Posted 10 сентября 2021,, 16:44

Published 10 сентября 2021,, 16:44

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:38

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:38

Andrey Kolesnikov: there will be no surprises in the elections to the State Duma, and after it there will be no as well

10 сентября 2021, 16:44
The Kremlin is coping with the non-trivial task of reducing the turnout of democratically oriented voters while stimulating the turnout of a conformist, state-dependent electorate

Well-known Russian journalist and political analyst Andrey Kolesnikov devoted his next piece to the significance of the upcoming Duma elections, wondering if they could change something in the country's political system.

Taking into account public apathy and the opinion that elections do not solve anything, the analyst drew attention to the fact that they are primarily needed not by the citizens of the country, but by the authorities to once again confirm their legitimacy and keep the so-called "majority" in a state of mobilization.

There can be no question of any rotation of either the government or the Duma, since the parliament only plays the role of representing strictly filtered elite clans. Essentially, the elections are just another plebiscite on confidence in the Putin regime. Since plebiscitum means a choice between "yes" or "no", then those who support Putin sincerely or under duress will come to it and say "yes".

This will be a kind of state therapy: to show the electorate, which may be dissatisfied with something, that there is no alternative to Putin anyway - the majority votes for him, and, therefore, it would be reasonable to join this majority, and not dream of changes and be subjected to reprisals, adhering to to the minority.

Kolesnikov believes that the government is actively supported by not a very large, but not a very small percentage, while the main part of the electorate is an indifferent majority, which always skillfully adapts to everything, so long as it is not touched at work and paid salaries and benefits and handouts. This is exactly how it happened before this election. It considers these handouts not a boon, but the duty of the state, which has promised to feed them.

That is, the state from above gives the people money for their votes, promising to give them more for the next elections if they behave well, and the people vote for the one who has money and resources, because others will not give him anything.

So the poorest, whose money and work is given by the state, vote for power. This dependence is what Russian authoritarianism rests on.

So even falsifications, which undoubtedly were, are and will be, give little for victory, the main thing is the mobilization of people dependent on the state, as well as coercion to vote, material or administrative, under the threat of dismissal and other sanctions. Moreover, people are so intimidated that they vote for United Russia, fearing that they are being watched.

Regarding the fashionable opposition tactic "smart voting", the expert argues that it is still a vote for power, since the parties of the so-called systemic opposition are entirely dependent on the government and only imitate choice and democracy, keeping the electorate - left and right - under the control of the government...

"Smart voting" only shows the curators of "United Russia" that the opposition is able to slightly spoil their picture of like-mindedness.

Moreover, “smart voting” does not imply a real political choice, it is indifferent to values, it is more important for it to harm United Russia.

Concluding his analysis, Kolesnikov believes that there will be no protests, as was the case in 2011, over the elections - the opposition is too demoralized. Ten years ago, in a similar situation, civic activity was not yet considered unlawful, but now the country has slipped into full-fledged authoritarianism.

“The composition of the Duma, even taking into account the circulation of loyalists, as a result of which several new persons will appear in parliament, will not change to such an extent that even minimal changes take place in the political system. The trend towards increased repressiveness will also continue - it was to the least extent directly related to the elections, this is the strategic line of the authorities in the period after the "zeroing". The Kremlin will get what it wanted to get: the Duma as an institution of support for the entry of the political system into the stage of not transit, but practical “zeroing” in 2024...", - the author concludes.