Wednesday, March 5, 2008

An Old Voice Calls For a Freer Russia (JM)

I am usually not one to provide links without much context, but I am a bit harried, so I will let this one mostly speak for itself. It's an editorial in Times of London by Mikhail Gorbachev calling on Medvedev and Putin to push for greater democratization. This includes switching to a "mixed" parliamentary system (where not all candidates are culled from a party list), direct election of governors rather than appointments and a lower threshold for candidate and party viability.

It's good to see the party elder calling for some semblance of democracy. I also think he's right, the West is taking the weird and wrong tack by alienating Russia right now. It only serves to bolster Putin's increasingly anti-West position. We need greater engagement and encouragement, rather than beginning to beat the drums. There is plenty for us to disagree about, but it would be nice for it to remain on a civil, allied level, rather than what has increasingly become the condescension of the West.

I guess I commented a bit more than I planned to. Sue me.

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