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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Record the Moscow elections


All-Moscow municipal elections, which will take place on Sunday, will be unique. Before (with the exception of certain by-elections in the districts), they are always combined with campaigns to a higher level: the President, the Duma or the Governor. In 2012, receiving the presidential ballot, citizens took pursuit and municipal, that have provided great legitimacy and municipal deputies. And now for the first time in the history of elections grass-roots level will be alone.

What antirecords will surprise us with the turnout and what to do to make citizens want to vote for the closest to the house of deputies? We discussed with the President of the Foundation for civil society development Konstantin KOSTIN, discussed also the scandals, which are arranged around the elections some parties.


photo: Natalia Muslinkina

– It is necessary in advance to expect the failure of the turnout at the Sunday elections?

– We expect not failure, as the turnout, which is natural for the elections at the municipal level. We had a by-election in separate areas, for example – in Shchukino. And they showed the hall from 8 to 15% of the electorate. That’s about the range the turnout will be. In some areas it will be higher or lower.

– That is lower than the interest on deposits in a period of stagnation… Not whether it evokes feelings of unease?

– All discussions about what should be the turnout, seem to me far-fetched. I believe that the turnout needs to be natural, to conform to the traditions of political participation of citizens in elections of the same level. Artificial surge in turnout bad. If you always came to 8% and I got 80% – it would seem strange.

– Well the election Commission informed the citizens about the coming municipal campaign?

– Absolutely fine. I think people know where their polling place. This campaign was the most competitive of all the municipal in Moscow: five registered candidates per one Deputy mandate. Many candidates were actively working on the yards, not only campaigning for himself, but Recalling the fact of the elections, they have representatives and observers in the election commissions. The total number, the total circulation of publications in the media on municipal elections in Moscow, even if you calculate per person, much higher than the level of awareness of some of the gubernatorial campaigns. Therefore, the Muscovites, who would not know that Sunday’s election, hardly a lot. Another thing – what are their plans for Sunday.

– In the cities of Europe, municipal elections are the most popular. They get more voters than in parliamentary and presidential. Why Moscow all the way around?

– In Russia there are regions where the turnout in municipal elections is very high. And our cities are not very active voice in any election, and Moscow is in this sense not the passive. The reason – the high pace of life, workload, and the fact that the resource of his personal time modern man wants to dispose of at their discretion. I have always said that this problem can be solved only by tweaking the electoral system under the citizen participation in elections should be more convenient, take less time, not to burden. A citizen should not, as soldiers under oath, to bear the hardships of the execution of civic duty. The voting procedure should be comfortable, not to cancel plans for individuals and families on a day off and not hurt them.

– Then you need to vote via the Internet…

– I think that sooner or later we to it will come. But this is a question many years because we need first to elaborate a system of identification of the voter and protect its data. While the need to do what is possible now. Disaggregated areas, therefore, they were closer to home. In Moscow it has always been, and in many subjects is done now.

And I propose to vote in two days: Sunday and Monday, and the results of the strike on Tuesday. So the man himself decided to spend election day off or not. If it is more convenient to vote on Sunday – fine, but if this would be ahead of time to leave the garden, break other plans, then why? You can do this on a working day before or after work, at lunchtime… I Think it will seriously increase their political activity in elections at all levels, including in Moscow.

– The citizens had a lot of complaints about early voting: the Commission required them to reason, evidence, and did not hasten to give out the ballots to everyone….

– And if early voting is too simplified and gave out ballots to everyone – then you just have was accused that in the course of early voting was rigged. It seems to me that early voting large numbers of citizens are justified in such cities as Murmansk, where the Navy base or in the Northern regions, where work shifts. And in Moscow, objectively speaking, it should be a matter of interest. What we are seeing.

– The Communist party and some other political parties announced they would not recognize the results of these elections. How can it be assessed?

– To consider seriously the arguments of the Communist party, I would not. They say that is against their candidates, the technology doubles. But the elections at the municipal level, this technology does not make sense, it just works. Because people in these elections voted for someone I know personally, and double they will not slip. The party brand, as a rule, the value is secondary. If you trust the activist, his neighbor, for you are not so important the color of his membership card. Moreover, the opposition were unable to raise significant citywide issues that would unite the masses around her.

The problems with registration of candidates this time too there was no one: only took out those who do not have a conviction, or simply not handed over the documents. (In the Communist party is 26 people out of 1.5 million candidates – M. Z.)

The Communists, in my opinion, just had a bad campaign, and now trying to prove you’re not a bad dancer, and the pants are tight…

– From 14 thousand free hours on public venues for meetings with voters of candidates from the Communist party only used a thousand…

It’s an indicator of the weakness of the campaign. But most importantly: at the municipal level, the election campaign is not a single month in five years, and you need to work all five years. Only then you will know and will spend his time for you to vote. By the way, that is why I can assume that many deputies of the previous convocation, who are well established will be re-elected.

The Communists complain about the twins, and the liberals – on a low turnout. They believe that if the awareness campaign was better the chances of their candidates would have been higher. But the candidates themselves must do more to inform their voters. And then, in the Duma elections, the turnout was higher, and earned the liberals a higher turnout?

– How do you assess the quality of the candidates in the municipal deputies, and what is their motivation, because they will work 5 years on a voluntary basis, without pay and benefits (except for free travel around the city)?

– Quality of people different. A large number of young candidates consider the work of a municipal Deputy as a first step into politics. There are people who are going to participate in the development of his court and of district: municipal deputies have much authority in matters of improvement. People with this motivation often are not from political parties and independent candidates. It is important the presence of their municipal elections and for parties. Deputy asset in municipalities allows the games to be close to their constituents. Around MPs can develop party infrastructure, which will help during the elections of a higher level. Let’s not forget that next year will be the election of the mayor and municipal Deputy corps may allow the parties themselves to nominate a candidate for mayor.

source

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