Putin’s Dirty Hands in the Upcoming Election

December 13, 2011

Political Theory

Russian billionaire and New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov announced his intentions to run against the reigning Vladimir Putin in the March presidential elections.


The man is considered a rock star in Russia. He is notorious for his partying and excess. It is unlikely that he will threaten Putin, but his name alone will create a ton of buzz.


However, the opposition-leader believes Prokhorov’s candidacy is intended to help Putin. There have been mass protests of the Kremlin recently since there was report a fraud in the December 4th parliamentary elections. Allegedly, they expect Prokhorov to rally these protestors by way of his popularity and convince them to vote for Putin.


Putin while working in the KGB


I believe the concept of dirty hands applies in a way that is not in the United States’ best interest. It’s possible that what Putin is doing is what is best for his country. By getting votes in the least clean of ways, he is assuring his path to the presidency (again). Which from a Russian perspective is not the worst thing.


Putin’s popular in Russia because he has maintained them to a World power after the Cold War ended. His thirst for dominance is clear. He ran on the campaign slogan “Putin’s Plan: Russia’s Victory.”


Putin emerging from an election in a defiant landslide is good for his image and more so the image of Russia. Especially when the United States has so much partisanship and seems to be led by a government that cannot produce results, it looks great for Russia to have a strong capable leader who can accomplish goals with overwhelming support from his country.


Let’s say Putin wins the election with by a comfortable but not all that strong of a margin. It makes him look weaker. It could cause people to question his ability and control over of the population. It puts Putin in a worse position to lead.


New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov


Machiavelli said that the leader “who rests wholly on Fortune is ruined when she changes” (185). Putin just might be deserving of Russia’s confidence to “follow evil if he must” (128).


It is possible that maybe the people do not know what is best. And that is the reason leaders have the positions they do.


Looking at this from a Russian perspective is Putin acting in everyone’s best interest? Does the United States have an obligation to call foul? If they do will they follow through?



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3 Comments on “Putin’s Dirty Hands in the Upcoming Election”

  1. jkb34383 Says:

    Putin’s actions can not really be justified. In his eyes he is benefiting Russia by ensuring his stay in office, however he may also just be seeking benefits for himself to make himself appear as powerful and unbeatable leader. Though sometimes the people do not always know what is the best for themselves. That is the point behind a representative government. If citizens of Russia are so easily influenced then it is probably in their best interest to leave the decisions up to those who are well educated and experienced.

    Finally, this issue should be little to no concern for the U.S. This issue involves a Russian who happens to own an NBA team. That is no ground for our government to get involved in other country’s political affairs.

    • rschles92 Says:

      This issue is not really about Prokhorov. This issue is about Putin scrambling when times are not as stable for him as they usually are. The US has involved themselves with other nations’ political affairs in the past why would they not say anything about this?

      The US could see this move as a sign of weakness and a time to capitalize on Russia’s slip ups when the US has had plenty themselves.

  2. mzselig Says:

    From Putin’s standpoint, he is doing what he feels is right for Russia, but his view is jaded in that he still believes that Russia must be a dominant force and must run as if the Cold War was still occurring. The fact that there is even discussion about whether or not he is attempting or has rigged the elections is Russia validates the claim that he has dirty hands. Any attempt to change the outcome of a process that is meant to be accepted as just and fair is in no way in the best interest of your country, particularly when the populous of the country does not necessarily support you in the first place.
    The US does not have an obligation to cry wolf in this situation because meddling in another country’s politics is none of our business and is no where near in our best interest. We have attempted to be the world police in recent history and it has not worked out at all, so why should we continue those kinds of attempts when the situation poses no direct threat to us at all?

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