Posted by kvolk on June 6th, 2006
President Putin has been moving Russia from a managed democracy to an over-managed democracy. The 2007 elections will be basically an artificial democratic voting process. This is because there are many parties to vote for, and many people to put in office, but in the end they are all under the control of the Kremlin. No party or person will be able to gain power unless they pledge allegiance to the ruling party (United Russia). Both houses in Parliament have been weakened and the Kremlin controls two-thirds of the lower house, the State Duma. Opponents to Putin have no real decision making influence. The result is a political theater with puppets and actors, and Putin is holding the strings. The chain of command is very much vertical. Everything comes from the top and goes down from there. The Kremlin also now has the power to close any NGO (non-government organization) at any time for any reason. The result is that NGOs critical of the Kremlin might be silenced in the near future. The media is also now controlled by the state, so it can decide what is appropriate to show the public. These are some of the views that some researchers have in Russia. I may or may not agree with it, but it is very interesting either way.