Five Governments That Deserve to Fail

FP Magazine is on a list-making bonanza, and in its latest web-only feature, writes of the top five government leaders that deserve to fail, summarized and abridged below. (I don’t agree with the list, nor even understand where they’re going with this, as no alternatives are identified in any cases, and in some cases the alternatives are even dismissed, but it nonetheless makes for mildly interesting reading.)


GEORGIA: President Mikheil Saakashvili – The man brought the country into a calamatous war with Russia in August 2008, with Russia sent troops deep into Georgia after Tbilisi tried to retake the separatist regions. The conflict destroyed already tense relations with one of Georgia’s largest trading partners and slashed direct foreign investment more than 50 percent. The country is thus even more exposed to the continued and accelerated global downturn because Georgia requires more than $4 billion in support from foreign governments and organizations to stay solvent. And now thousands of protestors have shut down the capital.

THAILAND: Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva – Thailand has been in a state of political turmoil since the 2006 coup. How Abhisit is to blame for this the FT doesn’t say, but the collapse of the ASEAN talks, the military response to the protests, and the contracting economy all mean that Thailand is in for a rough few years.

NEPAL: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal (“Prachanda”) - Following the fall of the monarchy, the rival factions in parliament have found it difficult to work together. Prachanda’s high-handed rule has meant that a series of ethnic flare-ups and far-left protests have risen to threaten the power of the state in the countryside, and even inside the capital there are journalist assasinations and flight of foreign capital. Nepal risks catastrophe if the violence continues to spread.

RUSSIA: Prime Minister Vladimir Putin – Despite his lasting popularity, Putin has failed to enact economic policies that would have aided Russia through the financial crisis. Although Russia benefited richly from the global rise in stock and commodity prices, but as these prices have collapsed, Russia is backpedaling on its dependency on the mega power companies to drive the economy. Stock prices are down more than 50 percent, debt delinquency has skyrocketed, unemployment is up, the economy will contract in 2009, the ruble’s in trouble, and yet Putin remains in power as Prime Minister and takes no blame or responsibility for the troubles, and has even tightened his control over Russia’s “managed democracy.”

GERMANY: Chancellor Angela Merkel – Germany’s economy did well over the last decade as it exported its way out of the 2001 recession. But with global demand weak, slowdowns in the industrial market, and woes in its banking sector, Germany’s economy is due to contract about 5 percent this year. Merkel may govern conservatively and prudently, but she has regularly pointed fingers are allies and naysayed other countries’ economic policies, spurring a chilly response from leaders of the US, Britain, France, and Japan, among others.

About Curzon

Lord George Nathaniel Curzon (1859 - 1925) entered the British House of Commons as a Conservative MP in 1886, where he served as undersecretary of India and Foreign Affairs. He was appointed Viceroy of India at the turn of the 20th century where he delineated the North West Frontier Province, ordered a military expedition to Tibet, and unsuccessfully tried to partition the province of Bengal during his six-year tenure. Curzon served as Leader of the House of Lords in Prime Minister Lloyd George's War Cabinet and became Foreign Secretary in January 1919, where his most famous act was the drawing of the Curzon Line between a new Polish state and Russia. His publications include Russia in Central Asia (1889) and Persia and the Persian Question (1892). In real life, "Curzon" is a US citizen from the East Coast who has been a financial analyst, freelance translator, and university professor; he is currently on assignment in Tokyo.
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7 Responses to Five Governments That Deserve to Fail

  1. Pingback: Warren Ellis » Links for 2009-04-24

  2. Uhhhhh, where’s Burma?

  3. Napalm Centigrade says:

    Philippines ?

  4. zach wilson says:

    maybe FP is saying this from a more parliamentary POV where when the government fails they form a new one. In the US if the government fails then the country fails.

  5. Paul McEnery says:

    @ Zach.

    Of course. Only in America do they conflate government and the state. A cynical man might imagine that this on the one hand keeps the people in line with the government of the day (because they identify it with the nation) and on the other hand keeps the people stupidly terrified of anyone who can be labelled socialist, because a socialist government is obviously the same thing as a communist state.

  6. Roy Berman says:

    “Only in America do they conflate government and the state.”
    So clarify, what people in a parliamentary country mean when they say “the government” is what Americans mean when we say “the administration.”

    That FP Magazine article is pretty lousy. Is the magazine ever really any good?

  7. Pingback: » Prachanda Resigns