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Forthcoming Elections in the State Duma and President Promise to Be Dull and Unsignificant
Roeva Natalya 01.08.2007
July comes to the end, August is coming - a traditional season of vacations. Then, in the autumn there will be a new political season which will grasp such curious events as parliamentary and presidential elections and transfer of authority from Vladimir Putin to his successor. What do the experts of "FORUM.msk" think of forthcoming political season, which coming events in the country and in the world they consider to be the most important?
Anton Surikov, political scientist:
A problem of so-called petronomics including influence on world politics of "great power empires" - Iran, Venezuela, Russia appeared to be in the center of attention at the world economic forum passed this winter in Davos.
There are in the modern world two groups of economically advanced countries. The first - traditional industrial and postindustrial countries: the USA, the Europe, Japan, Canada, Australia. The second - new industrial powers: India, China, the countries of the East and Southeast Asia, Brazil.
The third group joined them in the last years - "great power empires" appeared on a world scene as serious players not due to their economic power, but owing to unprecedentedly high world prices for oil.
"Great power empires", Russia among them, living due to the raw rent, are internally unstable, extremely sensitive to the international price conjuncture. If the world prices for oil will suddenly fall, their visible well-being and internal stability can crash down at once. But in the nearest years it looks like they have nothing to be afraid of as soon as oil is constantly increasing in price and already in 2008 the price for a barrel, probably, will overcome a level of 100 dollars.
The reason for it - not only high political risks caused by actions of insurgents in Nigeria or intensity in the American-Iranian relations but, first of all, objective economic forces. First of all, escalating demand for energy carriers of quickly growing economy of China, India, Brazil, the countries of Southeast Asia and Аsia-Pacific Region.
That is falling of the world prices in foreseeable future is not being looked through. On the contrary, deficiency of oil is expected, possibly closer to the middle of the next decade it will lead to sharp fight for it between the West led by the USA and China. Thus Russia and the countries of the Central Asia will inevitably become arena of fight.
But it will not be soon. Meanwhile Russia will have some more years in conditions of oil well-being, some kind of "stagnation", in many respects similar to the one existed at Brezhnev.
New "stagnation" assumes not real political activity, but its imitation. Therefore it's not interesting personally for me to be engaged in politics. Public activity is a little bit different thing. In my opinion, it should be directed on achievement of relatively local purposes. For example, on preservation and development of independent mass-media, in particular, the Internet such as FORUM.msk, "Pravda.info", "KPRF.info".
On the other hand, taking into consideration multinational and multiconfessional structure of the population of the country, concrete results in sphere of harmonization of interethnic relations are important. In particular, it is necessary to search for the decision how to find a way out of deadlock in which the question of Adygeis (Circassian question) is found out at unconditional observance of the rights and interests of people of all nationalities. Including, in connection with preparation for Winter Olympiad - 2014 in Sochi.
There is one more sphere where the public initiative could be rather useful. It's - a dialogue of independent experts of the USA and Russia as soon as the politicians of these two countries are not capable to carry on the dialogue. The same could be said about a dialogue of independent experts of Russia and Israel, which could happen to be quite productive also because existing sidesway in the Russian politics on the Middle East obviously needs to be corrected.
Ruslan Saidov, political scientist:
The elective cycle of 2007-2008 promises to be uninviting. On the one hand, contradictions inside of ruling group are extremely sharp. But, on the other hand, I am sure that nobody there will make a move, there is simply nobody.
Therefore already now it is possible to say that it is known who will become the successor, who - prime-minister and who will supervise the basic financial streams and actives. That is in general contours of a package of the future arrangements between Vladimir Putin and his successor at a transfer of authority are clear.
