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tv   [untitled]    February 10, 2012 9:30pm-9:59pm EST

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hello again to welcome to spotlight the interview show on r.t. the now we're not and today we're talking about of lattimer putin's view on democracy during the last twenty years russia has been going through a democratic transition success has been made by the way wasn't easy and there were ranters true as the presidential election gets closer many speculate on how this process will continue if either of the candidates is elected this week the favorite in the race prime minister putin expressed his opinion in an article seen as part of his electoral benefit so is he planning to make russia more democratic and how discuss it with the head of the general political science department at the high school of economics mr coffee and mr schuster simon schuster head of the time moscow bureau. over the last two months russia has seen the biggest relish since the time of yeltsin an active electorate and they did
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political debate is what makes the current presidential race different from the previous two it all started with protests over the stay do my election results last december when the ruling united russia party won which triggered ballot rigging accusations of a since the opposition has regularly held its rallies and has become exceptionally active online demanding changes that would make the election process more transparent last weekend however the protesters have to face the fact the government supporters are also ready to defend their point of view on the streets according to the data he should by the police the pro-government rally even outnumbered the anti government one in their putin addressed both sides shortly after the meetings in the other of his pre-election articles the prime minister's manifesto published in russia school in their sunday league. admits the quality of
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the state is lagging behind civil society which has become more mature active and responsible at the same time putin sees the current political activity in the country as an achievement of his years in power a byproduct of the economic stability he brought about. learned simon welcome to the share thank you for being with us well first of all did this article give you an impression that putin really considers the civil awareness in russia his own achievement or it's more important for him to make others believe that one of his main goals is delicate as asian and russian. well of course yes to make democratization part of his pre-election strategy and image because he realizes now after the protests that have been going on for two months little bit more that a huge portion of the population in the electorate demand that kind of
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democratization they had some hope of it being achieved under an invidious presidency. in his rhetoric if not in his actions gave some hope that democratization was on its way but after they made their switch and put in so he's coming back to the presidency there was no there was no certainty among among the liberal middle class segment of the electorate this was happening so yes britain has to offer this how genuine it is it's a big question you know you have to you have to wait for actions to back it up the debate is this is this working well it's not democracy it's i think maybe the most important of all yeah exactly yeah but i would remind you that democracy in russia it's a long term project it's not the immediate reaction to the protests we are facing in december. following months russia is very young by judging by historical standards it's just twenty years of practice all this very
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important you saying so so you think that this is put its article what he writes isn't that part of his dialogue with the protestors but rather his manifesto in part of this long process rather than the immediate reaction no no no no i would suggest it's more because of the it's kind of reply to the pressure from the radical opposition and at the same time it's what is called vision for future because he was put in clearly understands that it's immediate immediate experience experience must be some college and analyzed and sort of thought all week and. it's not my case that he started his article with some some thoughts. about ninety's and . the beginning of the twenty first century and this experience is very gullible it was very tragic especially if we remember in one thousand russia but nonetheless it's
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a steps towards the more complete more full fledged democracy and democracy i would remind in every country of democracies is continuing from process we might need a vision from the outside of my next question put in says the society i quote it has grown smarter he praises the middle class he says we created by saying we he means himself and president medvedev but he is running for presidency and not taking part in the debates well as usual i mean the he didn't take it it didn't take part in the debates when he was running for the first two thousand of it it didn't take part in the debates without without the candidates so. looking from the outside do you see changes it put himself is each change. i mean for from the outside and from the inside i think it looks ridiculous that he would he would propose democratization and not take part in presidential debates like candidate in
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this from the inside it looks ok i mean i mean i didn't if you if you looked at the slogans of the people who were ad the rallies people who commented on there are they they talk to many things they dislike about putin but everybody takes the for granted well he never does that's what i mean nobody said this is this was ridiculous they've never there's true i mean i suppose there's a part of the electorate that is used to standing sort of above the political fray and not taking part in it but i take issue with one phrase i used to responding to the radical opposition is no longer responding to the radical opposition he's responding to a huge segment of the population who has been making its demands very clear in the streets and in other ways this is by the government's own estimates thirty percent of the population that makes up the urban middle life in the u.s. but in the front of that. we've seen just radical opposition so it's immediate response to all this pressure to watch lot of important things about
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the russian civil society. today the governance of russia lags behind good riddance of civil society to participate in our civil society has become much more mature active and responsible we need to modernize them i could use democracy some of them correspond to some to take. in the very beginning of the article there's another quote says the society must be ready to use the democratic mechanisms and spend its time and effort to rule the state he's clearly appealing to those so called. you may call them the the radical but actually that's maybe maybe not there's. some of them are not radicals all of them are pretty relaxed i mean but but. this article
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will the opposition whatever that with well look take it as a response that's very important i mean this article that his suggestions what they want or what you want to change may be in the point of taking its opposition is united but as we know the opposition is fragmented fractured and the only point of consent is about putting foot in must must resign this is the slogan of this opposition and there is partly also to the question of why he he is abstaining from immediate person all participation in the debates and he is potentially head of state he is experience of being of head of state of twice and his counterparts is just aspirants it's just hopeful president so that the. practical knowledge of how to be as president so this is partly the how can i
