Vladmir Putin’s recent announcement that he was running for the Duma as head of his political party, United Russia, means the end result of its victory is allowing him to switch from being president to becoming its prime minister. To ensure that goal his party must win about 75% of the Russian vote and at least 50% in Moscow. According to Konstantin Sonin, writing in the Moscow Times, “there is no realistic way to achieve such numbers without the president interfering even more substantially in the elections than he has done already. For example, United Russia is now trying to force doctors and teachers to join the party, and that interference might reach the point where the political elite becomes concerned of the consequences.. When Russia’s elite is motivated by fear rather than political belief, it tends to behave more responsibly, which ultimately means the people’s interests are better served.”
The tragedy of Russia is the intense desire of Vladmir Putin for power, naked, unchecked power which allows this egomaniac to believe without his presence the entire nation would crumble. Putin haas convinced himself, and his political party, that one party rule under his leadership is the only way in which Russia can continue its economic progress. Putin has brought stability to Russia, but if the price is abandonment of democracy, has it been worthwhile for the people of Russia?