Friday, April 5, 2013

Wouldn't YOU be a dictator?

Here's an interesting opinion piece on The Moscow Times:

A Dictator's Guide on Ruling for Life | Opinion | The Moscow Times

Will President Vladimir Putin ever relinquish power voluntarily?

This is one of the most important questions in Russian politics today. The entire political system is built around a single individual, and the system will undergo radical change when somebody else finally comes to power. But nobody, and perhaps not even Putin himself, knows the answer to when he will step down. In fact, history shows that entrenched leaders almost never have a plan for leaving office.  They are either overthrown or die.

In the 20th century, more than 30 leaders, not counting monarchs, held onto power for more than 30 years. Of those, only a very few stepped down voluntarily or left office after losing elections. They include: Senegalese President Abdou Diouf, who lost the vote in 2000 and handed over power without challenging the election results; Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Van Dong, who voluntarily resigned in 1987; and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who handed over much of his authority to his chosen successor, Goh Chok Tong, in 1990, although he retained the title of senior minister for another 21 years.

When people are asked about their political orientation, most aren't going to say they favour dictatorship. Of course, which ordinary citizen would, if they could choose?

These days, I write on my Facebook profile that my political views are leaning towards Authoritarian, and occasionally swinging into Dictatorship and Despotism. Of course, you could say I was joking.

But hear this: I think it's so easy for everyone to say they favour democracy, because it is the only system that gives people power. However, would that truly reflect someone's core beliefs? I suggest this test: put that person in the seat of power for a few years. What would he/she do?

I bet most people would be dictators. Hell, I would. Why else would I squander that opportunity to have a bit of fun? Or maybe for once, I could get things done because people would actually obey my orders? 

But then again, I won't be ruling over any country, so don't you worry.

Meanwhile, however, I'm kinda liking Putinism.

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