THE BASICS 1. What does the term “LEGITIMACY” mean?
Russian Legitimacy Tsarist Russia – legitimacy from the divine USSR – legitimacy from ideology, egalitarian beliefs, achievements in technology, industry and military
Russian Legitimacy Russia today – legitimacy is an unfinished product – need to create rule of law, representative gov’t, and economic progress Nationalism and Pride in the Motherland are key ideas
THE BASICS 3. What does the term “CIVIL SOCIETY” mean?
Russian Civil Society The development of Russian Civil Society is NOT encouraging at this point.
Russian Civil Society Why? The Regime (led by Vlad) makes it harder to organize and has difficult registration procedures which block legal status for most environmental, religious, and regional organizations.
Russian Civil Society Interest Groups were more relevant in Gorbi’s years and in the early 1990’s when people were exercising their new rights.
Russian Civil Society Today there is a start toward a civil society with non-political groups being common and tolerated by the gov’t (which would seem to be the basic problem here!)
Russian Civil Society Any group which hints at politics (like human rights or environmental groups) are investigated and restricted
THE BASICS What does the term “Political Culture” mean? How would you assess the Russian Political Culture?
THE BASICS “Political Culture” means the basic values and assumptions that people have toward authority, the political system, and the role of government.
Russian Political Culture Problems for political culture: Low political efficacy – what? The extent to which citizens understand and feel like they can impact their political system They trust the army and church more than other institutions
Russian Political Culture Problems for political culture: Impact of the Nomenklatura System – Russia’s version of a Patron-Client System Soviet Lists that were used to make appointments of trusted people to key positions in USSR
Russian Political Culture Nomenklatura System – Responsibilities and Obligations based on the Hierarchy between elites and citizens The pool from which the political and economic elite were chosen in CPSU Think of it as Patronage System like Jackson’s Spoils System
Russian Political Culture Why is this a problem in Russia? OLIGARCHS – Former CPSU officials that became business and political leaders with much influence Corruption and lack of skills
1. It is very difficult to assess because: History Participation is a new phenomenon Very little polling data to rely on at this point
Russian Political Culture Neither Tsars nor Soviets believed in civil liberties People were subjects and NOT citizens
Russian Political Culture USSR – autocratic / oligarchic rule, strict censorship, KGB, an enforced uniformity of thought, and an intrusive fascist state
Russian Political Culture 2. How does the legacy of the USSR impact the development of the modern Russian political culture today?
COMMUNISM 2. Many people still miss the perks (Yes I said “Perks”!) – low rents, guaranteed employment, and free health care – Whooppee!!
COMMUNISM 3. Reformed Communist Parties now do well at the polls in almost all former communist countries. The Communist Party is the 2 nd strongest party in Russia. Why?
COMMUNISM 3. Because they target specific demographic groups of people – the “LOSERS” of the transition from communist rule – Who are they? the unemployed, the older people on pensions, people on fixed incomes, people with little education, people with limited job skills
Russian Political Culture 2 conflicting conclusions: -Most Russians want a democratic regime -But actions and participation to date reflect unhappiness with the regime Even more so today
Russian Political Culture 4. Values from the Soviet era: Suspicion of those in power Desire for the state to provide services and make important decisions
Russian Political Culture 4. Values from the Soviet era: Most Russians prize their freedoms now Current regime is better than USSR / CPSU for individual rights Voter turnout is high since 1993
Russian Political Culture 5. Demographics show potential Which groups of people would seem to want democracy?
Russian Political Culture 5. Demographics show potential Young, urban, well-educated support new regime as opposed to older, rural, less educated
Russian Political Culture 6. Problems for political culture: Russian Constitution is a Potemkin Village Say what???
Russian Political Culture 6. Problems for political culture: Russians have low expectations Many feel less powerful than in 1990’s
Russian Political Parties 1. Political Parties in Russia operate on a “Floating” system. What does this mean?
Russian Political Parties A “Floating” Political Party system means that there is little continuity in the parties or the voters reactions to them. They tend to be based on charismatic leaders.
Russian Political Parties 2. Signs show that Putin tried to centralize his power and to reshape the party system so that it is easier to manipulate. How?
Russian Political Parties Putin’s government has taken effective control of most TV and radio stations which now do reporting of “All Putin, All the time!”
Russian Political Parties Putin’s government also forced through a law that made it harder for small parties with only regional support to even get on the ballot
Russian Political Parties Putin abolished the single-member district half of the electoral process for the State Duma.
Russian Political Parties The Putin Administration passed a law in 2007 that make it a crime to meet in public for political purposes in groups larger than 3 to 4 people. SO????
Russian Political Parties Why is Putin doing this stuff? In an effort for stability and to fight terrorism Reduce the number of political parties in the Duma to make it more efficient
UNITED RUSSIA It did not exist until 1999. This party dominated the Duma elections of 2003 and the presidential elections of 2004 and 2008. In 2012, UR won again but with a far lower margin of victory.
