Constitutional amendments: pros and cons

Vladimir Pligin, Chairman, Constitutional Law and Nation Building Committee, State Duma, Member, United Russia political party

1960 - Born in Vologda region
1982 - Graduates, Leningrad State University (now St. Petersburg)
1987 - Receives PhD in law
1996 - Advocate, Moscow regional bar association
2003 - State Duma deputy, Federal Assembly of Russia
2003 - Advocate status suspended due to State Duma election
2006 - Chairman, Constitutional Law and Nation Building Committee, State Duma

Vladimir Ryzhkov, politician

1966 - Born in Altay region
1985 - Serves in Soviet army
1990 - Graduates, Altay State University
1990 - Teaches history, Altay State University
1991 - Deputy administration head, Altay region
1993 - State Duma deputy
1996 - Deputy chairman, State Duma Committee on Federal Affairs and Regional Policies
1996 - Deputy Chairman, Our Home-Russia parliamentary faction
1997 - First deputy chairman, State Duma Federal Assembly of Russia
1999 - Head, Our Home-Russia parliamentary faction
2005 - Joins political council of the Republican Party
2006 - Co-chairman, political council of the Republican Party

President Dmitry Medvedev's proposed constitutional amendment to extend the presidential and parliamentary terms faced little opposition in parliament. However, these amendments caused a very angry reaction from the opposition and some western observers. What do the reforms proposed by President Medvedev mean: an authoritarian tendency or a broadening of people's participation in politics, as Medvedev claims? We'll be talking about it with Vladimir Pligin, the Chairman of the Constitutional Law and Nation Building Committee at the Russian State Duma and the opposition politician, Vladimir Ryzhkov.