Regardless of the outcome of the upcoming elections, the state Duma will strengthen its influence. In the merit of the campaign, which runs in a different style than in 2011. About the main differences between this campaign and by what means intensified competition, says Russian and foreign experts at the conference of the ISSI Foundation.
Before the elections to the state Duma is little more than a week. The current election campaign takes place according to different rules than in 2011, and it fuels the interest of scientists. On Thursday, they shared their observations in the interiors of the Moscow hotel “Balchug Kempinski” at the conference “the state Duma in 2016”, which was attended by our foreign colleagues. The event was sponsored by the Institute of socio-economic and political studies (ISSI) and the analytical centre Rethinking Russia.
“The district campaign is a go on the yards and discuss with grandparents fences and playgrounds. The theme of the vital”
“Already voices of a phantom election”
The tone of the discussion asked the General Director of the Rethinking Russia Jan Waclawski. He recalled that Russia has never been a student of the Western democracies and “her own trajectory of democratic development”. The weak point of the Western media the political scientist called the use of clichés and stereotypes in respect of Russia and urged to look at it objectively, to get an idea about the real Russia.”
“Unfortunately, the coverage of the Russian elections in 2016 in the foreign press, despite the fact that even the vote has not yet taken place, also not very objective. Already voices on the phantom election. This is a real title of one of the leading European Newspapers. Colleagues stubbornly continue to ignore the transformation in the Russian party system, struggle of the opposition parliamentary parties”, – stated Waclawski, adding that the Western media is almost always called democratic opposition “only non-systemic players real ratings which tend to minimum values”.
In turn, the Director of research Fund ISSI Alexander Pozhalov has told about the main differences of the current election campaign from the previous one. To this end, it has prepared petrascu multi-colored graphs and figures presentation. These elections, he recalled, were the first of many parties that began to emerge in 2012. Only current Federal campaign involved 14 parties. Responding to criticisms of those who complained to the municipal filters, Fire called open system “qualifications of parties in elections”, through which “we have serious competition on virtually every ideological wing of our party system”. Glancing to the side, which housed the foreign guests of the conference, Fire pointed out that in Russia compared to other countries, now has one of the softest registration systems and there is no distinction between regional and national parties. Therefore, political forces can participate in elections, even in those regions where they have no local branches.
As to the requirement to collect signatures, the Fire called it a “surmountable barrier”, indicating that regional elections in 42% of cases parties have successfully passed the signature and was able to register. As a result, competition averaged seven party lists for the region, and in 2011 this figure was less than five.
In his speech, the political scientist said the observers, who called the current campaign a relaxed and even lethargic. According to him, this was affected by the decision of “United Russia” to free the 19 constituencies out of 225 candidates from other parties, i.e. the United Russia party refused to conduct an aggressive campaign to weaning of the electorate from other parliamentary parties. In addition, the parliamentary party agreed not to use mutual attacks and criticism. A certain role was played and the primaries of the EP, in which the main struggle was in single-member districts without destabilising the Federal agenda.
The role of the state Duma will grow
As Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Fund ISAPI Dmitry Badovsky gave a forecast about the composition of the state Duma of the seventh convocation, during which the single-member districts can go through four or five parties not represented in the current convocation. But the five-percent barrier “to date, over only four parliamentary parties”, that is “United Russia”, KPRF, LDPR and “Fair Russia”.
According to Badovsky, the influence of Parliament after the election will continue to grow, which will strengthen the political system as a whole. “This growing influence will occur in part to the fact that these elections for the first time since 2003, voters will elect their MPs not only on party lists, and in single-mandate constituencies. This means that every city, town, village, district will have its own particular Deputy in the state Duma, which will represent the interests of voters,” – said Badovsky.
“The main intrigue shifted to district
During the discussion it was the rating that the participants of the debate away from sensitive issues and reduces the intensity of the struggle. However, the Fire did not agree with such opinions.
“The quality of participation of the parties in the debate very much depends on their readiness for the election campaign. The debate is arranged according to the democratic principle, when all the debating with all. In one slot can be parliamentary and small parties, which were sometimes not even deployed program. With such a non-equilibrium configuration of the debates is not always easy to conduct a meaningful debate. But sensitive issues are concerned. “Parnassus” does criticizing the policies of Vladimir Putin. “Party of growth” actively resorts to criticism of the government’s economic and monetary policies of the Central Bank. The Communist party takes the traditional position, and the “revolutionaries” involved in the promotion of those 25 laws that primarily concern social agenda,” said Fire newspaper VIEW.
The content of the debate, he believes, can be increased, for example in the case of the parliamentary party will discuss only with one another, and not unparliamentary. A debate can be divided along thematic lines: economic, social and others.
