In the coming year, we can expect an intensification of the struggle between the leading political forces of Russian society: United Russia and the leftist opposition represented by the Communist Party. This follows from the results of the final survey for 2021 of the Center for Research on Russian Political Culture (TsIPKR).
Answering the question: “Which party is the best at protecting people like you?” 24% of the respondents called “United Russia”. In second place with 12% of the Communist Party. Another 28% of respondents answered that no party protects them. At the same time, 28% of respondents called the Communist Party the most oppositional political force.
Convinced supporters of the need for a change of power in Russia are 16% (the same number was in 2020). The number of those who consider the change of power desirable has decreased over the year from 25% to 20%. The number of those who doubt the benefits of change, on the contrary, has grown – from 22% at the end of 2020 to 28%. Supporters of maintaining the status quo are now 25% (a year ago it was 23%).
It seems that the authorities, despite a heap of socio-economic problems, manage to give the impression of working at least in part in the interests of the Russians. The pandemic could contribute to this – force majeure disorients society. The authorities also practiced one-time handouts from the master’s shoulder, creating the illusion of social assistance, mimicking the left opposition.
An example of such mimicry in the State Duma can be a fresh initiative of the Chairman of the Control Committee Oleg Morozov. Morozov, a successive defector from one party of power to another (CPSU, Fatherland – All Russia, United Russia), announced a competition on his Facebook page: “100 bans that should be canceled or changed.”
“I undertake, as chairman of the control committee, to seriously analyze all proposals. Therefore, I would like the proposals to also be serious and realistic,” the deputy asked his subscribers. “Perhaps, we will create a public commission under the committee to consider all the ideas received.”
But the Russians did not particularly heed Morozov’s request and wrote about their daily needs. More often than others, there was a call to return the previous retirement age. “Return the pension!!! People don’t live to see their pensions. It’s a shame for voters to look in the eyes… They curse everyone: both the State Duma and local deputies… My father left at 59,” expressed the general message Larisa Kartashova.
The second hot topic is directly related to the pandemic. “First, it is necessary to cancel QR codes, as well as attempts of total digitalization. Accounting is needed, but not to the same extent. There is no need to be hostages of total digitalization; managing such a system gives many temptations. Anyone can become a victim,” he said. Denis Smirnov. In just two days, more than 350 proposals came.
However, one cannot expect that Deputy Morozov will raise the question of canceling the pension reform in the State Duma. After all, it was carried out by the votes of his party, United Russia. Moreover, United Russia is responsible for the rejection of bills on the return of the previous retirement age, repeatedly introduced by other Duma factions, including the Communist Party.
“If United Russia stands up for easing the regime, then you should seriously worry: they are preparing some kind of another meanness for us,” he believes. political scientist Andrei Milyuk.
Throughout the period of Putin’s stability, there was an unspoken social contract: citizens do not get involved in politics, and the authorities do not prevent them from living according to their own understanding. To date, this balance has been rather shaken, and the treaty now seems to be something like the provisions of international law, which everyone seeks to violate, and observe only in cases of lack of strength.
Hence the endless requests to cancel the increase in the retirement age – the people did not accept this attempt to establish a “new normal”, but they finally became convinced that the authorities cannot be trusted.
This subsequently played a role during the coronavirus pandemic. The intention to defeat the virus by police methods did not cause proper understanding among people, and modest support measures were perceived as a mockery. It got to the point that one of the grounds for coronaskepticism turned out to be … free vaccination. They say that the authorities have never given us anything for free, without a catch.
By the next acute crisis of trust in the authorities – the introduction of QR codes – the society came divided, and what is most terrible for the Kremlin, the split went among the pro-government voters, perpendicular to the conditional line “opposition-loyalists”. The broad masses of the people tried on the role of the persecuted opposition – with total surveillance and petty daily police work. The wearing of the same medical masks by many loyal citizens is perceived solely as a ritual of submission. What can we say about QR codes.
Now United Russia is solving the problem of how to change something without fundamentally changing anything. Gain voter support at no additional cost. It seems that deputy Morozov does not even understand how mocking his example about “a 10-15-minute stop under the road sign “Parking is prohibited” sounds (one of the measures discussed on Morozov’s Facebook is ed.).
It can be assumed why United Russia suddenly decided to increase the stock of loyalty among its voters. Vladimir Putin urged to prepare in the next couple of weeks for a new wave of coronavirus. This means that we should expect new restrictions and prohibitions, perhaps even the introduction of mandatory vaccination. It is unlikely that it will be possible to pay off citizens with small indulgences.
“SP”: – Should the opposition count on political concessions?
– In no case. The law on foreign agents worries mainly liberals, Article 282 of the Criminal Code and its derivatives – leftists and patriots, ordinary people are far from these matters. The popular revolt will not be aimed at regime change, not at winning political freedoms, but at restoring the previous state of balance, returning to stability. Needless to say, this is impossible under the new conditions. One of the two sides will have to make a significant concession.
He spoke about the prospects for confrontation between the communists and United Russia Member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on the Development of Civil Society, Issues of Public and Religious Associations Sergei Obukhov.
– We are fighting not with United Russia, but with the ruling party. United Russia is only an avatar, a parliamentary decoration of power. That is why it is called the majority party. If United Russia were a full-fledged political entity that could be opposed and at the same time seek common ground… But this is a project of the Kremlin administration, the oligarchy, all kinds of clans and groups of influence that use this party as a front.
They are only sometimes allowed to come up with this or that legislative initiative. For example, about gasification or tougher punishment for violators of traffic rules. Used as a tool to push through unpopular laws. Their niche is very narrow. We are fighting for key, systemic solutions. For example, on the topic of restricting rights by QR codes. It is clear that here the cooperator is not United Russia, but digitalizers and their representatives in the presidential administration.
Much is determined by lobbyists and those who form the main parameters of the state budget. As a rule, this is the result of auctions, undercover clashes of clans, and the AP and partly the government act as the coordinator. Moreover, the government is also dependent. Now, according to the constitution, the government is led by the president, which means his ubiquitous administration. Therefore, we are fighting the entire set of the ruling party, which uses the state apparatus to counteract the Communist Party, including repressive bodies.
“SP”: – In what directions will the struggle go in the coming year?
– All the same. We need a change in the socio-economic course of the country. This is achieved through the development budget. Turning to the needs of citizens by bridging a blatantly unfair income gap. First of all, we need to cancel the pension reform. Prevention of restriction of rights and freedoms, digital concentration camp. Protection of the right to elections, since they have long since become a zone of massive falsifications. Russia is rapidly moving towards Kazakhstanization.