Pressing for Change: Russia's 2012 Presidential Election

By Hopper, Timothy | Harvard International Review, Fall 2011 | Go to article overview

Pressing for Change: Russia's 2012 Presidential Election


Hopper, Timothy, Harvard International Review


On September 24, Russian president Dmitri Medvedev announced that he would step aside for his mentor and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to reclaim the presidency in 2012. Since he first took over the presidency in 2000 from Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin has dominated Russian politics. With exceptional political finesse, Putin has systematically marginalized all opposition and built up the powerful United Russia Party. As it stands now, Russia can hardly be considered democratic. United Russia holds 315 of the 450 seats in the Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, making Russia effectively a one-party state. Corruption abounds because government officials are not held accountable for their actions as long as they maintain their standing with United Russia. Furthermore, the Kremlin exercises complete control over state television by threatening to revoke broadcast licenses for uncooperative networks, while dissenters face violent suppression by the government. In spite of all of these free speech violations, Putin remains enormously popular, with approval ratings hovering around 80 percent. From a Machiavellian perspective, Putin's leadership has been phenomenal. During his first two terms as president, Russia experienced a 72 percent increase in GDP, an eightfold increase in average monthly salary, and a restoration of government stability. However, the political corruption, human rights violations, and propaganda that Putin has used to strengthen his regime threaten to undermine the foundation of Russian democracy.

Many had hoped to see Medvedev compete against Putin in the upcoming elections on a liberal modernization platform. If these two titans of the Kremlin were to run against each other, the contest would reinvigorate Russian democracy. A functional democracy requires elections that are competitive enough to make elected officials accountable to voters. With Medvedev out of the race, Russians can expect a landslide victory for Putin and several more years of his increasingly authoritarian rule. In February 2011, Mikhail Gorbachev broadly criticized Russia's electoral system, particularly the undemocratic way in which Putin and Aledvedev privately decided who would stand tor the presidency in 2012. Additionally, Medvedev's recent announcement that he will step aside for Putin lends credence to the commonly held belief that Medvedev has been a mere puppet for Putin throughout his presidency. Putin has also manipulated the electoral system by changing the Russian constitution's provision for direct election of provincial governors to a presidential appointment system. This new model allows Putin to reward loyal supporters and further inhibits government accountability to the electorate.

A former KGB officer, Putin is no stranger to the use of violence as a means to achieve political objectives. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Pressing for Change: Russia's 2012 Presidential Election
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.