Putin Until 2036

It seems the Russians never could wrap their heads around democracy. Power being spread out between as many different organization as possible to prevent the rise of tyranny. The idea is similar to locking up the berthing areas of a war ship so if it takes damage only some compartments are compromised and the ship stays afloat. In Russia too many leaders makes people nervous I guess, and speaking out against them might mean a glowing cocktail at the local pub.

Another way democracy keeps itself free is to swap out leaders on a regular basis. This is to prevent cronyism and the development of a cult of personality in high office. Term limits is the way it’s done in the US. The argument could be made that term limits should apply to congressional and supreme court appointments as well. But when it comes to the executive office, we limit them to two, four year, terms.

The story today (from the Epoch Times) is the Russians have voted a constitutional change that will allow Vladimir Putin to maintain office until the year 2036. Formerly he was the Prime Minister from 1999 to 2000 and President from 1999 to 2008, the Prime Minister again from 2008 to 2012, and President from 2012 to present. That’s quite a career. He has basically run the country since 1999. One might note the President between 2008 and 2012 was his former Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev.

Consider Russia went from the Monarchist government of the Tsars to Communism. They swapped a royal family for the Oligarchy of the Communist party. Not much of a difference really, except in rhetoric, symbolism and the art of deception. For them, a nationalized oil industry and a president for life is simply continuity of government.