The political scientist Abbas Gallyamov wrote on his blog about the main idea of the election campaign to the State Duma next year:
“The feeling is growing among Russians that the vertical line built by Putin needs to be dismantled. At the end of last year, the Levada Center recorded that 53 percent of the population favored a major change in the current political system. According to much less people, 34 percent per change with its preservation.
That was six months ago. There is no doubt that since then, the mood has become even more radical.
All of the above, however, does not mean at all that people clearly understand what changes the country needs. There is no understanding, there are only emotions.
The most important task of the opposition in these conditions should be a simplified - so that it dawns on everyone - a description of their plans. The key concept in the arsenal of opponents of the regime should now be the word "decentralization". The term is not easy. On the move, the voter may not understand what it is about. Interest in politics now, however, is growing and, therefore, there is a chance that an incomprehensible word will not scare away, but rather will interest. People crave novelty, and the old and battered want less and less.
Centralization is the main characteristic of the regime in the eyes of people. Under conditions of protest domination, it seems logical to grow sympathy for the movement in the opposite direction - to decentralization.
The message may sound something like this:
“The main problem of the regime is its supercentralization. Nobody except Putin himself has the right to make key decisions. This applies to politics, and the economy, and the social sphere. Having gathered all the power in the country, the president practically paralyzed the system of governance. No other politician, no other official decides anything, everything must be coordinated with the president. And he didn’t have time, he is either engaged in Ukraine or Syria. This year, the US presidential election. So, again he will not be up to Russia.
The country needs to restore a normal management system - primarily at the federal level. The government, parliament and court must become independent - as it is prescribed in the Constitution; how it works in the whole civilized world. Decisions of state bodies should not be made by calling from the Kremlin, but based on considerations of the law and the needs of specific groups of the population.
The second direction of decentralization concerns relations between Moscow and the regions. The dictates of the center and the lawlessness of the hinterland should go down in history. Russia should become a federation not in words but in deeds. All those decisions that do not concern issues of national importance - such as defense, security, international politics - must be decided on the ground.
Governors, mayors and local deputies should be really elected by the population, and not appointed from Moscow. It is these people who must - in collaboration with the population - manage life in the territories. People better than Moscow bureaucrats understand which problems need to be solved in the first, which in the second, and which in the tenth place.
Naturally, regions and municipalities should have resources, enough for Moscow to pump them out. The tax base should be redistributed. Roads need to be repaired not only in Moscow; build kindergartens and schools, create jobs is necessary in the outback too; After all, Russia is not limited to the Garden Ring..."
You can, of course, add a couple more thoughts, but, in principle, the idea is clear, and from the point of view of mass propaganda, the shorter the text, the better.
Kremlin speakers, of course, will rush into battle with a cry: “Guard! The opposition wants the collapse of the country and the omnipotence of local feudal lords!” It's good. Discussions on this topic should have been feared in the early 2000s. Now it will work in the opposite direction. People hate “Moscow” much more than “local feudal lords”. They will not understand at all what “local feudal lords” they are afraid of. Too long ago they last saw them.
In general, insisting on decentralization now is a sweet deal. Everyone will agree with you. It remains to discuss the nuances.
Against the background of the discussion about them, the Duma campaign should be held..."