Archive for the ‘Russia’ category

Using democracy to destroy it

March 5, 2008

The results of Russia’s election are in, and the new leader of Russia is, surprise surprise, PresidnetPrime Minister Putin. Despite Mr Putins popularity, largely from economic growth delivered from high oil prices, and the fact that Mr Putins chosen President would have won even in a fair election, there are indications the election may have been rigged, with the Economist describing a ballot stuffing incident here. There is no doubt that under a Medvedev presidency, Putin will play a large role in the background as PM, and might return as President in 2012 (the constitution only bans two consecutive terms).

Putin, like Helen to a lesser extent in New Zealand with the Electoral Finance Act, has used democracy to undermine democracy. In other words, he, like Helen, Mugabe and Hitler, came to power by democratic means, and once in power abused that power to undermine democracy. Political opponents are sometimes beaten and dealt with violently in methods that could be labeled Stalin-lite (see article Democracy a la Russe in Economists April 19 2007 issue).

The challenge when dealing with leaders who use democracy to try and destroy it, is to vote them out at the ballot box, and protest against them at the first opportunity, before they entrench themselves. Sadly in Russia it may be too late to do so. In New Zealand, our democracy is already being labelled “Putinesque” by a NZ law journal editorial. We must kick Labour out this election. If we don’t, who knows what will be in a possible Electoral Finance Act II?

(Note: There is a massive difference between Hitler, Mugabe, Putin and Helen. I am not trying to say she is just as bad, merely that she, with the Electoral Finance Act and pledge card, has taken some steps in that direction.)