Posted 23 марта 2021, 07:36

Published 23 марта 2021, 07:36

Modified 24 декабря 2022, 22:38

Updated 24 декабря 2022, 22:38

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Residents of the Khabarovsk Territory refused from the construction of the new gas chemical complex

23 марта 2021, 07:36
The population of one of the districts of the region voted in a referendum against the construction of a plant that would help the country begin to get rid of oil and gas dependence.

An interesting and fairly widespread collision in Russia arose in the Khabarovsk Territory. There, in the Ayano-Maisky district, a referendum was held on the construction of a gas chemical complex, in which 60% of the district's population took part. 90% of those who voted opposed the construction of a methanol plant. 10% answered the question - "yes".

This event, which, it would seem, should please the democratic public, in fact, may entail mixed consequences. Here is what the famous Russian sociologist Alexey Zakharov writes about this:

“Without a doubt, the construction of the plant is in the interests of the Russians. Instead of exporting natural gas, it is proposed to process it, creating added value. The project is very large-scale - the plant would process up to 20 billion cubic meters of gas per year, which is almost 3% of what we are currently producing and 10% of what we export. The plant would produce up to 10% of the world's methanol. These are new jobs and new budget receipts. A step away from oil and gas dependence.

But, in addition to all the Russians, there are also residents of the area on the territory of which the plant is supposed to be built. And these people have the right to the environment, to their small homeland. After all, a person, owning property, acquires not only square meters that end outside his doorstep; he also has special privileges and rights in relation to the surrounding lands. For example, I have more rights to a park outside my window than other Muscovites, and they have more rights to this park than residents of other constituent entities of the Russian Federation. One of the tasks of local government is to help realize this natural right of people to their environment. Therefore, it is the concern of those who are going to build the plant to convince the residents of the Ayano-Maisky district of the need to build a plant on their land.

The very fact of holding this referendum is good news in our time, when the regime goes to war against local self-government, and, in general, considers most of the other rights as a threat..."


Many readers of this post disagreed with the author. For example, network analyst Alexey Ivanov questioned the benefits of this kind of democracy:

“Unfortunately, such voting does not provide any alternative solution to the issue. For example, in every district of the Moscow region, rallies were held against waste processing plants. If they gave the opportunity to vote, everyone would also be against it. But few people try to litter less. They just want a plant in another area. As a result, these rallies and votes are most often used in corporate wars by competitors who want to build their alternative plant elsewhere. And they are fighting for state support of their project. So I would not say that this is good news. I mean that people are not given the right to a decisive vote, but only imitate it in some cases. And in the end they will build this plant or some other, no longer asking people..."

However, Zakharov rightly believes that any democracy requires efforts:

“Yes, there will be problems. You will have to work a lot with people, do more expensive and environmentally friendly projects. And it won't always work out. But the alternative is to build without asking, depriving people of the right to vote. As a result, from time to time, Shies will appear, where everything almost ended in a real partisan war..."