The Reasons Why South Africa Have More Successful Than Russia Democratic Politics

The Reasons Why South Africa Have More Successful Than Russia Democratic Politics

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Addressing this question, first, I want to discuss the criteria for consolidated democracy. Consolidated democracy in my opinion mainly needs balancing political institutions that prevent potential abuse of power leads to authoritarianism, freedom of speech, free and fair election accepted by everyone, a long term standing of democracy and so on.
Considering that, the following are the reasons why South Africa has been more successful than Russia in consolidating democratic politics.
1. Political Institutions (the balancing of power).
South Africa is parliamentary system but the head of the state is president. And Russia is semi-presidential with very powerful President and weak Prime Minister.
Different from South Africa, the President of Russia highly centralizes the power. He/she directly leads the government and has controls of military, diplomacy, etc. (Only president and not parliament can force out PM or any Minister.) The parliament of Russia unlike that of South Africa on the other hand, has weak power. This means that the parliament of Russia can’t form an effective constraint of power on the President of Russia. Mainly the parliament of Russia only has substantive powers on discussing and passing the federal law. Upper chamber in Russia is effectively controlled by President. Also the impeachment is nearly impossible since it requires 2/3 vote in both chambers and consent of Supreme Court and Federation Constitutional court (both appointed by President).
In contrast, the President of South Africa does not have such amount of power. It has numerous checks and balances from parliament, legislature, etc. that prevent its total dominance over the government.
In all, South Africa in this perspective has more balancing po...


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...or the transition so that everyone can get used to it. However, the change in Russia was rapid and radical. It directly replaced the regime before without a long term of adaptive phase or something like that. This results to period of messy times which some parts of the political institutions/systems endure problems which is not good for consolidating the democracy in long term. Also unlike South Africa, Russia in some way never embrace the democracy before the transition. Even though South Africa did have discrimination of black people/minority, it was not authoritarianism like Russia before the transition. So consolidating democracy is far more easy and successful for South Africa. Because when the existing democracy of Russia can’t solve some problems in the society, people or leaders in Russia will spontaneously go back to authoritarianism and seek for solutions.

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