The More Business Done by the State, the More Politics Done by Business

Doug Sanders at the Globe and Mail talks to Masha Lipman about how the “fragile bond” between the Kremlin and the business sector is coming under strain because of the economic crisis and the oligarch rescue plan. Sounds like the name of an ironic, obscure rock band, no?

“The Russian public accepted a non-participation pact in which the government delivers [prosperity] and the people do not meddle in politics,” said Masha Lipman of the Carnegie Moscow Centre, a political think tank. “And until now the government was delivering in a very generous way: People’s incomes were growing faster than the economy; people’s salaries were growing faster than the productivity of labour did. But now that the Kremlin will no longer be able to rely on ample resources, the question is to what extent will people be disaffected and how might they act.”

In other words, they might become more interested in voting – real voting this time.