In today's edition of the New York Times Magazine there is an interesting article about presidential power worldwide and how the office of the presidency might inherently lead to autocratic tendencies. The article entitled, "The Time of the Presidents" by GARY ROSEN is definitly worth reading. Here's a portion of the article:
Were he still around, what would Peter the Great make of the Group of 8 summit meeting being held this weekend in his imperial capital? Would he find any kindred autocratic spirits among the leaders of the industrialized world as they confer in the grand palaces of St. Petersburg? For critics of George W. Bush and his expansive view of presidential power, the question answers itself, and Jacques Chirac certainly wins points for hauteur. But compared to other presidents making headlines lately (leaders chosen, more or less, by their own people) Bush and Chirac have been models of executive self-restraint.
Vladimir Putin, whose role as host of the G-8 summit meeting has been controversial in itself, continues to centralize control and quash dissent in Russia. Outside the G-8, President Hugo ChÃ¡vez of Venezuela rails against American hegemony while turning the legislature and courts into appendages of his rule. Then there is IranÂs Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an Islamist demagogue whose nuclear ambitions and apocalyptic rhetoric have traumatized the West and given newfound power to his lay office. Around the world, the imperial presidency appears to be alive and well.
Click here to read the full article.