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tv   [untitled]    December 5, 2011 10:30am-11:00am EST

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this is our senior vote counting is almost over and russia's parliamentary election united russia party is in the lead winning the majority of seats in the lower house but still losing a big share of the previous top of the support the communists are second in the race for the nickel democrats also making it to parliament. as global players need to decide the future of afghanistan pakistan his role of keys instability in the region boycott the event it's the latest sign of the summer
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about relations in washington taking a turn for the worse following nato as we said deadly air raid on the pakistani border pads. and most downgrades diplomatic ties the kids are off to the brush ambassadors of the countries assaulted by the security there a claim to be entered and could be linked to moscow's position on syria. now heated debate over the outcome of russia's parliamentary elections coming up in crosstalk . technology innovation all the latest developments around russia we've got the future covered.
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hello and welcome to crossfire computable about continuity and change united russia's long dominance over the country's electoral politics is set to undergo a significant transformation once commanding a supermajority able to change the constitution soon united russia will have to learn the political art of compromise what does this say about russia's democracy. and. to cross-talk the election outcome i'm joined by john laughlin here in the studio he is the director of studies at the institute of democracy in cooperation and he was also an election observer and he said now he is a news anchor and senior political correspondent for r.t. who covered the elections and yon. he's an associate professor of political science at moscow state university of international relations or at crosstalk rose in effect that means you guys can jump in anytime you want i mean so i want to go to
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you first because you were all up all night covering the election have you had a lot of guess what was the reaction to it because we knew going into the election that united russia was going to take a hit but with nobody predicted predict predicted a kind of outcome that we're probably going to get by the end of this day was interesting because a lot of the guests we had before the preliminary results started coming in were saying this is unexpected it looks like they're going to get a lot less than they perhaps wanted and then at two am we spoke to constantine because the child who said well we made it seem like we thought we would get more birth really fifty percent more happy so united russia clearly understands that things need to change that russians are changing that they still have a lead they have a constitutional right they don't have a constitutional majority but they do have a simple majority and i think really it worked out as sort of a referendum on united russia people said yes we understand you should be the. once in power but things need to change you know just like if i go to you i mean when reading the press meet western media about this election and i was looking at the
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the polls going into the election in everyone was saying you know fifty three percent i mean that was kind of a consensus here but western media didn't like to pick up on that they were going to say the election is stolen from day one but the election what we're seeing now we don't have the final numbers yet but particularly for united russia is almost exactly what public opinion polls were reported right before the election why doesn't anybody else get that well i think you're right to put the question in that in those terms i think that the election result is a defeat for western analysts of russia they offshore have been telling us that this is a k.g.b. totalitarian dictatorship whereby putin and the maintains power through terror and corruption and so on and guess what the voters have reduced their share of the vote by twenty percent through the ballot box like in any normal state i think western observers would be advised as also to look where russia where united russia's votes went to get they didn't go to their favorite darling candidates boris nemtsov and
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grigory yavlinsky they didn't go to the pro western liberal parties they went instead to the communist party twenty years after the end of the soviet union the communist party has twenty percent of the vote in russia they went to fair russia which is a patriotic conservative party and of course they went to the extreme right zhirinovsky party these three parties i think in comparison to mr putin's united russia. i would have thought pretty unwelcoming western chancellor is exactly on if i can go to you first and actually tell my viewers where are you have located did actually quite well that we did very well in two different. polling stations and they were in london and in washington d.c. so yeah and what do you think that says about these liberal parties because just as john laughlin pointed out united russia took a beating it's got certainly a bloody nose but those votes didn't go to. liberal parties ok again we'll have a new duma where these little parties will not be having any seats you know we have
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to look at these think from two perspectives from overall results of course yeah because the result is not so great but from yabloko own perspective we can just see that they are almost doubled even if not triple there is also from their previous to that and from this site they will be able to rely on governmental financial support until next election and we'll be able to develop and prepare better for the next election and maybe to gain some more results so i think this is not the worst result for for for a right but in russia nowadays i was actually you know i was actually going to point out that if we take a look at all of the seven parties that took part made gains except for united russia western media not speaking about that at all ok reporting about the arrests that were on the. square about in st petersburg very little reporting on the fact that united russia had great losses compared to in two thousand and seven fourteen percent i think i'm like you know no point out that there were a rest here in moscow but some of these people were pro united russia protesting
