Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Lenin Would Be Proud

Vladimir Putin is planning to significantly consolidate his power as president of the Russian Federation, by greatly undermining the democratic reforms made during the past decade. Washington reacts lamely with a "no, you shouldn't do that..."-like statement from Powell. Big deal, you say. Putin has been eroding democratic institutions in Russia for many years now, why should this matter? Well, I'll tell you why, because this is a very overt step towards dictatorship.

Putin's plan is as follows:
  1. Abolish direct elections for governors in Russia's 89 provinces.
  2. Abolish direct elections for representatvies for the state Duma (Parliament)
  3. Nominate governors from his party, have them be confirmed in the Duma
This means, of course, that governors will be appointed from him and the people will have no say on if they should be nominated because the representatives will be choosen from Putin's party list, so they will waste no time in the confirmation. Russians lose 2 types of electoral privileges and the remaining, the Presidential election, will be so heavially stacked in favor of Putin and his eventual sucessor that Russian's will have no other choice but to vote for them.

With complete control of the electoral system, media, military etc. Putin has placed Russia on the path of the Soviet single party dictatorship.

Joe Gandelman has a very good summary as well.

This is why I was hesitant to stand completely behind Putin in the aftermath of Beslan. I remembered what Putin has tried to do in the past and feared that Beslan would be a catalyst for more horrible action in the Caucauses, I was just looking in the wrong direction. I sympathize with the Russian's, certainly, when it comes to terrorism but it doesn't mean I should support such blatant anti democratic policies.