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Thread: EU Sees Russia Backsliding on Democracy

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    EU Sees Russia Backsliding on Democracy

    Quote Originally Posted by [url=http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=564&ncid=564&e=2&u=/nm/20041005/ts_nm/eu_russia_dc_4
    Yahoo! News[/url]]EU Sees Russia Backsliding on Democracy

    Tue Oct 5, 9:07 AM ET Top Stories - Reuters

    By Sebastian Alison

    BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Russia is backsliding on democracy and the EU must take Moscow to task while bringing other former Soviet republics closer to the West, the bloc's incoming External Relations Commissioner said on Tuesday.

    "It's quite obvious, let me be quite clear on that, that we are seeing a backsliding in democracy in Russia at the moment," Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the outgoing Austrian foreign minister, told a confirmation hearing in the European Parliament.

    "We need to speak frankly, and you know what that means in diplomatic jargon, with each other about this, but also as equal partners," she said. Ferrero-Waldner insisted she would press Russia on human rights, saying that even in the aftermath of the school siege in the southern town of Beslan in which more than 300 people died, there was no excuse for reverses in basic rights.

    "Human rights have always to be defended, also when it comes to combating terrorism, and it's up to us to say this and to shout this from the rooftops," she said.

    She also said the European Union (news - web sites) should promote its European Neighborhood Policy, designed to boost ties with states that became its neighbors after its eastward enlargement in May.

    "I will do everything in my powers to keep Ukraine on our side at least," she said, adding that it would be more difficult to work with Belarus, an authoritarian state which shared few of the EU's values on democracy, freedom and human rights.

    "There is such a chance to move forward and to bring those countries that are ringing the enlarged European Union toward us more closely," she told the hearing.

    "Of course that means that we bring them our common values and they, in the end, will be able to share a stake in our internal market. So it is a give and take."


    TOUGH TALK


    Ferrero-Waldner, who will run the executive EU Commission's big foreign assistance budget and staff, was outlining her priorities for the five-year term of the incoming team which takes office on Nov. 1.

    However, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana is due to take over her role when he becomes the bloc's first foreign minister once a constitution agreed in June is ratified. The target date is January 2007, subject to uncertain referendums in several member states.

    Ferrero-Waldner said she had discussed Russia's war against separatist rebels in the southern republic of Chechnya (news - web sites) with President Vladimir Putin (news - web sites).

    She vowed to hold tough talks with Russia while keeping dialogue alive, saying the EU held just such negotiations with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in New York last month.

    "This is exactly what we have to do," she said. "But tough talk is also dialogue for me. As long as we speak to each other we can have a dialogue," she said.

    Ferrero-Waldner said she favored the EU having a single seat on a reformed U.N. Security Council to boost its weight in world affairs.

    "If you really want the EU to be recognized as an international player on an equal footing with other international players, then that is necessary," she said.
    I have approximately ten thousand snide comments to make about this wire article. I'd rather hear yours, though. Commentary?

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    I think those are probably reasonable conclusions and concerns.

    Unfortunately, given that they are being expressed (without a hint of irony), by an EU commissioner who was herself directly appointed to a position of considerable power by a head of state, with nary a sniff of an election, it does smell at least a little hypocritical.

    But then, hypocrisy is what the West Does Best.

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    All that is required to be a democracy is to have Government elected. Even if it is only President alone who is elected and who then appoints the rest of Government, it is a democracy. So all the talk about "sliding democracy" is uneducated rubbish, which does tell us a lil bit about those spokespersons.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad manners
    All that is required to be a democracy is to have Government elected. Even if it is only President alone who is elected and who then appoints the rest of Government, it is a democracy. So all the talk about "sliding democracy" is uneducated rubbish, which does tell us a lil bit about those spokespersons.
    Leaving aside the issue of the current developments in Russia, I'm not sure about your comment. Aren't there pleanty of examples of an elected leader morphing into a dictator and thereby undermining democracy. (Wasn't Hitler, at least initially, elected, albeit not as uber-boss? My historical knowledge is appalling, sorry.) To me, and I think lots of people, the concept of democracy implies a bunch of things -- role of public in decision making, rule of law, etc.

    I'm not suggesting such a morphing is happening in Russia now, by the way, just taking issue with the general idea that if the public initially elected the president, anything he does constitutes democracy . . .
    Yes, I live in Texas. No, I don't support Bush.

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    Formally, my remark still holds.

    Realistically, there are also a few hundred federal law makers that are also elected in Russia. So democracy is firmly established in Russia.

    But your example with Hitler does not cut it. Until the very last year his policies were widely approved by the German people, and if there had been any elections, he and his party would certainly win and his party would hold a majority in the Reichstag, thus blocking any attempts of impeachment.