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against the protest right you're not allowed by law to protest on the day of elections that people were arrested but we did you know that is the think you can go just go here gentlemen go ahead you can not protest on the day of the election it's just illegal and it's going to concerts anyone war where you represent the party you know united russia party or just russia or even some so-called non-systemic opposition anyway you have no right to protest just wait are you take a look at some of the numbers here the election outcome for two thousand and eleven here and i'm going to give a comparison to two thousand and seven ok here we have united russia about fifty percent in two thousand and seven that was a little over sixty four percent so when he says that right there's a huge drop here the communist twenty percent here and they increased from about twelve percent in the last election fair russia. thirteen percent to go only got a little over eight percent for the election before and the liberal democrats did pretty well too they ended up with eleven they had about eight point one before so
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it's go back here i mean i've talked to a lot of my friends this morning and i talk asked about their friends and the communist vote is very interesting you know twenty years after the end of the soviet union they get twenty percent of the vote that a protest vote certainly a lot more people voted this year as a protest it's known that on facebook there were flash mobs set up to send a message to united russia the communist vote is difficult because truly if you speak to some of the older population they really do miss that era they have huge nostalgic sentiment towards the communist era they look up to the gun of who is the leader of the party how. how natural that vote is it's hard for me to say i don't know if it was a protest i do have some friends that did vote for the communist party as i just as many friends as a protest who voted for yabloko or for it not the liberal democrats but for fair
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russia certainly my goodness john i mean people are protesting at the ballot box that's not supposed to happen here according to western coverage of this election as i say i think that myth really should have been blown apart i have a slightly different view of the communists vote from you i think that was only one of the things that was obvious to anyone who's trudging through the polling stations as i was yesterday is that the communist party was one of the few parties . probably i would say were the only party the small exception for the sure enough because but it was the basically the only party that had a presence in the polling stations the communist party is a real party it has a real structure it has regional representation it has militancy it has activists and so on that's why people vote for it because it's actually present on the doorstep a lot of the other parties are not there one man shows there must be moscow based parties created around powerful individuals they don't have the feet on the ground and that's why people vote for them and they also of course vote because you got off message whether or not one is a communist obviously resonates with
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a lot of people the west is over arrogant aggressive capitalism has had a mixed record at least did have in the one nine hundred ninety s. and so on so you know i don't want to just write it off as nostalgic for the soviet union even though i'm sure that is now element i think that you know there are other points as well that need to be that if we want to do you think about that because we you know this is very interesting dynamic and i find it really interesting is that where we're all talking about the loss of the united russia's experience but still it is the the major party in this country and any party in a parliamentary system around the world would be overjoyed with the result that the you know has been able to achieve in this election you know i like first the comments on jonson's i need points you know i'd better support and he says. point of view with that in fact communists the communist party yes indeed like john said it's a real party but at the same time cronies did nothing for special and exciting that would have given him to end them almost ten percent more votes then he gets years
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out you want to point out good yeah for from two thousand and seven so. indeed it concerns not only communists but the whole russian opposition it doesn't bring any fruitful almost no fruitful ideas and from this perspective just frustration with the united russia and maybe some kind of tiredness from this party gave opposition so much support and opposition should take this credit as a pro and understand this situation and use the situation for its profit but to try to justify election election zero people's expectations junkyard very very much agree with that i mean i think you know there's a lot of comment obviously as we would expect about people's frustration pathy border they're fed up with this very had to monica united russia that's all fair enough and i totally agree that the opposition now has a small but it has a window of opportunity but if people talk about the monic united russia let's also
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not forget that the head parties of the opposition parties in russia they have been there for fifteen years and more they are the retreads is not putin and medvedev who are the retreads it's you gone off and sure enough ski and the whole lot of them have been on the same merry go round now for more than fifteen years and i think if there's any opening if there's any breath of fresh air that's needed in the russian political system it's on the opposition side almost as much as him because you think if you're going to second i spoke to some united russia members after the results were pretty clear last night and they basically said look it's not asked pushing the opposition to out they can't get their act together they haven't been able to do that for at least a decade maybe twenty years and if we remember the elections of like the one nine hundred ninety s. it was chaos chaos you know i was watching some western news station. this morning and they say this was the worst the most intimidating. dirty election in russia's post soviet history no that's not true nine hundred ninety nine was by far the dirtiest campaign this country has ever experienced i think it's clearly probably
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the most successful election and i heard earlier an italian observer you observed as well saying that clearly russia is on the right road but those who are skeptics will be skeptics for years this is not going to change their opinion russia's elections don't necessarily make it a democracy it's the west or not there's other strategies that are a play here and that's and boil a whole different conversation but it's not just about that's what we're going to talk about when we come back after the show break we'll continue our discussion on russia's parliamentary election state. anything. you want. wealthy british style. that's not the right guy for. the right. time. markets find
