I was reading this over dinner and almost choked on it:
Speaking at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the former Minister of Finance and at present an active Liberal, Alexey Kudrin said: “Why don’t we bring the presidential elections closer and announce a new program of reforms?” He added that the newly elected president would receive a boost in public credibility and this would make it easier for that person to carry out economic reforms. http://rt.com/politics/268114-russia-kudrin-early-elections/
What? What does he mean? The most successful leader of Russia, with the rating in excess of 85% needs, according to Kudrin, a popular mandate of trust for a “new program of reforms”!
Several issues come to mind in this connection:
1. What level of support is required if more than 85% is not enough? 100%? 95%? 90%? What level of support would be sufficient to constitute the necessary “new mandate”?
2. Why is a “credit of trust” necessary for the implementation of reforms? From my point of view, you don’t need to worry about it, unless you know beforehand that, as a result of a wave of privatizations and “structural reforms”, the outcome will be mass impoverishment and unemployment. Unless those same reforms will lead to an inevitable economic collapse.
3. If you expect the reforms to bring real economic improvement, you can begin with zero rating. Your rating will inevitably grow, reflecting the success of the reforms. The greater the success, the higher the rating. By the way, Russia’s history knows such an example. On his first day as prime minister, Putin he had a rating close to zero, due to the fact that he was completely unknown to the public. It has grown since, has it not?, despite the fact that Putin had to reform and reconstruct in all spheres of the difficult legacy of Yeltsin. But there is also an opposite example. That of Dmitry Medvedev. Assuming the office of the president, he inherited Putin’s high rating, which he squandered in the eyes of most Russians during his years in office.
So what’s the purpose of Kudrin’s proposal? What’s his real goal? I will leave this to his conscience, but it seems that “Putin must go” is becoming a slogan for a new wave of opposition in Russia. A “head count” in the opposition ranks is on. And Kudrin is one of those heads, eager and ready to get noticed. Some of them scream about betrayal of liberal, others – about betrayal of patriotic values. And even though these are obviously contradictory positions, nobody is taking note of such trifles. Something tells me that at some point they will all converge on one thing: Putin must go. As has already happened in 2011-12.
There is one little problem the “Putin-must-go” crowd: They are all forgetting to ask the opinion of 85% of the citizens of the country. So who are they exerting themselves for? For which citizens? The question is rhetorical, and the answer is thos: for citizens of some other country…
Published originally on 18.06.2015 at Nikolai Starikov’s Blog