Ussr Russia

Ussr / Russia – Comparative Government Essay, Research Paper

Notes- Comparative Government- Class 12/6/00

Brezhnev ? corruption was rampant; elite members of the party lived quite well and there was a very active black market

died in 1982

Andropov- former head of KGB

tries to deal with the alcohol problem

suggests various reforms to get rid of some of the corruption

only there two years so very few reforms

Chenenko- really was unimportant

Gorbachev ?

glasnost- openness (independent newspapers could rise; criticism of the government was allowed)

perestroika ? economic restructuring (to introduce capitalism)

Reasons why Gorbachev failed

gross underestimation of the problems plaguing Sov. Union

did not have any clear priorities (goal was illusive)

lacked an appreciation for the failure of the nationalities policy

indecisive (because he was trying to please everyone)

he was a Marxist so it was hard for him to make any major changes

instead of going through proper channels he pronounced his changes

heavy reliance on KGB

Coup in 1991 failed because of Boris Yeltsin; dissolution of SU and then in Dec. resignation of Gorbachev

formed Commonwealth of Independent States— no real power

CIS is similar to British Commonwealth of Nations

Russian Federation created by Constitution in 1993

Boris Yeltsin who headed the Russian-Soviet Federated Republic was elected in 1991

runs for election in 1995 (2 4-year term limits)

Constitution does give the President a lot of power (most of power is vested in Pres)

has to appoint Prime Minster which has to be approved by legislative branch

if State Duma disapproves then the Constitution gives the President the right to re-submit the persons name; if they disapprove again then he can resubmit once again and if they disapprove he can dissolve the Duma (then there is new election)

President does set policy

can veto legislation coming out of the legislature

can dissolve Parliament

can rule by decree



called State Duma

450 members elected for 4 year term

pass bills; approve budget; have power of confirmation of Prime Minister and Cabinet Members

impeachment of President

no-confidence vote in Cabinet

if President vetoes a law passed by Duma then they can override veto by 2/3 vote

Russians use split ballot (like Germany) (must get 5% of the vote nationwide to be represented via: Prop Rep)

Upper House: called Federation Consul

equiv. US Senate (89 units ?states and each unit has 2 representatives)

only one that can change inside boundaries

only they can approve use of armed forces abroad

approve appointment of judges and they are only ones who can remove judges

Highest Court: Constitutional Court

19 Judges

appointed by President but have to be confirmed by Federation Consul

determine the constitutionality of law

handle citizen complaints (have to go through court system to go there)

serve for life (cannot be fired)

When Boris Yeltsin became the first President, there is another attempted coup in 1993 in response to his statement that he was going to dissolve the Duma but it will not be successful

Yego Gaidar: first Prime Minister under Yeltsin in favor of pro-Western capitalism; doesn?t last because when they try to fast-track capitalism it fails

Victor Chernomydrin: fired twice by Yeltsin

Vladmir Zhirinovsky: head of Liberal Democratic Party— which is extremely right wing; felt that Russia should go back to being the Soviet Union and they should bring back all the land they had at one time (incl. Poland)

Gennadi Zyuganov- after fall of Soviet Union, he heads Communist Party; has attempted to run for President; very active in Russia


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