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a candle find out what's really happening to the global economy for a no holds barred look at the global financial headlines tune in to cause a report on our t.v. . welcome back to crosstalk i'm peter lavelle to remind you we're discussing the
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outcome of russia's state duma elections. ok and i'd like to go to you know i again i did my own kind of personal public opinion polling before the election and there were a lot of people that were not only didn't want to vote for united russia they were angry with united russia but not necessarily about what it believes ok because i've always said that united russia is a big tent party it's very inclusive almost so inclusive that it is just so it doesn't have a lot of substance ok and that's what a lot of people have very disparaging words about the party because of that do you think that this vote was just to kind of slap them on the wrist because they are very distant from people ok they don't have a human touch and as much as it is i was an anti-communist during the cold war the communist as john laughlin has pointed out here really are on the ground so you think it's just more you know punishing their their sense of the real sense of
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distance they have with the electorate you know be there i also have lots of friends who voted in protest for communists or for just russia so the situation was very common especially in large cities like moscow assented there's a book you could you know where it's and so on the problem with a not that russia in my opinion is that it's not so much concrete so it lacks action maybe it's just fails to combat the problems that people are so much tied off already like or like even corruption you know and they just like concrete action and they expect that these high a competition that just turned out to hear during this election will stimulate their ruling party to propose some new or to just to renew its. and to propose some new action. i want everyone to listen to what dmitri medvedev had to say as the election results were coming in where it showed that united russia was going to get about fifty percent let's assume what the president had to say. taking into account the planks makeup of the parliament. over the various issues this is what
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limits and democracies all about the leaders of other parties said they're ready for that. john if i can go to you i mean it's interesting that you would hear again i mean maybe i'm going to portray my age you know he's a russian president talking about you know how to build a much stronger democracy on the back on the heels of a electoral defeat quote unquote because they're still the main party here but i mean if this does make united russia engage the other parties because for years they did whatever they wanted to do they didn't have to listen to anyone else in the parliament now they do definitely and you know on balance that's probably a good thing i think there's one aspect that as far as i know people are not commenting on that is that the there was only one name on the united russia list on the ballot paper and that was dimitri medvedev to what extent then is this defeat or at least this reduction in the share of the united russia vote because obviously it's not a defeat is a victory but that's fourteen percent fewer votes than in. two thousand and seven
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to what extent is the judgment on his presidency after all he leads the list for him to say have to do carry the can for you know it's very interesting and then he said i think you know it's and i don't know the result i don't have an answer to this but i mean how much do people correlate to the party with the politician because people do associate united russia obviously with a lot of your putin i mean there's no doubt about that absolutely but it's also not a secret that you meet your mid-range of his less popular according to you know polls that are done not very very wide gap between them but putin is certainly without a doubt the most popular politician in the country despite what the west says despite what russians say despite what opposition said he is popular people know him and he's proven that he can give stability i think what in terms of united russia being out of touch i think what they really do now is prove that they took the country through a stable in ten years they need to develop and fast and people need to feel it in their roads in their schools they need to touch this development which isn't
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happening so far but united russia gets this and i also want to point out that i think this whether you see it as a referendum on united russia dmitry medvedev or vladimir putin i think the. presidential election not to rush ahead of time here will be much different in the sense of protest because people aren't going to risk that because what would that mean if you know this is a long but they're not skewed became president this is going to be a much more serious election in the sense of nobody really knew what the outcome would be in terms of how the parliament was going to work but they know what the president's job it and nobody is going to risk that it's very interesting if in your back you john i mean this is it's so much like other country's political systems that i mean if it's like the united states where it's a parliamentary democracy i mean you punish people you know it's not necessarily out of conviction you're saying you know and i think we've all agreed here a young pointed out here you know you talk about corruption told you more about corruption you know the roads you spend a lot of money on roads but you need to spend a lot more money on roads and pensioners which is the pensions are still very low
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in this country i mean it's a wake up call that you know you can't ignore it anymore and i'd like to put into the context later in the program like everywhere else in the world occupy everywhere yeah i know i agree i mean it is the normal vote it is a normal vote and i also agree with what you say about the need for development although i have to say that my few the few conversations i had in the provinces people i mean maybe they were trying to convince me but i was very interested to learn about the various government programs to stimulate as it happens i was talking about agriculture there's no doubt that there has to be more done on roads and so on one of the things that strikes me i mean you know we're always drawn to this comparison between russia and the west exact can i just please remind your viewers we had a very nice italian saying he thought russia was heaven on toast. i don't want to be nasty about it really but how many ministers in the new italian government were elected. zero the same goes for greece this is
