Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Demographics of politics

Like many other European countries, Russia is facing an aging population. That means paying for pensions becomes more and more difficult.

How does Russia's population distribution compare with that of other countries you're studying? Do those countries face more, less, or similarly difficult problems? What are the political consequences of those problems?

Russia protests: Thousands rally over plan to raise pension age
Thousands of people have taken part in protests in cities across Russia to express their anger at government proposals to raise the pension age.

Demonstrators in the capital, Moscow, carried banners reading: "We want to live on our pensions, not die at work."

The government says it wants to raise the pension age from 60 to 65 for men, and from 55 to 63 for women, to help cope with a shrinking workforce.
Communist Party protesters

But unions warn many people will not live long enough to claim a pension.

Russian men have a life expectancy of just 66, while for women it is 77, the World Health Organization says…

The national protests were organised by the Russian Communist Party (CPRF), but trade unionists and nationalists also participated in the demonstrations.

There were red flags and other left-wing symbols…

Protesters carried slogans like: "We won't live that long" and "the government must go".

Several activists dressed up in death costumes, with one bringing a skeleton and a scythe. They argue the reforms are a death sentence for Russian people…

Protesters say the government should be taking the money from the rich and not "stealing" it from ordinary working people.

Some three million people have signed a petition against the pension reform proposals, which have been backed by President Vladimir Putin's ruling United Russia party…

Mr Putin, who did not mention the pension reform plan ahead of his re-election in March, has seen public trust in his presidency fall from 80% in May to 64% this month, according to the state pollster VTsIOM.

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