Mientras Rusia dormía

Las elecciones en Rusia suelen de alguna manera señalar una crisis política. La reelección de Boris Yeltsin a la presidencia en 1996, por ejemplo, detuvo una resurrección comunista (no a través de una revolución, sino de las urnas). Las elecciones para la Duma (la casa baja del parlamento ruso) son normalmente más tranquilas, y la campaña que acaba de terminar y las elecciones para la Duma ( NOTA PARA LOS EDITORES, las votaciones se llevarán a cabo el 7 de diciembre) ciertamente fueron silenciosas; sepulcralmente silenciosas.

En efecto, el presidente Vladimir Putin es tan omnipotente en Rusia hoy en día, que pocos (en el mundo y en Rusia) habrían notado las elecciones para la Duma si no hubiera sido por el arresto y encarcelamiento este otoño de Mikhail Khodorkovsky, el oligarca de la industria petrolera que se atrevió a apoyar financieramente a dos partidos liberales opositores de Putin. El arresto de Khodorkovsky no galvanizó a los rusos comunes y corrientes, que consideran cada vez más que las elecciones poco tienen que ver con sus difíciles vidas. Sin embargo, su arresto sí sacudió la confianza internacional en Putin y provocó que otros oligarcas y reformistas democráticos teman seriamente por sus libertades.

Mientras más grande sea el poder, más peligroso es el abuso, dijo Edmund Burke en 1771. Putin ejerce un poder mayor que el que se le permite a cualquier otro líder electo de manera democrática, y la forma en la que lo ejerce está generando preocupaciones importantes. La frase de Lord Acton sobre el efecto corruptor del poder todavía no se aplica; la advertencia de Burke sí.

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