Recent elections in Russia: a successful show
On September 14th there was simultaneously held a number of local elections in Russia where they chose 30 governors and as well as the deputies for 14 regional parliaments (there was also many elections on district and municipal levels). It didn’t come as a surprise that everywhere the candidates who enjoyed the support of the party in power – i.e. of the “United Russia”, won. Among the winners were also listed one liberal candidate (Belykh – candidate for governor’s post) and one candidate from CPRF (Communist Party of Russian Federation, Potomsky) that were both also supported by the “United Russia”.
Nevertheless it should be mentioned that the appearance of the voters at the polling stations was obviously very low (around 20-30% of the electorate in most of the regions). The majority of the voters just didn’t take part in the elections. Pretty often Russians contemptuously described the elections as “a show”, whereas many of them didn’t belong to the irreconcilable opposition and were rather indifferent to politics. Why so?
The reason is obvious: the regime has done everything to ensure its preservation, to keep only the name and the outer appearance of the elections, whereas the people have actually been left no possibility to influence their outcome. Let’s remember that the elections were scheduled for September when many people were still on their summer holidays, whereas the preceding campaigning had been carried out in the midst of summer – i.e. in the “off season”. The corresponding legislation was changed so that the genuine opposition and their candidates posing a threat to the authorities would have simply no actual access to the elections. It’s also important to mention that the so-called “parliamentary parties” skillfully and with a great relish played up to the authorities while making a pretense of democracy and a genuine struggle.
They did it in a number of ways, depending on the roles distributed by the stage director and by virtue of their acting skills. In his speech at the opening of the Autumn session of Russian Parliament, Duma, the Chairman of CPRF Gennady Zyganov plaintively stated that “There also appears a very important issue regarding the unity of the society.
We hoped that the past elections would show us an example of consolidation. We were mistaken. How the society could be consolidated as there are still no normal and honest elections?” This statement looks even more curious if we remember that it originates from the leader of a party that calls itself communist. If we understand it correctly, this statement of comrade Zyganov’s would really mean a new word in Marxist theory as he hopes that the national unity and the “honest elections” can be achieved under the conditions of Capitalism, when the society is split into antagonistic classes. One could only imagine what V.I. Lenin would say on hearing this. The actual problem is not so much that Zyganov himself believes in the possibility of the “honest elections” (in fact he doesn’t believe in anything with a possible exception of the favours by the authorities). The problem is that he and his colleagues from CPRF have been inspiring people all these illusions and hopes.
A similar role in accordance with the plan is played by Liberal Democrats along with the “Just Russia”. As a reward the bourgeois authorities not only keep their cozy parliamentary seats for them, but also pay them handsomely from the state budget means. Though the court consideration of numerous complaints concerning the breaches of law in the course of the last elections had not yet been finished, the Duma already adopted simultaneously in the 2nd and the 3rd readings the law on the twofold increase of the state financing of the parliamentary parties: i.e. for each vote given to a party that collected more than 3% in elections the state will pay 110 roubles per year. The President signed the law immediately and it shall be in effect beginning from 2015. The total budget allocated to implement this “initiative” will be equal to some 7 billion roubles per year.
According to the results of the 2011 elections four parties are subject to this law. It’s obvious that first comes the “Untied Russia” that will get next to half of the budget – 3 billion 445 million roubles. The rest will be distributed between the so called opposition, that is chosen by the authorities. The first in line stays CPRF . The Presidium of the party says exactly this in their statement on the outcome of the elections: “CPRF is the main opposition force of the country”. The remuneration coming from the state budget of the antinational (using the definition by CPRF) regime will be equal to 1 billion 340 million roubles per year. Both “Just Russia” and Liberal Democrats also have no reasons to complain – they are entitled to annual transfers of 924 814 and 814 150 roubles correspondingly. The financing from the state will be also available to the liberals from “Yabloko” (“an Apple”) as they collected 3,43% of votes and are granted annual payments of 238 887 roubles from the state.
We can say that the authorities squared up with the actors fairly. We should also mention that since having put into effect the law on political parties (since 2003) this is this the fourth increase of the transfers. This means that the payments for the services of political actors have increased 200 times since then! It’s now clear that all of them: both the actors and the stage director stay satisfied with each other. The show has a success and they all together will go on urging the spectators, i.e. the people not to get excited, not to listen to the calls of extremists and not to go into the streets to riot, offering instead to wait for the next the most honest elections. They will offer the parties of the genuine opposition to honestly compete with them under the conditions when the main weapon in the electoral campaign is money and the administrative resources of the authorities.
To be frank this makes us gag.
We’ll chose another way.
V. Tyulkin, 1st of RCWP-CPSU CC
P.S. Its’ indicative that in Crimea the voters who took part in Russian elections for the first time while having a fresh look, immediately felt that those who played the role of communists had performed the worst and decided to vote for the stage director who managed the process. CPRF has not managed to enter the parliaments of Crimea and Sebastopol – they didn’t pass the 5% threshold.