Why Are Illiberal Democrats Popular? by Daniel Gros – Project Syndicate

Russian president Vladimir Putin and Turkish P...

Russian president Vladimir Putin and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi at the opening of the Blue Stream Gas Pipeline (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s an outstanding article by Daniel Gros, Director of the Brussels-based Center for European Policy Studies, and published by Project Syndicate. He observes that illiberal leaders like Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and Hungary’s Viktor Orbán have managed to concentrate power without losing popular support. However, he warns that as their mounting authoritarianism undermines prudent economic policies, they will find it increasingly difficult to keep the electorate happy.

Source: Why Are Illiberal Democrats Popular? by Daniel Gros – Project Syndicate

The argument and conclusions are faltless. But what if the electorates in Russia, Turkey and Hungary become unhappy? Certainly, in Russia and Turkey, it’s hard to imagine popular uprisings and political change. More likely, with unhappy electorates, these regimes will become more repressive, tossing the ocassional anti-Western red meat to the masses. But special counsel, Robert Mueller investigation into Russian and Turkish involvement in US politics is likely to be a watershed, in both the US and possibly in Russia and Turkey too. As for Hungary, there will be the influence of the wider EU.

The worst case scenario, for the likes of Russia, Turkey and Hungary is deepening popular unhappiness with declining economic opportunities and their governments increasingly involved in foreign policy adventures, including wars, to deflect attention at home.


CHP prepares report on ‘social deterioration’ in Turkey – POLITICS – Hurriyet Daily News

This is a must-read article by Hurriyet Daily News, a leading Turkish newspaper. The article reports that a report prepared by the main opposition CHP deputy chair Lale Karabıyık about “social deterioration” in Turkey during the 13-year rule of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has alleged increasing rates of homicide, sexual abuse, drug addiction and sexual assault incidents.

Source: CHP prepares report on ‘social deterioration’ in Turkey – POLITICS

This is deeply worrying for people in Turkey.

However, the article should also be deeply worrying for people in Europe, especially in Germany, with Angela Merkel increasingly trying to win favor with Erdogan, the leader of the Justice and Development Party.