Rush Limborg wrote:
I would imagine the people of Russia care very much for freedom, civil rights, etc.
Unfortunately, this idea is questionable. At the height of Russian democratization during the late 80s and 1990s, there really was no large-scale Russian democracy movement, no real Russian civil society. People didn't form major advocacy groups, civil rights protection groups, interest groups, etc. It was, unfortunately, a much more top-down phenomenon than bottom-up. And, indeed, Vladimir Putin is very much admired and has high approval ratings today, even though he's transformed Russian democracy into a joke, because he is credited with reviving the Russian economy.
Unfortunately, I would argue that Russian political culture is, at present, still fundamentally autocratic, and will remain so for some time. The Russian people as a whole have simply yet to internalize the ideas of the Enlightenment, of liberal democracy, and until they do, the Russian government will reflect the autocratic impulses of the majority.
Because the question would inevitably arise as to whether the "norms" had, indeed, kept the Federation safe...or whether it was Section 31 which did the protecting.
I'm curious how Section 31 could be proven to have protected anyone when it's so opposed to transparency.