The early brute steals the election
Posted by aogMonday, 05 February 2007 at 10:33 TrackBack Ping URL

Orrin Judd is pondering whether Russian President Vladimir Putin may have “The Greatness of a Pinochet” because Putin has vowed to have an election after his current term. I had to laugh, morbidly, when I read this quote —

Putin said much more needed to be done to fight corruption and improve press freedom [emphasis added]

As if Putin’s administration wasn’t the biggest threat to press freedom in Russia.

But the idyllic view that as long as there isn’t any suppression during the actul election it’s OK seems to be a standard sort of myopia for Judd. Elections aren’t representative or democratic if the current government suppress, intimidates, or kills most or all of its potential rivals before the campaign. Thus the Juddian view that the 1996 elections for the Palestinian Authority or the elections in Iran are democratic. In real life, however, the rule of law is just as important, to prevent this sort of elimination of opposition that is then legitimated by an pro-forma election.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
cjm Wednesday, 07 February 2007 at 10:50

it would be interesting if there was a way for people to register on a website (anonymously) so that an accurate measure of internal dissatisfaction (or vice versa) there was in various repressed countries. i include europe in this group. of course the problem is, there is no practical way to ensure that a given registration is valid, without exposing people to discovery and retribution. maybe if there were cheap biometric devices it would be possible to feed your “signature” into a one way encryption algorithmn so it couldn’t be traced back to you.

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