One minute per law: how the State Duma voted during a pandemic
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One minute per law: how the State Duma voted during a pandemic

20 January , 10:52Politics
The last two months of 2020, the State Duma marked the adoption of an unprecedented number of new laws. Recorded 989 votes on various issues. At the same time, the Center for Current Politics revealed a paradox: many of the deputies present did not vote at all, and the number of absentees was record high.

Irina Mishina

Compared to the first half of the autumn session, the number of votes has more than doubled. And now let's think: how realistic is it to solve 989 issues of state importance in 2 months? After all, this probably requires hard work, unprecedented activity of the deputy corps, one hundred percent attendance at plenary sessions... As the Center for Current Politics found out during its research, everything was, alas, quite the opposite...

Summing up the results of the work of the State Duma at the end of 2020, the chairman of the lower house of parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin, noted that "during the outgoing year, the level of support by all factions for the adopted laws amounted to 80%." “This is a very high indicator of consolidation, we are talking about when all the factions support the bill”, - says Vyacheslav Volodin.

How were these almost unanimous decisions made?

Statistics from the Center for Current Politics show that the time that the deputies spent on discussing bills has been reduced to almost a minimum - the deputies spent less than one minute on making government decisions in November and December. This was the case in almost half of the votes. 42% of legislative initiatives were discussed within one to five minutes.

It turns out that the issues for which the deputies vote are practically not discussed in most cases.

In total, according to statistics cited by the Center for Current Politics, during November-December, 63.5% of the deputies voted “for” in the State Duma, and only 1, 92% against. There were practically no abstentions, this figure was 0.29%. On average, more than 34% of the deputies missed the vote.

Most often, representatives of the United Russia party vote for the adoption of bills. Deputy Sergey Sopchuk is in first place, Ruslan Balbek is in second, Anatoly Litovchenko is in third place in the "unanimous approval" rating. Members of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation are most often against the adoption of bills.

At the same time, if earlier representatives of different parties were included in the top 10 of the protest voting rating, now the top 30 of the protest vote consists entirely of communists. Communist Vera Ganzya ranks first in terms of the number of votes “against”, Alexey Kurinnyi is second, Olga Alimova is third. And only in 32nd place among those who vote against - Vadim Kumin from the United Russia party.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the study is plenary attendance. As you know, due to the observance of social distance during the pandemic, some MPs began to vote remotely. On September 15, State Duma Speaker Volodin asked the elderly deputies or those who have contraindications to go "to a remote office". He paid special attention to Valentina Tereshkova and Artur Chilingarov:

“Valentina Vladimirovna, Artur Nikolaevich and a number of our colleagues - please, fulfill the instructions of the State Duma. Now you will hear the speeches of the leaders of political factions, and then - to your office, and from there take part in the discussion of issues”, - Volodin said.

But, as the results of the registration of deputies in the system and the roll-call voting data show, the State Duma apparently did not create the necessary conditions for remote work. Or the deputies themselves were not eager to listen to the plenary sessions. At least, this is evidenced by the monitoring of the Center for Current Politics.

The rating of the deputies who most often do not vote, oddly enough, is headed by the most unanimous members of the United Russia in terms of approving bills. It is noteworthy that missing voting does not mean that the deputy is absent at that moment at the plenary session. For example, Igor Lebedev from the Liberal Democratic Party missed 99.4% of the votes, having voted only six times in two months, but he did not miss a single plenary session. What he was doing during the vote and why he ignored the button press is a mystery.

According to the Center for Current Politics, deputies Vyacheslav Lysakov, Vladimir Resin, Valentina Tereshkova, Artur Chilingarov and Vitaly Milonov were most often absent from the workplace. By the way, Deputy Lysakov missed all the plenary sessions in November and December. There is no information on the State Duma website that there was a good reason for this absence. Interestingly, Lysakov, who completely ignored the plenary sessions of the State Duma in November and December, was awarded the State Duma's certificate of honor "For a special contribution to the development of legislation and parliamentarism in the Russian Federation" and the State Duma's badge of honor "For services in the development of parliamentarism".

It is interesting to analyze the data on the absence of deputies by region. According to the Center for Current Politics, deputies from the Republic of Mordovia, the Kirov and Lipetsk regions, from the Kamchatka Territory and the Chelyabinsk region most often missed the plenary sessions. Perhaps the factor of remoteness from Moscow could play here. But very close to this sad list are representatives of the capital (17th place among those absent) and St. Petersburg (18th place). So, apparently, the reason for the absence of "people's choices" in the workplace should be sought not in geography, but in something else.

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