Sad result of a recent public opinion poll and the upcoming elections

In the Window on Eurasia blog, Paul Goble comments on the results of a public opinion poll held in three Russian cities (the data were taken from this article in Russian).

He says that "United Russia and KPRF draw support from those in the Russian Federation who support a more authoritarian and statist Russia than the one that first emerged after the collapse of the USSR". After reading the source article, I came to much more pessimistic conclusions. I've got a feeling that currently there is no demand in Russia for a political force that would consistently protect human rights of individuals from the state and there is no interest in democratic transformations. And you know, now that I've written these words I understand that I knew it before.

Paul Goble notes that the supporters of the United Russia, one of the most statist parties, tend to give the answers similar to those of the communists. In my opinion, he doesn't give sufficient attention to the fact that the supporters of Yabloko, the party which advertises itself as a proponent of the civil society, whose program states the "the state is for the man, not the man for the state", are not that different. The backers of the Union of Right Forces (SPS), the party that I voted for during the last elections to the local parliament, also tend to idealize the Stalinist epoch: 20% of them agree that "the atmosphere of happiness and optimism prevailed in the USSR during the Stalin's reign." 31% of Yabloko's supporters agreed with them.

Some more figures. 36% of communists, 35% of Yabloko supporters and 18% of SPS (one out of five!) think that less than 10 million people suffered from the Stalin's repressions. 49% of Yabloko and SPS supporters think that they are only proud of Russian history. 28% backers of Yabloko do not agree that Dzerzhinsky "ruthlessly destroyed innocent people". Among the SPS supporters 18% did not agree with the same statement and 42% said that they cannot answer this question. 45% of them also refused to estimate Lenin unequivocally.

An even more worrying position was taken by the SPS backers on the questions linked with xenophobia and nationalism. 24% of them said that the immigration to Russia must be forbidden and 44% think that the migrant workers may come to Russia to work if they will return home later.

The authors of the original review note that SPS seems to be split into two parts: a traditional democratic core and about one third of those who refuse to identify their position on "the most important historically and culturally orientated questions." They also hypothesize that the rising xenophobia repels potential backers of SPS.

On the one hand, I still hope that the democratic parties, in spite of the views of the voters, will retain their liberal attitude. For example, one of the best known human rights activists in Russia, Sergey Kovalev, is among the top three persons in the Yabloko's list of candidates to the Duma in the December elections. On the other hand, I am more and more inclined to refuse to vote for any party on these elections. After the recent attempts of SPS to exploit the leftist slogans to attract the voters, I don't think they will represent my personal political position in Duma. Nor will any other party.

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