    Yet another example is the USSR. Do you know that in the USSR the President and the Parliament, as well as local executive branches were elected? Was the USSR a democracy?
    Jonesboro, Arkansas. Mean, stupid, violent fat people, no jobs, nothing to do, hotter than a dog with 2 d--cks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scotcher
    Unfortunately, given that they are being expressed (without a hint of irony), by an EU commissioner who was herself directly appointed to a position of considerable power by a head of state, with nary a sniff of an election, it does smell at least a little hypocritical.

    But then, hypocrisy is what the West Does Best.
    This is pretty much what I was thinking. Except you used less profanity

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    Почтенный гражданин Mordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad manners
    All that is required to be a democracy is to have Government elected. Even if it is only President alone who is elected and who then appoints the rest of Government, it is a democracy. So all the talk about "sliding democracy" is uneducated rubbish, which does tell us a lil bit about those spokespersons.
    Well first electing a President is not electing a goverment. They are two different things when I last checked my dictionnary.

    Second, when elections are not free and results skewed by the power in charge, this is no more a democracy.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/ ... =democracy

    Saddam Hussein was an elected president. He received 100%. Much better than the 57% or so Putin got in the last presidential election.

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    Почтенный гражданин Mordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scotcher

    But then, hypocrisy is what the West Does Best.

    That's cheap and cheesy.

    You sound like a hippie, sorry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mordan
    Well first electing a President is not electing a goverment. They are two different things when I last checked my dictionnary.
    President is Head of Government. Get yourself a better dictionary. If you do not trust in your President's ability to put together a good government, elect another President. As simple as that.

    Second, when elections are not free and results skewed by the power in charge, this is no more a democracy.
    That could happen even when half the country is elected. Hardly has anything to do with the subject.
    Jonesboro, Arkansas. Mean, stupid, violent fat people, no jobs, nothing to do, hotter than a dog with 2 d--cks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mordan
    Quote Originally Posted by scotcher

    But then, hypocrisy is what the West Does Best.

    That's cheap and cheesy.

    You sound like a hippie, sorry.
    You hear that, scotcher? You're a hippie. O, the horror!!!!

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    This man deserves a Jerry Garcia t-shirt! (standard hippie wear )
    http://dyethesky.com/Merchant2/merchant ... y_Code=JGT
    Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Линдзи

    This is pretty much what I was thinking. Except you used less profanity
    My profanities are strictly oral

    Quote Originally Posted by Mordan
    That's cheap and cheesy.

    You sound like a hippie, sorry.
    Shame, I was aiming for deep.
    No, really.
    Hence the cheese-emphisising capitals.

    No need to say sorry though, you sound like a moron and I'm not going to apologise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Линдзи
    You hear that, scotcher? You're a hippie. O, the horror!!!!
    I'd love to be a hippie. Unfortunately I can't grow my hair long enough, and anyway hippies aren't supposed to despise their enemies, so I'll just have to be content being a liberal/pinko instead....man.

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    "Ferrero-Waldner insisted she would press Russia on human rights, saying that even in the aftermath of the school siege in the southern town of Beslan in which more than 300 people died, there was no excuse for reverses in basic rights. "

    So, she would press Russia?
    I like such rhetorics. Let her go on and try.
    Кр. -- сестр. тал.

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    Почтенный гражданин Mordan's Avatar
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    press

    Quote Originally Posted by Scorpio
    "Ferrero-Waldner insisted she would press Russia on human rights, saying that even in the aftermath of the school siege in the southern town of Beslan in which more than 300 people died, there was no excuse for reverses in basic rights. "

    So, she would press Russia?
    I like such rhetorics. Let her go on and try.
    It makes sense IMO.

    If you go look in "my" not so bad dictionnary (thx bad manner)

    among other possibilites press may mean : to try hard to persuade

    It is not like she is going to press your huge and proud country like one would do with a lemon for some juice...

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary-tb

    Try out merrian webster, it is really a great dictionnary and quite an useful tool.

    Mord

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    Почтенный гражданин Mordan's Avatar
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    df

    No need to say sorry though, you sound like a moron and I'm not going to apologise.
    A moron? I'm not surprised to be called as such, especially from a hippie lover

    oh come on, you have no humor. I knew I was going maybe a little too harsh with my comments, but I really disliked your comment about the West.

    Cheers

    Cya

    Mord

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    Re: press

    Quote Originally Posted by Mordan
    Quote Originally Posted by Scorpio
    "Ferrero-Waldner insisted she would press Russia on human rights, saying that even in the aftermath of the school siege in the southern town of Beslan in which more than 300 people died, there was no excuse for reverses in basic rights. "

    So, she would press Russia?
    I like such rhetorics.
    It makes sense IMO.

    If you go look in "my" not so bad dictionnary (thx bad manner)

    among other possibilites press may mean : to try hard to persuade

    It is not like she is going to press your huge and proud country like one would do with a lemon for some juice...
    Mordran, my english isn't that bad.
    I understand perfectly, what does she mean.
    So, if she want to persuade Russia to do anything, my answer still remains: let her go on and try. We'll look at it.
    Кр. -- сестр. тал.

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