Fire did not rule out that relaxed style of the election campaign could affect turnout. “The intrigue of the Federal election campaign is not as severe as in the 2011 elections. The main intrigue has shifted to the County in the local agenda of specific territories. Much of the turnout will depend on the level of competition in the districts. In three quarters of districts, the opposition finally accepted the victory of “United Russia”. And if the competition is not very high, and turnout may be lower. No opponents who would be motivated to bring the voters,” he explained.
According to him, the global trend is to reduce voter turnout in the parliamentary elections, if they are not combined with the elections of the President. “In the US in Congressional elections in 2014 saw a decline in turnout compared to previous years. This global trend is associated with the development of permanent participation of the population in solving problems, discussing issues. This democracy of everyday involvement leads to the fact that the turnout in the election itself becomes a little less times the population and so has other tools on a daily basis to influence the policy of the authorities”, – says Alexander Pozhalov.
Member of Russian Association of political consultants (RPC) Dmitry Gusev told more about the elections in single-member districts. Also in July, RPC allocated 44 “hot” district, smashing into categories – a very “hot”, average “fervor” and those that can cool down somewhere candidates can not register. At the end of August was followed by another quantitative sociological research on each of these districts.
“Three districts from the “hot” dropped out, because it left the main candidates. Now there are 16 very hot, the second part is just hot, and the 17 districts that had cooled off, regardless of the campaign that there will be: we understand that the leader decided, and there’s nothing can be – said Gusev. – Interesting facts are as follows. First. From cold districts in Moscow Rashkin losing fat, Mitrokhin – Teterino, and Altai loses Ryzhkov. This is unexpected, because Mitrokhin, Ryzhkov, Rashkin, I was waiting for more serious results, especially from Ryzhkov”.
Moreover, some districts might happen to the big scandals, for example in the ninth district in Buryatia, where local officials were given written instructions about the organization of campaign meetings. “Second district – 93rd in the Irkutsk region, where EP is the Skates, from the Communists is Shchapov, we understand that the Communists have the administrative resources – in the face of Communist Governor, and both candidates lead an active campaign, plus Shchapov filed against United Russia Konkova his brother as a backup”, – he said, noting that in the Astrakhan region, “Shein and ogul, who is building a campaign as a Federal politician, and Shein focuses on the electorate and inclined to make trouble”.
“Go from house to house and discuss with grandparents fences”
In turn, the General Director of the analytical center “Moscow region” Alexey Chadaev explained how the background of the sluggish election campaign there is a high competition. According to him, the bright politicians who in the past participated in the Federal payroll campaigns, went to single-member districts.
“The district campaign is a go on the yards and discuss with grandparents fences and playgrounds. The theme is vitally important for residents of a particular place, but outside it is not important to anyone. For this reason, the Federal level of using media campaigns are seen. In the campaign remained the veterans of the conversational genre, the leaders of the party lists. A quarter of a century that they Shine on the screen, they were all tired, and hence there is a feeling that boring,” Chadaev said the newspaper VIEW.
He noted that the engine of the campaign were the actions of single-seat districts and voters and politicians are much more like to play in the elections in the districts where do not have to agree with the party Executive Committee of each slogan.” “To be the Deputy single-seat districts is clearly better than a member of the list. In one case, you wrote to the list and you depend on the party, and in the second case – again I people elected from the territory, I am my own politician! Single-feel in the state Duma is much freer than the current deputies,” says Chad.
The discussion was also attended by the French politician and statesman, philosopher Ivan Bloch, who compared the development of the Russian electoral system in French. In his opinion, the Russian system more open and democratic than the French. Blaeu acknowledged that the French electoral system is almost in place, while the Russian is actively moving forward.
On the question of what can be expected of the Russian system in the future, have tried to meet the Deputy Director of the National Institute of development of modern ideology Gleb Kuznetsov, who predicts a decrease in the number of parties to “less than ten”. Even Kuznetsov hopes that the rules of participation in election campaigns will result “in reasonable limits” and is “any step in media, in propaganda is accompanied by very heavy regulation.
However, Chad chose not to speculate on possible changes. For him, these developments have become a “huge step forward”. According to him, it was the first campaign that said, rebuilding your home, the neighborhood, not the entire planet.
“How old is Medina kept saying how nice if we have the elections people would have discussed the problems of his yard to grass-roots democracy. We finally got more or less what was discussed so many time, but it turns out – everyone liked that the policy consists exclusively of the fact that television clowns BIM and Boom beating each other rubber products on the head! But, not having received this show all over, they are bored! But I, of course, for the yards, I’m terribly happy! Prior to that, since the founding of the state Duma all campaign was about rebuilding the country and the planet,” summed up Alexey Chadaev.
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