Saturday, December 10, 2011

Once popular Putin faces uprising in Russia....

I haven't kept up with news in Russia and recent news reports of the rapid political change in the country surprise me.
Putin's United Russia saw its share of popular votes falling from 64% in 2007 to just 48.5% in the recent elections. Opposition supporters are not happy with irregularities in the vote counts - some areas have more votes than eligible voters - and massive protests are expected all over Russia this weekend.

Recall that Putin a was powerful and popular authoritarian who was credited with bringing law and order to Russia and putting the economy back on its feet. He was so powerful at one time, he could ignore human rights and throw his opponents into jail without a dent in his popularity. The opposition which included former world chess champion was fragmented and weak with little support from the ground.

5 years was all it took for things to change in Russia.

Here's what has gone wrong in Russia according to Al Jeezera:

"The public's growing disillusionment with United Russia is concentrated among the country's intellectual elites, young professionals, urbanites and internet users. Their grievances vary from the stifling of freedoms to Putin's growing authoritarianism and the calcification of Russia's political life. "Our votes have been stolen long time ago," writes former world chess champion and now opposition leader Garry Kasparov. "They've been stolen together with our freedom of choice and with our right to express a point of view that is different from the one promoted by the official media." 

But a growing majority of Russians say they are unhappy with the ruling party because it has failed to lift their standard of living, despite years of high oil and gas prices, over which Putin presided. "Our pensions are still low and our roads are still bad," says one Moscow resident. "The party of power could have done so much more in the ten years it's been in power," says another. Low salaries, small pensions, soaring inflation, a crumbling infrastructure and unreliable healthcare - these are the main points of dissatisfaction for most Russians. As a result, opposition parties - such as Russia's Communist Party, the Liberal Democrats, and Just Russia - are continuously citing these grievances in their election ads.

But perhaps the biggest problem United Russia faces is its status itself: the status of the party in power. Like the Communist Party of the USSR, United Russia has increasingly become the party of choice for Russia's elites. It boasts over two million members and counts among its own the country's crème de la crème. It includes not only regional governors and major business owners, but also Olympic champions, film directors, pop stars and even a pair of famous lion tamers. Some joined because they genuinely saw United Russia as a party of patriots driven to restore the country's glory after the tumultuous years following the breakup of the Soviet Union. But others sought access to power, privileges and decision-making that came with party membership.

United Russia's status as the ruling party, though, has become a double-edged sword. Ordinary Russians increasingly resent those in power, seeing their wealth while themselves struggling to simply get by in the world of consumer pleasures that now surrounds them. As revelations of corruption emerge and Russians learn about the ways members of United Russia misuse public funds, the party is now called "Partiya Zhulikov i Vorov", or "The Party of Swindlers and Thieves"."

22 comments:

Ghost said...

Sorry Lucky but I disagree with you. The protesters top at 15,000 though the Russian police put the number of protesters at much lower. This is only half of what they were hoping for. They were hoping for 30,000 so I won't be too worried if I was Putin.

Xianlong said...

Do not underestimate small change which seem futile:

"=====
Trying to halt germany's invasion using nothing but a small no. of Spitfires & Hurricanes started off as an act of futility - Battle of Britain

Writing a children's book about wizards in an Edinburgh coffeeshop & then finding somebody who wanted to publish it started off as an act of futility - Harry Potter

Getting people to pay $5-$6 for a cup of coffee started off as an act of futility - Starbucks
====="

Anonymous said...

I can see you're trying to draw parallels between Russia and Singapore. My worry is the foreigners in our midst is too large for comfort on a tiny island. And it is worrisome that they're gaming the system, taking away opportunities for Singaporeans in terms of jobs and education. Congestion is another concern. Most major cities are crowded at the train stations but many return to small towns which are quite because of the suburbia belt. Our quality of life is decreasing as everyone is competiting for space. We're in for difficult times and we should manage as much savings as possible.

PAP is going down for sometime now. It actually started the day PM Lee became a leader. Singapore needs leadership renewal and a paradigm shift which would like happen in 15 years and not 5 years.

Anonymous said...

when a thing reaches its extreme, it reverses its course

Anonymous said...

But Russia is a big country so it is not easy to control and be a leader lah. Or to win a free and fair election every time.

If Russia is only 5 million people and a 700 sq km city, I am sure Putin will not face any uprising due to vote irregularities. His party can even win more than 90% or even 100% of the seats in a free and fair election with only 60% of the votes.

Anonymous said...

"Singapore needs leadership renewal and a paradigm shift which would like happen in 15 years and not 5 years."
Anon 10/12/11 21:12

Aiyah, if in 2011 it didn't happen, it will never shift or happen lah. What 5 years, what 15 years?