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explain why putin is so reluctant to. mediately and personally but he trusted his representatives for instance not only in that i. had a debate with. its goes well well let's hear another quote let's hear what a lot of reporting writes about out to make trials in russia more transparent. what must be given to the possible online broadcast in order for seeding competition to transfer. they will instantly shill whose work you want doing we should rulings have been not to release it would give you six months with the judge's summing up is dictated by only understood real knowledge. rushed. the system is different from many others cameras television cameras are allowed in many quarters but russia and russia many course are they call them
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closed where there's no public no press and no cameras so do you think if this proposal goes i mean if we have wept cameras in the courts this will provoke judges to to to make more and more trials closed if. it's possible i mean if. controversial decisions are made under a web camera that will immediately become the subject for debate online and as been clear for a few years in russia the blogosphere and the internet are more and more setting the agenda politically socially and in every respect so a judge would feel. some greater sense of responsibility or consequence by making decisions that are obviously corrupt politically in the united states to prohibit it to have been. any different any cameras in associated sales forces here just. as i mean these these things are cosmetics it was you know democratic. i
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think you know i would take issue with the very idea of placing web cameras in polling stations or in courts was a pretty cosmetic change i mean that may have problems in the courts and in the electoral system are systemic and they require you know top down reform but it depends on the procedure that on the practices for instance let's imagine this is the. station of pools yes. we're counting the. bulletins and what camera is fixing and you'll being for instance in new york you can subscribe for for this and just looking closely at what's going on theory and. just realize that you know nothing that was really bad that we're talking to a political scientist. you know when you look up the sorry for interrupting journalist simon shuster spotlight will be back in a couple of minutes after a break so stay with us are.
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welcome back to spotlight i'm al gore and often just a reminder that my guests in the studio today are journalist sidemen shuster and political scientist daniel political jumana we've started talking about this this proposal in the latest pollutants article about placing out web cameras in courts
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before he before he proposed putting web cameras i'll tell the station so you say this is cosmetic but but but well. some people consider this being a breakthrough i mean i mean i mean a live streaming from quarters from polling station this is this is that was unthinkable i mean even a couple of years ago you know i'm a member of presidential council on human rights and we like that so will this work yes or no yeah in the console and my friends call it members of this console we can see the very democratic step really yeah i think this will work yes we agree on this point it's a very interesting suggestion and. well we'll do everything that. that will be a real result that. i would repeat my question to you as a member of this council if it's
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a closed trial if the court decides it's got to be a closed trial will this well camera be switched off or will they cut the live treme bill streaming but it will be recorded some system someone looking about polling station but come on not not in the course of that the courts no i don't know if we didn't discuss it you didn't just go above that that's very very may i mean a concrete step to put in can take any day in the current system of sort of top down . rule is to resolve the same situation in the magnitsky case this is this is a clear breach of judicial practice i mean the international community is all up in arms about it. russian civil society and many of the people out on the street raise this as a point that that could be a concrete gesture of change all we're seeing in the article so far is a lot of promises promises that have been made under the madrid presidency and did not lead to any concrete reforms and again we're still waiting for him to do
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something. you know whether cameras and all the stuff are nice but again i think they're cosmetic and there are easy concrete steps that putin can take to prove that he is serious about some kind of liberal program or putting two point zero in the question putin says in this article that political rivalry is what pushes the country forward a great phrase but does he really mean it does he consider the other former presidential candidates really rivals or rather never to attribute of democracy yes i agree but you know put in a bit we need new. equal contender you know big real rival. understand it would make it at the end of. somebody if you don't he's sick and tired of this figures who are trying for twenty years to do something in the political sphere and without any success you know it's like minor shareholders in
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the corporation so he i think he's a fighter by and by the way you know he he knows how to fight and he's must over do door so yeah well i gotta tell you agree that it is a fighter yes but. i'm not sure that the absence of real right rival makes it makes him unhappy did they do believe so i don't think i think i'm comfortable the way it is he has never existed in a situation of political competition and still in this political election we're seeing that he refuses to compete even with the granted rather weak candidate that are available recall the end of the ninety's session to power it was very very strong competition from let's say and the score for the time so. that was there was mainly i mean i don't want to go back to into history but that was mainly decided. back stage of the kremlin and with a lot of influence from the older i don't choice was after the people you know it's
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for the people to decide in the election of two thousand well i can congratulate you i can congratulate you on his victory in two thousand yeah and his victory in two thousand said all of the fear but the situation as he admits in this article has dramatically changed in society you know bands of society are for political competition by refusing to debate with his can the readers the reason is not engaging in political competition and the reason why we don't we don't have the real rivalry because we don't have real opposition leaders in the country what i'm saying this is this is interesting because putin takes credit in this article for the emergence of the middle class as such yeah it's true the middle class emerged under the economic policies of the put into. thanks in part to the to the high oil price however he does not take credit for the political system that emerged in the past twelve years that did not allow for robust interesting political figures to
