Voter interest in politics collapses to 17-year low

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Voter interest in politics collapses to 17-year low
Voter interest in politics collapses to 17-year low
2 August, 12:38PoliticsPhoto: Евгений Разумный / Ведомости
The All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion (VTsIOM) on the eve of the State Duma elections found a record decline in political activity in the country: it fell to a minimum since 2004.

According to the researchers of VTsIOM, who surveyed 1,600 adult Russians, in 2021 only 22% of Russians intend to participate in the elections, while 17 years ago there were 55% of them.

“At the same time, interest in public life is growing: only 45% of those surveyed said they had never participated in it”, - RBC reports.

Since 2004, Russians' interest in participating in elections has gradually declined and has now reached its lowest point.

If the number of those wishing to visit polling stations fell from 55 to 22, then the desire of citizens themselves to be elected in 17 years fell from 8 to 6%. The number of those who participated in rallies and pickets decreased from 5 to 3%.

An area in which citizens' activity has increased is participation in collective appeals and petitions. For 17 years, the number of participants in such actions has increased from 4 to 8%. In addition, people are twice as likely to help the poor: not 9, but 20% of citizens began to participate in collecting things for the needy. In addition, the number of members of religious associations increased from 0 to 3%.

Most of the refusals to participate in politics are explained by the lack of time (28%), desires (20%), as well as the lack of belief that this will change something (16%). Another 19% indicated that they trust the current leadership of the country. In addition, 10% are convinced that now there are no political parties in the country that could be trusted. Previously, the number of such respondents was kept at the level of 7-8%.

Political apathy in the country is growing against the backdrop of the strengthening of repressive legislation: ruinous fines and criminal prosecutions have been introduced in the Russian Federation for participating in rallies. The “punitive investigation” and punitive psychiatry, characteristic of totalitarian regimes, are applied to the “dissenters” who have declared their political ambitions. One of the striking examples is the fate of the politician Dmitry Gudkov, who was forced to leave the country on the eve of the elections to the State Duma amid the initiation of a criminal case. No less harsh persecution unfolded against supporters of opposition politician Alexey Navalny.

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