treats Russia as some unpredictable Asiatic khanate (down to Churchill's anaology of a sphinx). I mean, given the right frame, you could describe politics in the US -- the Republicans' (or the Democrats') machinations-- in a similarly sinister light. Is it ANY WONDER that Putin wants to hold on to power? And how is it antidemocratic, in a country where Putin enjoys 80% popularity? (Compared to Bush's Nixonian 25%!)

In the end, I bet back in the nineties Schorr was also bemoaning how unready Russia was for democracy; well, Putin has managed to bring a level of stability and prosperity ($80 oil helps) to Russia that has been missing for decades.

Is it any wonder that the Russians don't want him to leave?