As the US continues to be gripped by riots over the outcome of the election and many in the UK want a ‘re-run’ of the Brexit referendum because they disagreed with the democratic outcome of the poll, Russia’s stable democracy continues to march on, unnoticed in the west.
A recent poll conducted by the independent Levada centre found that 63% of Russians would like Vladimir Putin to be president for another term, beginning in 2018 when the next Russian presidential elections will be held.
According to the survey, President Putin remains the most popular political leader in the country, followed by the tough and steadfast Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu, and the endlessly intelligent and witty Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
In spite of polling well in September’s Duma elections, no members of the Communist Party nor LDPR made the top three, something I personally find disappointing though not necessarily surprising.
A popular leader is by definition one who enjoys democratic approval, this is officially confirmed at elections, elections which Putin continues to win. How then can people say that Russia’s democracy isn’t healthy? Popular politicians win elections and serve their country whilst corrupt politicians are arrested with efficiency. This is especially true now as the government is in the midst of an earnest programme to drive out corruption from local, regional and national government.
The reason that Russia is not considered democratic by the old, crumbling elite in the west, is not because Russia is undemocratic. It is because liberal parties and un-patriotic parties have no genuine popularity among the Russian people, something continually reflected in elections. In fact, the popularity of such parties has gone from little to negligible in recent years and this doesn’t make the likes of Angela Merkel or Carl Bildt happy at all.
The Russian government never claims they want to see certain kinds of parties win elections in foreign states and are careful not to imply anything to the contrary. The clear diplomatic response of Russian officials when asked such provocative questions is to state Russian respect for the sovereignty of foreign lands and to add to that, any government willing to have a good working relationship with Moscow can only be viewed positively. This isn’t anything other than common sense.
Interestingly, Russia had to change the rules of Duma elections just to allow a few token liberals to slip in. By combining a proportional representation system (used in most European countries) with a first past the post, single member constituency system (used in modern Britain and in American congressional elections), the result is that a grand total of one pseudo-liberal Duma member from the uninspiring Civic Platform party has been elected.
The condescension from people like Barack Obama and Angela Merkel used to be worrying. Now I find it rather amusing as the globalist, liberalism that they sought and failed to impose on Russia is now dying in their own back yards.
If anything Russia was ahead of her time. Russia had her liberal experiment in the 1990s. She gave up her sovereignty, she took orders from Washington and Washington’s hand-picked NGO subversives, she destroyed the economy in the name of ‘modernisation’ and the results were a total disaster.
If anything, it’s the west learning from Russia’s example, rather than the narrative peddled by the Bildts and Kerrys of the world saying that Russia must learn from the west.
The resounding answer is ‘no thanks, we’ve tried it your way, now many in the west want to try it our way’.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.