Anonymous said...

Putin is trying to imitate LKY. Unfortunately for him, times are different. He will be killed if he insisted on his cheating ways.

Anonymous said...

Singapore is heaven for foreigners, permanent residents and those who are rich.

Singapore is hell for poor and middle class Singapore Citizens.

Sgcynic said...

"The Party of Swindlers and Thieves". Nice name. Just a few perhaps. Majority are yes-men and those jumping on the bandwagon of power.

Anonymous said...

/Anonymous said...
Aiyah, if in 2011 it didn't happen, it will never shift or happen lah. What 5 years, what 15 years?/

Aiyah, if you have not married (didn't happen) in the past, you will never get married (will never happen) in the future.

Aiyah, if you do not have kids (didn't happen) in the past, you will never have kids (will never happen) in the future.

Aiyah, if you failed your exams recently, you will never pass your exams in the future.

Aiyah, if you did not get a job in the 2011, you will never get a job in 2012 or for the rest of your life.

Aiyah, if you did not eat Laksa in 2011, you will never eat Laksa in 2012 or for the rest of your life.

Anonymous said...

Putin thought after ready LKY book he can follow his political style. Looks like he is wrong.

Anonymous said...

Each country is unique.

If not, Putin could also have learnt and introduced the Singapore GRC system in Russia but he didn't.

Or he could have sued his opponents to bankruptcy but did he?

He did it in the Russian way, not Singapore, American or China way.

So most likely he will be right but he can also be wrong. Like what happened to Gaddafi of Libya who was very wrong.

So whether country or individual, to each his own.

Anonymous said...

LKY's Hard Truths was recently translated into Russian and is the textbook for Putin's party. Unfortunately the Russkies are not balless unlike Sinkies.

Russkies are descended from people that sacrificed 20 million dead and 30 million permanent disabled in order to fight off enemies.

Sinkies are descended from people that surrendered to the Japs without much of a fight, and then work for them as interpreters and running dogs.

Anonymous said...

Surrendering to a much powerful enemy without betraying others is never a wrong.

BUT, to work for the enemy to betray fellowmen is of the greatest sin any human can commit. It is despicable, unpardonable and should be remembered forever.

patriot

Anonymous said...

The Brotherhood have been very busy in the Russian gaming forum to bring him down as he has been threatening to clamp down on games. Believe it or not, it is them!

Anonymous said...

One word surface - party. Curse of party power.

screw the oligarchs said...

For those who got coconut water instead of brain juice in their heads and can't differentiate chicken from duck...
Putin started cracking down all the oligarchs and nationalized most of the assets by returning them to his country. Khodorkovsky, Abramovic and couple of 2 thugs who run away to Israel, you can dig up more info in Google if you care. That of course disappointed a lot of those elite parasites that profited after USSR breakup and those had ties to Rottenschilds and bilderbergers...
To top it off Putin refused to become a partner in crime with NATO against Libya and now Syria. Gaddafi was going to ditch petrodollars and that was why executed before even making to court. You guys seriously need to broaden up your views if you want to poke your nose into others' affairs. That includes you too Lucky... :) All those "tens of thousands protesters" headlines in the media are nothing but propaganda not to mention cleverly exploited twatters and social media crap... just like Gaddafi's protesters' pictures these were doctored want the evidence about Gaddafi's media attack, below are the links... knock yourselves out..

http://truthfrequencynews.com/?p=451
http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread744969/pg1

next on the hit list are Syria and Iran

Anonymous said...

Putin is a saint

Anonymous said...

http://www.periscopepost.com/2011/12/what-the-protests-in-russia-mean-is-this-the-slavic-spring/

Like SG (or like LKY's draconian laws) they don't have the right to free assembly. Now the people are fighting back. Singaporeans still 'kiasi' for unauthorized demonstration -- one statement from the police and everyone is a mouse. Hiding behind "what for ? and their pragmatism" that keeps eating away their soul.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12331481

Anonymous said...

@anon 13/12/11 00:51

you're just another frog in the well...

read these and you will understand what garbage BBC had been feeding you...

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28182

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/15/world/15aid.html?_r=3&pagewanted=1&emc=eta1

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2011/12/bombshell-us-caught-meddling-in-russian.html
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28144

Anonymous said...

Putin needs to implement the GRC system

Tony said...

Surrendering to a much powerful enemy without betraying others is never a wrong. BUT, to work for the enemy to betray fellowmen is of the greatest sin any human can commit. It is despicable, unpardonable and should be remembered forever. patriot