Today I found this interesting article in the Moscow Times. Apparently, on Thursday, Russia’s Constitutional Court ruled that ex-convicts have the right to fun for offices, including the office of president. This ruling was a direct response to the ban Vladimir Putin placed last year on ex-convicts running for office (which just happened to outlaw the leader of the opposition party from running in the future).
According to the new law, only people who are sentenced to a life in prison are banned from running for office.
I wasn’t sure what America’s policy on criminals running for office was, so I did some research. Most of the information I came across merely said candidates had to 1) be born in the US 2) be at least 35 and 3) have lived in the US for 14 years.
The only other information I could find was on Wikipedia (so I’m not guaranteeing accuracy). Wikipedia had the first three qualifications, as well as these other three: 1) cannot have already served 2 presidential terms 2) if impeached from office, the Senate can decide whether they are eligible to run 3) cannot have previously turned their back on their country after swearing an oath of allegiance (but this ban can be lifted from a Congressional vote). So yes, Charles Manson can run for US president, but not my best friend who was adopted from Russia but lived her life as a US citizen.
I’m not sure which is scarier, that Charles Manson can legally run for US president, or that I think Russia has the right idea of banning those sentenced to a life in prison from running for office.
Today, History 254 discussed the mobility of classes and ascription of identity. What does ascribing entail in this context? In this context, it is the government ascribing an identity of nationality to citizens in hopes of creating a more united society. Although this plan backfired, the tactic is important in relation to today’s discussion. When the government assigned identity, they also created a reformed class structure in some ways. A question discussed today was, is there mobility between classes? The concluding answer was yes, there was, and the peasantry class had the most mobility. The peasants were encouraged to get an education for the working force. The government was trying to wipe out the existing middle class and fill that gap with the rising peasantry.
On an unrelated subject, I have a bit of current news. As I was scrolling through the Moscow Times, I came across a headline predicting Russian adoptions to double. This subject peaked my interest when Russia banned U.S. adoptions of Russian children on January 1, 2013. Russia claimed that there had been too many recent cases of abuse of Russian adoptees in the U.S., commencing the ban of U.S. adoptions. I think this ban was largely political considering that children abuse occurs in many other areas to a much more extreme degree. Due to the face that the U.S. accounted for over 60,000 of Russian adoptees over the past two years, numbers of children kept in orphanages was expected to rise. However, this article says that the Russians have begun adopting these orphans. Within the first six months after the U.S. ban, the number of children in these orphanages dropped from 118,000 to 110,000. This rapid increase in domestic adoptions is excepted to sustain. The government predicts that 15,000 Russian children will be adopted by the end of 2013.