The uncharacteristic absence of a leader who has promoted the image of an iron-pumping, micro-managing czar comes at a time when his inner circle is already in disarray. An undeclared war on corruption has cost the job of a defense minister and led to a media campaign on state TV against a number of other officials, including a former agriculture minister.Skeptics see the scandals as the result of infighting among rival clans that only create the impression of a fight against graft. Yet the uncertainty of who may go next belies the stability that Putin made the hallmark of his rule.As for the opposition – as immature and vain as they have proven to be – they can afford to wait.The so-called Coordination Council that activists elected in October has been derided as unrepresentative and unimportant. Of course, the council can only claim to represent those who chose to participate, namely the most active and committed members of Russia’s politicized middle class. But at least the forum provides a much-needed structure to a disparate movement.

Time isn’t on Putin’s side.Having concentrated so much power in his own hands, he will ultimately be held responsible for anything that goes wrong. By deciding that only he was fit to lead Russia, Putin has merely postponed the question of a peaceful succession.I understand your hypothesis, but I do not believe looking at Iceland’s example is prudent. Seeking a fresh economic start does not require a constitutional convention, nor does it justify one. Trashing core documents is a tempting path during a crisis period. The false illusion of going back to zero and restarting assumes that the bad habits that got you to the crisis point won’t be waiting for you later on.Hey, I have a better idea. Instead of trying to change the constitution lets try to follow it! The constitution is the supreme law of the land… How about applying the constitution to any law being passed? That way you’ll know when government is overreaching. Don’t change the constitution – ENFORCE IT.

Hate to break it to you…but the constitution has been changed before… 27 times to be exact (although the first 10 are what you would call The Bill of Rights). it took a change to the constitution to eliminate slavery and give those former slaves the same god-given right to vote that white men had. it took a change to the constitution to give women the right to vote. the constitution is a living document that the founders designed with the idea that we can change it to adapt to the world. they could not forsee everything that was going to happen in the world, so they gave us article 5 which lays out the amendment process. sorry to rain on your «never change the document» parade with reality.