No Reason For Debates In Russian Election -Results Are A Given!

Vyacheslav Volodin, a prominent member of President Putin’s United Russia party commented that election debates were nothing but “squabbles.” He refused to allow any member of the dominant United Russia political party to take part in election discussions or debates since it was a waste of time. As Gregory Bovi commented in the Moscow Times, “These people are completely isolated from the daily lives of their electorate. With rare exceptions, most politicians are unable to engage in public debate. They cannot answer uncomfortable questions without having prior preparation, nor are they fit to participate in the tough, competitive environment of politics. Moreover, as a rule, they are incapable of speaking in a language that ordinary people can understand.” Puin’s decision to had United Russia, in effect, ended the debate because assumes his victory and that of his party is a given. Democracies in the world have evolved politically to the point where public debates on television are an accepted aspect of electoral politics–but not in Russia. Putin’s controlled media has not helped. They scheduled debates in the 11:00 a.m. slot and the 7:05 a.m. time period or late at night when people are sleeping. Such is life in 2007 in the democracy of Russia.