Exciting news for the Yes on 28 campaign. The cause of term limits reform has a new supporter: Vladimir Putin.

In a question-and-answer session with Parliament in Moscow, the Russian president/prime minister/president again indicated that, like those who drafted Yes on 28, he is concerned about the musical chairs phenomenon of people moving from one office to another because of poorly designed term limits.

Putin himself was hamstrung by Russia’s term limits law, which limited him to two terms – just like California state senators, governors and other executive officeholders. The Russian law had the caveat that the term limits applied to “consecutive” terms. Putin dealt with this affront to democratic choice by stepping down as president after 2 terms to serve as prime minister for one term, before jumping back to the presidency.

Putin endorsed the importance of keeping the term limits, presumably out of his oft-stated respect for democracy. But he added that to prevent this jumping back and forth between jobs, it would be “reasonable” to remove the mention of consecutive terms.

Putin also indicated that such a change shouldn’t be retroactive – and wouldn’t apply to his previous two terms as president. “Once it’s passed, I will have a chance to work for the next two terms. There’s no problem here,” Putin said.

In this way, the Russian term limits law would follow the California term limits model, which also didn’t apply term limits retroactively. That allowed Gov. Jerry Brown, who served two terms as governor before term limits, to return to the governorship, just as Putin returned to the presidency.

In both Russia and California, the push for term limits reform has drawn some carping from a few critics and dead-enders who argue that a debate over a modest change in term limits obscures more fundamental problems with the state of democracy. One of those problems is the fact that elections don’t much matter in either place.

Of course, such criticism doesn’t much matter.