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emerge those who tried to participate in elections or register political parties were routinely denied however in this election as i think again a concession to the people in the streets we see me. you know is he the kremlin puppet candidate nobody knows he says not up his opponents say yes but he is. really charismatic he wouldn't agree to be all of this and then the question is you know open but he is a charismatic new figure he speaks really well i mean he's been practicing politics i think it will be a fascinating debate learning very fast learning very fast so i think would be most interesting to see the two of them debate i mean i agree that the other contenders are sort of old school politicians that so well according to the article that we're discussing today put in once didn't make the russian parliament into active let's hear what he writes about that. i propose introducing
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a rule by having a mandatory review in parliament of all public initiatives which collected data one hundred thousand online to charge a similar practice exists in britain for example the anonymous internet cannot serve this purpose of course although we know the cases it can help avoid the public. well this is interesting we're already started discussing whether we're going to put in is changing or not well i would say yes because in two thousand and ten put in openly declared that i quote half of what's published in the internet is pornography that's his words but now today he addresses the internet he he changes the ad towards the web to was the internet community so is this a sign of change and you are sure you know literally because of technology lost the last couple years definitely has become accustomed to the using of internet and
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here he became not deeply involved as president would get if who has his twitter and so on but nonetheless this subjection of. it so it says clearly that he see he sees the internet as a powerful resource for promoting democracy in the country. he's speaking about the the the effective dialogue channels between the power elite and the society is internet from wouldn't point of view one of these these channels i'm not real in. the summer fifteen years live call in show with the russian public five days after a massive protest in moscow he said i don't really use the internet very often and he was asked directly do in a country that has more internet users than any other country in europe. i think that's that's incredible it's true that now he is at least in his rhetoric saying oh wait the internet exists i should should respond to this somehow as a politician i'm not saying he's not
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a flexible. intelligent and capable politician he is and he's maneuvering every which way but as the duma the quote that you just showed says and this was pointed out in article and kind of something. he seems to be one step behind the duma whether he likes it or not is already becoming more open because in the last round of the elections in december. more than fifty percent of the popular vote went to the opposition the duma is opening up you know in the saying oh the duma needs to open up well whether you like it or not it is so he's playing catch up in a lot of ways and when putin writes in this article that the state is lagging behind the society he actually means in. some sense i don't know if it's a kind of self-criticism i would agree yeah well there's a lot of course of criticism by the way in article after article the prime minister has been criticizing the existing situation russian economy social sphere so and so forth but he's been in power for twelve years but at this stage to you two to two
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terms as president one is prime minister so it is you know in twelve years is enough to do a lot that's right. on the other one right but at the same time he's trying to explain why measures taking which is being taken right now was impossible to implement. ten or. five years ago and there is clearly the explanation why you need one question i have to listen putin says then you state must work out a tool to catch up with the complicated social realities he needs a tool. he proposes the so-called so friggin lated society well i'm not sure i know what that means but what's wrong about the media as a tool about the unions as a tool why do we need to create something else well all these two tools of the media and the trade unions are they not effective in the modern society there are
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many tools to promote democracy and to make political sphere more transparent but you know it's interesting question what the head of state is responsible for. in russia it's. general saying that the president is responsible for everything yes but at the same time first priority and most responsive sponsibility of the head of state i see that he's responsible for the shape of power for the quality of power and this article precisely about this and there is a part of this article called building a competitive nation it's i would say it's not exact translations from russian because in russian version of this article it's called the building of competitive state but this is the difference of mythology western and russian you know but nonetheless seven points about how to i would say to reset the state how
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to remade it. to make it really more than just new to meet the challenges of which civil society in russia is sending you know mistake you very much so and i hope we could continue but we're running out of time and just to remind them i'd. yes today would be a new police called the general political science department in the high school of economics and simon shuster of the time magazine moscow based reporter and that's it for now from all of us here if you are now you are so spotlight we have someone in mind you think i fit in to the next i'm just joking a line al going up ads. are used and let's give this show interactive we'll be back with more first any comments on what's going on in and outside russia until then stay on r.t. and take care. of.
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me.
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the. aussies top stories a split within the ranks of syria's opposition fighters had sunday claims they were behind twenty blocks of the country's second city of aleppo which killed at least thirteen people but another spokesman denied responsibility just in the hundreds. degree communist vietnam is that proves a drawn bill on a state machine measures demanded by brussels in return for crucial one hundred and such a billion euro aid package with a final vote coming shortly that's despite ongoing violence as police clashed with protesters here is said the impact of the march cuts on jobs and living standards. and observing but it's good to try and russia's public figures come together to ensure a fat and free presidential guard while striving not to take sides. right not to
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hoffman finds out what lies at the very heart of conservative policy ideology big picture is coming your way. in washington d.c. and this is the big picture here is what's coming up tonight. what makes a conservative tick what's at the very heart of conservative ideology pose these questions and more the word guest on tonight's conversations with great minds also speaking of conservative c pac is in town birth control software firestorm a senator is in hot water or in these stories and more in fights big picture rubble and achieving a quality education in america has become like a luxury that only the wealthy elite and of today how can this nation get back to its.

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