Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Behold, the Face of the Russian Liberal

You know how many foreigners say they like Americans, but they just don't like our President? And they can't understand why we keep electing him? I've tried endlessly to explain that Bush represents many policies that Americans agree with, and Bush is pretty moderate compared to many Americans.

Well, ditto that with Putin and Russia.

Oleg Shchedrov of Reuters (linked here via Washington Post) cites a latest opinion poll, conducted by VTsIOM for Renaissance Capital. The poll indicated that:

  • 81% of those polled believed Russia was creating a strong global role;

  • 90% approved increasing government involvement in the Russian economy;

  • 66% of respondents agreed that Russians lived better now than in the Soviet Union in 1991;

  • 72% said Russia was moving in the right direction.

Assuming Putin steps down as pledged next March, 52% said they would "definitely" or "probably" vote for a candidate of his choice.

Renaissance Capital said, regarding the poll results:
"Given the significant popular pressure, it is impressive that the government under President Putin has been as hands-off as it has been with the economy. Similarly, Putin's more aggressive foreign policy stance, while undermining relations in the West, has proved popular at home. The case can be made that Putin is a liberal relative to the median Russian voter."