Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov has become a half-candidate for the position of the president. The entrepreneur has collected a half of 2 million signatures required for his nomination as a candidate for the presidential vote. Most likely, Mr. Prokhorov will easily collect the remaining half - he has enough money and power for it.
"We've opened hundreds of stations to accept signatures in 66 Russian cities. In addition to that, there are over 300 mobile stations across the country. We also have volunteers working in the largest cities of the country - Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Ekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Rostov-on-Don, Kazan, Omsk and Ufa. They collect signatures in trade centers and supermarkets. We also have signature-collecting stands in all airports and railway stations," Mikhail Prokhorov said.
Russia is a big country, of course. The things that are generally considered positive for large cities can be only negative in smaller cities and towns. Mikhail Prokhorov is a pragmatic businessman. He follows the principle of "second thoughts are best." He organized his pre-election program titled "Present and Future" and divided it into "pros" and "cons." The first part of it is devoted to "What we had during Putin" and the second one - "What we will have when Prokhorov is president."
During Putin's era, for instance, Russia was ruled by "sovereign democracy," whereas Prokhorov turns to "democratic liberal values that are supposed to protect the Russian people from the despotism of officials."
His program is full of other similar comparisons, and all of them are made to paint a perfect portrait of Mr. Prokhorov, of course. When you read his program, you quickly realize that this is the dream president who will be able to take the country to the brightest future of all. However, Mr. Prokhorov has always urged everyone to analyze and compare.
To find a comparison for Mr. Prokhorov, let's take his own persona. He has compared himself to Putin in his program, whereas other candidacies do not seem to be a proper comparison for the entrepreneur.
It appears that Mikhail Prokhorov is a perfectionist. He says in his program that the primary value of any state is its citizen. We will not argue with that. Let's proceed to other points in his program to see the difference between Prokhorov as a businessman and Prokhorov as a presidential candidacy.
So, here is what Mikhail Prokhorov says as a presidential candidate: "One should attract professionals to administering the country."
Here is what Mikhail Prokhorov as a businessman said to the Kommersant Daily: "Everyone should mind their own business. You can't be one foot in business and the other foot in politics. Miracles don't happen. If you want to be a businessman, do business. If you want to be a politician - sell your business."
Mikhail Prokhorov as a presidential candidate: "The European integration to build "Big Europe", allied ties with democratic states."
Mikhail Prokhorov as a businessman in an interview with MK newspaper: "What can we give Europe? Our own vast territories, or gigantic national wealth that has not been developed at all?"
Prokhorov as a presidential candidate: "Investments in culture, education, healthcare are the primary source of competitive advantages of Russia in the global world."
Prokhorov as a businessman in an interview with Sobesednik newspaper: "When I was the general director of Norilsk Nickel, I had a talented engineer working with me. That man wanted to be a film director throughout his entire life. He studied to be a director. It just so happens that I was supposed to let him go for two months so that he could study? If a person studies to improve their professional skills, then they can go on paid leaves. If they do not study to work better, they should not ask their employers to pay for their studies."
Prokhorov as a presidential candidate: "Our priority is to struggle against corruption."
Prokhorov as a businessman in an interview with the Vedomosti newspaper: "Where does this corruption come from? It comes from the Soviet Union. It was impossible to do anything without some candy or three rubles during the Soviet era. Corruption was everywhere. When market economy came, corruption became smaller."
Prokhorov as a presidential candidate: "Citizens, not enterprises, must become final tax payers.
Prokhorov as a businessman in an interview with Itogi Magazine: "I don't have a conflict with the tax service. There is a methodological dispute that we are having. Now there's an issue about extra 900 million rubles. I am certain that the issue will be settled favorably."
Needless to say that Mr. Prokhorov's election program is thought-out very well. Who can say anything against fair and honest elections or the creation of the professional army? Many politicians would most likely support what Prokhorov says because they basically say the same. The future of Mikhail Prokhorov is bright and clear, but it seems that he does not know how he could get there. Does he want to know that at all?