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Monday, February 26, 2018

Gold card: MPs-truants in the state Duma will forbid to vote “in absentia”

Here’s to you, grandma, and St. George’s day… this saying comes to mind after reading the message, distributed on 12 October, the press service of the faction “United Russia”.

“Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Sergei Neverov, head of the faction “United Russia” Vladimir Vasilyev and his first Deputy Andrei Isayev propose to ban the MPs to vote by proxy. Thus, the deputies to vote only personally. The leadership of “United Russia” proposes to amend the regulations of the State Duma, excluding the provision that permits the transfer of a Deputy of his vote to another member in connection with absence on session of the State Duma for legitimate reasons, notifying the leadership of the faction and of the Duma.”

photo: kremlin.ru

Looks so full of deputies the hall when there is Putin…

The amendments have not yet written, and this is a statement of intent. But the fact remains that the new leadership of the Council (no doubt in the fact that the above initiative is personally the speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, no) makes another heroic attempt to get deputies of the state Duma, primarily United Russia, at least to serve twice a week in the plenary hall, personally pressing for a vote. All previous attempts ended in inglorious defeat because seriously win the fight with those who are called deputies-“shirkers” (the absence the absence in the plenary hall, in the strict legal sense of the word is not), no one wanted. But any such campaign laid another brick in the administrative system, in fact, control over the behavior of elected representatives. Now our eyes this system becomes finished.

Yes, the sight of mainly middle-aged and well-dressed men and women galloping through the ranks in the desire to press as many buttons on the jobs of absent colleagues (were aces that were done in the 30 seconds allotted for the voting process for 10-15!), — an ugly sight. But no real sanctions for failing to appear in hall neither the Law on the status of deputies, a Duma regulation very long at all, not included, and the voice proxy for “good reason” in the broadest sense of the word was considered commonplace.

Moreover, = for 13 years in a row, United Russia has a majority in Parliament and the Duma of the 4th, 5th convocations in the current, 7-th convocation, the majority of it constitutional more than two thirds of the votes. And if the solution be able to bring the deputies into the hall, still not accepted — so the party really didn’t need it.

Meanwhile, since that moment as the total control over the Parliament were won by one political force, the courtroom began to empty at a heightened pace. “What is there to do if all the decisions taken in advance and not accepted here?” — talked not only representatives of the opposition factions, but also some members of United Russia. These words were not only an awkward attempt to samoupravlanja, but a statement of obvious reality.

Although the words, of course, in the Duma fought with “truancy” tirelessly…

In 2005, the first Vice-speaker Lyubov Sliska said at the meeting, one of the intra-faction groups of “ER” that there is a list of 93 names of the members, “which for half a year, or never appeared at plenary sessions or come to them no more than three times. They are mostly very rich people who, apparently, does not consider it necessary to frequent meetings of Parliament.” None of the names she was called.

In early 2010, the year President Dmitry Medvedev at a meeting with representatives of the four Duma parties (the same “United Russia”, LDPR, the Communist party and “WED”) raised the issue at the state level. “As guarantor of the Constitution, I can’t say that I was very surprised by the picture from the courtroom of the state Duma, where there sits 10-15% of the payroll, he said. Something to do with it. Let go to meetings, and those who do not go… Let’s change the legislation — let walk in other place”.

“Definitely going to respond to the criticism that was expressed by the President”, — said Vice-speaker of the state Duma, Secretary of the Presidium of the General Council “United Russia” Vyacheslav Volodin…

To react, the Duma took more than six months.

photo: Natalia Gubernatorova
…and so he looks at an ordinary meeting.

“Hour of voting” (the transfer of the official registration of all solutions at 17.00) saved deputies from the necessarily need to sit in the hall all day.

The Law on status of Deputy of the prescribed norm on the personal involvement of the Deputy in the plenary.

Speaker Boris Gryzlov of the Duma ordered the photographers to do panoramic shots of the courtroom at 10.00 and at 17.00 — in order to determine the actual absence or presence of a virtual audience members.

Trips to the regions to the plenary meetings of the canceled except by special permission of the management Council.

The Commission on Deputy ethics, which was tasked to devise an adequate punishment for “truants”, thought few months. The most radical measure, contained in its proposals, the deprivation of Deputy powers or for 10-15 missed meetings, whether for 5. We also discussed the installation of special equipment at the entrance to the meeting room, automatically registered every entry and exit of the Deputy from the hall, and the punishment of the ruble. Seems to be obvious measures you want to realize only now, 6 years later, to prohibit powers of attorney, — among the proposals was not. Instead, the Duma regulations stipulate that “valid reasons of absence of the Deputy of the State Duma of the meeting of the State Duma” are a trip on the order of the speaker or his first deputies, participation in the implementation of the instructions of the state Duma and Council of the state Duma, “the execution of civil duties provided by the legislation of the Russian Federation”, illness, vacation, child birth, marriage registration, death of close relatives, other family circumstances and “force majeure”. But the issue of penalties for violators were left for later.

In the fall of 2014 at the initiative of the faction “United Russia” decided to create a sectarian Committee, which finally will come up with punishment for “truants”. But this Commission until the end of the sixth convocation and not work — much to the delight of representatives of all factions: members of the group could not choose the Chairman of the…

But at the end of the convocation adopted a law, allowing the proposal of the faction or of the Committee voting to deprive of the mandate of MPs, who systematically within 30 days not performed his duties. His first victim was Ilya Ponomarev, hiding abroad from prosecution, though card of this MP regularly voted as a power of attorney given to Dmitry Gudkov.

When the law was adopted, many deputies said that the order would bring, if you just cancel the vote by proxy. But United Russia, the idea is not supported — can be, because otherwise, big problems would arise with the adoption of much-needed government and Kremlin laws like “Spring package”? After all of the members are already actively engaged in the election, not the work in the Duma, and the other part is “scored” at all, because I knew that the new Duma will not get…

But it is available now. Deputies, as industrial workers, will be “dismissed” for systematic absences, but not those who have a job, that is, the voters, and the Duma majority.

It is hard to imagine a picture of how the faction “United Russia” offers to cast for absenteeism from the Duma famous athletes or billionaires…

Won’t name names: formally, they regularly sit in the meeting room and vote.


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