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a time united nation the european commission and so on it's a bit of one of my hobby i you know you know let's let's just you know back off a bit ok if we're going to talk democracy then he. is the sweet sweet the door sweet the the from the front of our own door first you know what do you think about that because it's something i was reflecting upon looking at the results coming in is that you know there rushes held up to a certain bar but when you see occupy movement in the united states where people are opting out of the political system completely ok because they're saying it's not the republicans or the problems that the democrats are the problem it's the whole political system this a problem and they're not getting anything out of it and here in this country ok more i think there was four percent less of the population went to the polls in this election in the last one ok that is a decrease but it's not a significant decrease and people ergo are investing in this political system first let's remember that russia is only making its first steps on the on the very long
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way of building democratic institutions and including competitive party system this is the way that developed democracies have passed for centuries and now we only for twenty years have built well at least these elections i agree with a nice to hear that this election is much cleaner then they complain of one thousand nine hundred ninety for instance and in that from this perspective we can see that we have stronger bodies maybe we don't have yet party system what's the difference it's it's when there is a cooperation interaction between parties as well as between the party system itself and other political institutions like government the judicial branch and so on and so forth from this perspective we still yet we still have a lot to go but anyway in comparison with our the developed democracies russia russia is a little good progress let's put this out and you were in egypt recently and we did a live yesterday during covering the election and i pointed out that over the last
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year six governments in the eurozone have fallen because of the the crisis ok that is a very real one that's going to last for a very long time you were in egypt you were covering the parliamentary election here and then we have the elect. i mean democracy comes out in different forms in different places ok and it means something to different people at different times ok so when one size doesn't fit all egyptians are ecstatic about voting in what they're calling you know the first step towards their democracy hosni mubarak fell and what march so it really hasn't been that long russia twenty years let's compare russia and egypt. sixty three percent of the muslim brotherhood in a part of the myth that will pretty much have no power so the military is running the country the west all of the reports i saw in western media the first steps towards democracy everything is great no one was speaking about violations which were much much much more severe and at least what i saw in egypt you saw people going up to people whispering in their ears practically in the polling stations you saw cars driving by campaigning right outside polling stations with given thousands
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of people on the streets listening to this campaigning up to the booth and i make a fool comparing russian they do it because countries are just to different they are two different but that is what everyone thought it was nobody but in this is actually. fleshing out the point i'm trying to make is that in one size doesn't fit all ok and and of course and we're doing russia right now but i mean john if i go to you i do get a little worried though when the the muslim brotherhood does so well with what point will the united states say but this isn't a good election outcome ok because in gaza they didn't really vote the right way ok and we could see also in libya that you're not voting the right way ok and this is one of the things about the sovereign democracy that russia has here is that you know you know irrespective what the outside world thinks the people's will will be heard here ok any country that has their own democracy whatever you put that whatever kind of box you put that into if they're sovereign and don't let the west
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dictate what they do you will be claimed that they don't have fair elections it's politics that's the way it is going to place a president woodrow wilson. in the early. decade of the twentieth century said we i am going to teach the peoples of latin america to elect a good man and american foreign policy hasn't changed since then i want to react though to the something that young said he said mature democracies have reached the stage the advanced stage that they've reach for centuries that really is not true if you take the case of from it's the first change of power between left and right in france a peaceful change of power occurred in one thousand nine hundred one when francois mitterrand was elected after a long period in which to go list first to gold himself and then various successor politicians made video if you like to let him a putin controlled fronts and it took a long time before there was no also the change of power through the ballot box. in other words it's very recent it's in you know within within living memory moreover
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this idea that russia is somehow on a path where the west is greatly advanced i'm afraid i don't buy that at all the fact is i've made my point about italy and greece but in every single european europe european union country never mind the ones that have governments appointed by the european commission you have an effectively oligarchical system where you have the appearance or for that matter in america where you have the appearance of a two two party system but in fact there is no choice for the electorate over the main issues of the day because all the parties agree with each other take the case of germany the christian democrats and the social democrats agree with each other so much that they are in coalition with each other in every single federated unit of the federal republic and these are going to be you i swear to god let's go to the state i just want to say the first and last time i ever voted in a presidential election the man was elected president was chosen by the supreme court ok as you well know many thanks of my guest today here in the studio and our up point here and thanks to our viewers for watching us here are to see you next
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time and remember across toggles. just. say.
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