Feb 29, 2012

To save U.K., England must be more like Scotland

The battle over Scotland’s future as part of the United Kingdom has begun. Last week, politicians on both sides of the border set out passionate arguments for and against Scottish independence. All three of Britain’s main political parties are committed to preserving the union. ...

Dec 10, 2011

Civil reawakening in Russia?

It came as no surprise to Russian citizens that parliamentary elections held Dec. 4 were neither free nor fair. Elections in Russia have become increasingly managed since Vladimir Putin’s first stint as prime minister in 1999. Even before Putin, under President Boris Yeltsin, elections ...

Nov 7, 2011

Wrong timing by the Euro-skeptics

For Britain’s Euro-skeptics, the current eurozone crisis has an air of inevitability and opportunity. The crisis validates their view of the single currency as a straitjacket forcing disparate economies into an unworkable union. “We told you so”, crow Britain’s anti-European politicians, goaded on by ...

Jul 14, 2011

The blame goes beyond a tabloid

After 168 years of titillating Britons over breakfast, the News of the World has closed. Last Sunday’s edition was the tabloid’s last. Allegations of police bribery and phone tapping by Britain’s best-selling newspaper were met with public outrage. But are these revelations really so ...

Jun 25, 2011

Election season comes early in the Kremlin

In the highly controlled environment of Russian domestic politics, there are few surprises. Russia is a managed democracy in which political changes and election outcomes are carefully orchestrated by the Kremlin. Within this context, the surprise announcement that Mikhail Prokhorov, Russia’s third richest man, ...

May 20, 2011

Britain's coalition bestows lopsided benefits

“England does not love coalitions.” British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli’s famous phrase about English antipathy toward coalitions is as apt today as when it was first uttered in 1852. After one year in office, England certainly doesn’t show love for its current coalition government. ...

May 11, 2011

Britain's adversity to A.V.

Britain’s rejection of a new electoral system in last Thursday’s referendum comes as no surprise. Nor does the predictably low turnout of 42 percent. Alternative Vote (A.V.), the system proposed to replace the First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) method of electing ministers of Parliament (MPs) to Westminster, ...

Dec 15, 2010

The Kremlin resets Russian foreign policy

2010 has seen a change in Russia’s relations with the West. The Obama administration came to office promising a “reset” in relations with Moscow, and in the past year, this new mood of cooperation has begun to deliver tangible results. Moscow and Washington are ...

Oct 14, 2010

Labour's left foot forward?

New party leaders never want for advice. Since his election as leader of the British Labour Party last month, everyone has words of wisdom for Ed Miliband. This frenzied fight to mold the Miliband message is hardly surprising; a series of poor policy and ...

Sep 15, 2010

Why Putin is good for Japan

For Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, it has been a hectic summer. He took a spin across 2,100 km of the Siberian tundra in a Lada, was initiated into the Hell’s Angels, fired darts at gray whales with a crossbow and still found time ...