UNITED RUSSIA It is different from our concepts of Political Parties. It is not defined primarily by its stance on the issues. It is a Party of Power created around its current leadership.
UNITED RUSSIA Putin backed off from the party at first. But now tries to keep it middle-of-the-road and able to hold off challengers from either the left or the right.
2008 Presidential Election Results Dmitry Medvedev Gennady Zyuganov Vladimir Zhirinovsky United RussiaCPRFLiberal Democrats 71.2% Vote total18%9.5%
2012 Presidential Election Results Vladimir Putin Gennady Zyuganov Mikhail Prokhorov Vladimir Zhirinovsky United RussiaCPRFIndependentLiberal Democrats 63.6% Vote total17.18%7.98%6.22%
CPSU The best organized party in Russia today with a viable organization throughout the country. Capable of more grassroots activities. This makes it the 2 nd most effective / powerful party in Russia
CPSU GOALS: Not a carbon copy of the old CPSU machine. Less reformist than other Commie Parties in Europe. Slow down democratization and economic reforms
UNION OF RIGHT FORCES Another reformist group led by Yegor Gaidar Firmly committed to promarket policies Key is privatization and western economic programs Same problem with less than 5% of vote and not having a durable audience beyond cities.
LIBERAL DEMOCRATS Leader: Vladimir Zhirinovsky Wack-A-Doos Anti-democratic party despite its name Racist beliefs and a loose cannon Nuke Japan and India to control all the way to the Indian Ocean
UNITED CIVIL FRONT Gary Kasparov Party of the Other Russia
UNITED CIVIL FRONT What is it? A social movement in Russia founded and led by chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov. Party of The Other Russia, an opposition coalition active in Moscow.
UNITED CIVIL FRONT in 2005, Kasparov stated that it "will work to preserve electoral democracy in Russia." Kasparov stated that, "The primary goal of the systemic opposition is to dismantle the currently existing system and create a free political floor on which free elections can be held in 2007-2008. The bottom line is to preserve the Russians’ right to elect a responsible government, both in presidential and parliamentary elections.".
ELECTORAL SYSTEM Suffrage is universal as of 18 years of age.
ELECTORAL SYSTEM Who oversees the elections process?
ELECTORAL SYSTEM Who oversees the elections process? A 15 member Central Election Commission President, State Duma and Fed Council each appoint 5 people to 4 year terms Chair of Commission is 3 rd in leadership line behind Pres and PM
ELECTORAL SYSTEM Who do the people of Russia get to vote for?
ELECTORAL SYSTEM 1. The President – by direct ballot majority vote to 6 year term (Old term was 4 years but Putin put forth a Constitutional Amendment in 2008) -Last Presidential election was in 2012 and next is now in 2018.
ELECTORAL SYSTEM 2. State Duma – by direct ballot to 4 year terms -Last Parliamentary election was in 2011 Duma used to be split – ½ were directly elected in single member districts and ½ were by proportional representation
ELECTORAL SYSTEM 2. State Duma – In 2006, the single member districts were abolished and all seats are awarded by proportional vote totals 2005 reforms made party registration more difficult and increased minimum vote % required to be represented on the Duma from 5 to 7% - WHY???
ELECTORAL SYSTEM 2. State Duma – Attempts to consolidate power and to reduce opposition party strength – Vlad says to strengthen the unity and integrity of Russia
2007 DUMA ELECTION PartyTotal Votes% of voteSeats Won United Russia44,714,24164.30315 CPRF8,046,88611.57%57 Liberal Democrats5,660,8238.14%40 A Just Russia5,383,6397.74%38
2011 DUMA ELECTION PartyTotal Votes% of voteSeats Won% of seats United Russia32,379,13549.32%23852.9% CPRF12,599,50719.19%9220.4% Fair Russia8,695,52213.24%6414.2% Liberal Democrats 7,664,57011.67%5612.4%
ELECTORAL SYSTEM 3. Also get to vote in local and regional elections as it is a federal state. These local legislatures are elected by direct election but the President has the power to dissolve them and call for new elections It is good to be Vlad!
THE RUSSIAN MEDIA What is the chief source of news for most Russians? How would you assess the media in Russia?
THE RUSSIAN MEDIA 1. Total state control over all aspects of the media during Soviet era 2. Media diversification began in late 1980’s and during Yeltsin era – TV was privatized - More openness and freedoms in the press - But very partisan in their reporting
THE RUSSIAN MEDIA 3. Role of the broadcast media is more problematic under the Putin administration - TV is the chief source of news for most Russians – Channel One is main TV station
THE RUSSIAN MEDIA 3. Putin has pressured TV outlets and tried to recentralize the media By 2004, all opposition TV news programming had been forced off the air News is only covered from the gov’t perspective
THE RUSSIAN MEDIA 3. 2 largest national channels are ORT and Channel One but are state owned Gov’t owns 2 most powerful radio stations and the gov’t reduced the availability of pro- western stations
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