It's important for us, Chechens, in this situation to understand, whether Ramzan Kadyrov will enter into a package. Nobody now brings a question of independence of the Chechen Republic, everyone understands that the Chechen Republic will remain in the structure of Russia. Another matter is that an imperative need of construction of the Chechen national statehood exists. Kadyrov is engaged in it at Putin's personal support. That is why he've got some many enemies, both in the republic and in Moscow, in federal structures. Now they have hidden and wait for Putin's departure so that to achieve Kadyrov's dismission and to return the republic to chaos, anarchy and uncontrol.
Supporters of chaos are active not only in Moscow but also in Washington. Acting under a false banner of introduction of democracy in the Big Near East, the USA, as a matter of fact, play on a hand to radical Islamites. Americans destabilized Iraq, Afghanistan and partly Pakistan having cast them into condition close to civil war. They promoted electoral successes of Islamites - HAMAS in Palestin, "Brothers-Moslems" in Egypt, the Party of Justice and Development in Turkey.
At last, the military adventures of the USA have really strengthened Iran which is striving to regional hegemony. The block of Iran, Syria, "Hizballah" and HAMAS became the real force menacing not so much to the USA and Israel, but many moderate Arabian modes from Saudi Arabia up to the Palestinian Autonomy.
In this connection, probably, it is necessary to reconsider military-technical cooperation of Russia with Iran and Syria financed by it in this part, as a matter of fact, directed now against the Arabian countries of Persian gulf and secular governments of Lebanon and Palestine and secondly - against Israel.
Certainly, obligations taken under contracts with Iran and Syria being already signed are necessary to be executed. But it is better to refrain from new obligations. To make the Russian military-industrial complex not suffer, it would be possible to order additionally similar nomenclature of arms for the Russian army, having taken for these purposes means from notorious Stabilization Fund which are all the same immobilized abroad, mainly in the USA.
Vladimir Filin, political scientist:
This autumn elections will also take place in the Ukraine. But they, as well as in Russia, will be boring and little significant. Though, unlike the Russian, our elections will pass in conditions of greater democracy and freedom of mass-media.
It's not so important, who will win: Jushchenko, Janukovich or Timoshenko, in what format the new ruling coalition will be generated. It will change essentially nothing. "Orange Revolution" three years ago set new format in the Ukrainian policy in which Moscow has ceased to influence, has ceased to be a subject.
There is no now in the Ukraine significant proRussian political forces, it is to the full extend concerns the Party of Regions. All large parties today search for and find support in the West. At a level of elite a consensus about movement of the Ukraine in the direction to the euroAtlantic integration has been reached. There is only a dispute about tactics and terms.
The spring crisis caused by the decree of the president about dissolution of the Supreme Rada has shown that the basic political forces are not ready and will not go on rigid confrontation and, especially, on the split of the country. At that the speed of the growth of economics of the Ukraine are higher and more stable than in Russia taking into consideration insufficiency of own bases of raw materials and energy.
At large, a question about existence of independent Ukrainian state in nowadays existing borders is possible to consider finally solved without dependence from an outcome of those or other elections. But there is a problem of the Russian-Ukrainian interstate relations which are simply obliged to become normal. But the decision rests for the lack of the precise understanding in the Kremlin what exactly Moscow wants from Kiev.
Meanwhile nobody undertakes to formulate distinctly and precisely position of Russia on the given theme, as well as its position in relation to Georgia, Moldova and Belarus. It brings significant element of uncertainty, evokes tensity and suspects. In other words, in Russia there is no person to carry out strategic dialogue.
It concerns also the spheres of oil and gas. In these conditions we in Kiev have only to observe how energy and transport projects come up and die in Moscow. As well as we can only observe what measures undertake or are going to undertake in the West against prominent representatives of the Russian elite, ministers, officials, businessmen who got reputation of corrupted persons involved in money-laundering and other economic crimes.
Anatoly Baranov, editor-in-chief of FORUM.msk:
I would like to argue with the thesis which has been born into the heading. Even everything that was told above by colleagues speaks that the situation is complex, multiple-valued and extremely unstable - only this fact does not allow to characterize it as "uninteresting". Another matter - the result which really is not expected to be fast and will not cardinally change all political space. Naturally, colleagues as people of business, cannot perceive a situation differently, than stagnation, standstill. Actually, in essence, it's a true.
