The current behaviour of the Russian leader Putin raises the question of the qualities of people elected to be head of state, even in democracies, and to a greater extent where there are questionable free elections.
Those of us who have been around for a while have seen quite a lot of leaders come and go and few seem to be the saints we would like them to be. It raises the question as to why people stand for such office.
The role seems to inevitably make them a lot richer than they would probably have become without the role. Howard, for example, would have been a suburban solicitor if he had stayed outside the political field.
The biggest gain for them however appears to be satisfying the need for power and influence. The concern here is the affect these have on the decisions made. I read somewhere that Putin is trying to restore Russia to its former glory, in terms of land mass. Apart from anything else it takes the Russian people’s mind off things at home which apparently are not too good. Perhaps we’ll never know. After all the only news we really have is what the media feeds us and the same is true for the Russian people. Having access to world news seemed to be a good thing when it first became available. Now we know it is likely to be biased according to the beliefs of a few media owners, with a bias we are not usually aware of.
What the answer to all this is we don’t seem to know. Having the media in several different hands is perhaps our best protection but even this seems to be diminishing. Have there ever been so few media owners?
This brings me back to the motives of leaders. Many of them are as addicted to power and their own aggrandizement as addicts in other fields. This must affect their decision making. A bit scary.