Yesterday, 14 regions of Russia, including Samara oblast, elected local parliaments. As usual, there were two lists: a list of candidates and a list or parties. The local parliament will include the winners of both parts of the election.
In our region, there were seven political parties in the parties list: pro-Putin puppet parties United Russia and Fair Russia, infamous extreme populist Liberal-Democratic party of Russia, led by scandalous Zhirinovsky, the Communist party, democratic Union of Right Forces (SPS), Green party and Patriots of Russia.
The two latter parties are newcomers on the political scene. I spent some years in the green movement in about 1988-1993 and left it when they finally turned into an agglomerate of anarchist groups. IMO, the problems with common sense, typical for greens, are a good reason not to vote for them, but greens could be useful on the local level. What kept me from voting for them was that the modern Green party was headed in Samara by an eccentric millionaire, ex-owner of a FM radio, casino and a pet shop, who planned to build a monument to himself ten years ago. Greens? No, thanks.
Patriots of Russia are a strange party who oppose Putin as a pro-Western, pro-capitalist and liberal president. You can imagine what their views look like.
All of the above left only one choice for me. I voted for the Union of Right Forces, whose program is, in essence, the following: civil rights, protection of property rights, privatization and liberalization of economy, freedom of mass media, restoration of principles of federalism, freedom of professional unions, market economy as a instrument to create environment-friendly technologies and to stop the over-exploitation of natural reserves.
The preliminary results are: in most regions United Russia leads with 40-60%. CPRF and Fair Russia share the 2-3 places. LDPR is fourth.
In Samara oblast, United Russia leads with 34%, Communists have 19%, Fair Russia has 15%, LDPR are fourth with 11.5%, SPS is on the fifth place with 8.2%, Greens have 7.5%. Patriots failed to reach the 7% level necessary to enter the parliament, they have only 1.4%.
Update: Newsru.com reports (link in Russian) of a funny case on the elections in Kurgan oblast. In one of the villages where 30 electors are officially registered, only two people voted: the candidate himself and his friend. Quite naturally, the candidate was elected with 2 votes. According to the new Russian laws which abolish the minimum turnout requirement, the election was absolutely valid.