Who will say that "brezhnev's" stagnation was an uninteresting epoch? If to judge by riches of paints, semitones, by enormous quantity of opportunities incorporated inside that epoch can't be simply not compared to the present one. Though and today it's, perhaps, still interesting to live.
The mode in Russia managed and, it is necessary to note, at full approval of a society, to tire out all political life in frameworks of the bureaucratic scheme. The conflict between "politicians" and "bureaucrats", by Sergey Chernjahovsky's definition, is not only in authority but even in opposition ends by full clearing off of the "politicians". The society is keen by saturation of a pent-up demand, "natural rent" in the form of priority national projects, consumer credits and direct investments into development allows a mode to extinguish completely significant social indignations though almost every day strikes of workers pass in provinces, every day there are protest actions of inhabitants against town-planning policy of local authorities, every day someone is killed on Northern Caucasus and so on.
For the first time in Russia the opposition is not admitted to parliamentary elections at all - the only party considered to be oppositional, zyuganov's Communist Party of the Russian Federation today in the same way as all coordinates lists on elections in the State Duma in Administration of the president. Zyuganov personally, with his own hands clears off a party from the rests of "politicians", in hope to receive 15-16 % on forthcoming elections and to retire after some time. Today, in particular, this process passes under a mark of pressing of Ivan Melnikov out from the leading group in the party, from the first thrine on elections. This decision is purely "bureaucratic", there is no policy in it - the main voter of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation today - is educated person that is Melnikov's voter. Zyuganov has the target not to get "more".
Thus fuss of Zyugonav's "successors" looks especially pity as the Kremlin doen't need this party without Zyuganov and it's planned to dismiss it in 4 years from a board. However, such plans exist in the Kremlin for a long time but for the first time the Old area has all real opportunities to carry it out - the only factor which allowed the Communist Party of the Russian Federation to be kept was a factor of presence of "politicians" in a party. It's ridiculous to resist to the Kremlin without policy, using cleanly bureaucratic methods and there will be no cooperation as the Kremlin sees the Communist Party only feet-first. Of course the party needs "a fold for the discontented" but the authority tries to create it by itself "ready-to-operate and without any unexpected surprises.
But with leaving of "politicians" from real political process, the process itself has gone to nowhere. It simply goes now not where "bureaucrats" are, but in some other places. For example, on FORUM.msk and in general in network space. It is necessary not to forget that the word "parliament" originates from Latin "parlare" that is from "talkfest". The content of political process consists in public saying of those things which for the time being were the property of "elites". And actually there is no principal difference where such "saying" takes place - in specially allocated place called "parliament", on Pushkin Square, on Majdan or on internet-forum.
Yes, certainly, the parliament can enact legislations obligatory to execution. But we know examples when the laws passed but nobody thought to execute them. Also we know examples when the crowd from the square comes and dethrones authority - and it becomes the law de facto. We haven't seen yet that "crowd" from the Internet acted similarly to a crowd on Majdan but it is possible to assume that it's a case from the future and not such remote.
However, overthrow of the existing mode - is already revolution, we shall call it - culmination of policy. But development of this revolutionary process which during an epoch of globalization promises to be really permanent, in accuracy with Trotsky's idea, occurs before our eyes. Just the forms of this process are in constant variability. The policy freely moves from the Russian space to more free - the Ukrainian. From a building on Okhotny Ryad to - regional legislative assemblies. From offices - to informal associations of citizens. From the struggle for "pussy-making of nomenclature" politics transfers into pickets against "point building" and actions of the inhabitants of hospices.
Today neither authority, not legal opposition corresponds to the demands of the society and they will be liquidated by it. Only the form of liquidation is an open question.
Today on these forthcoming elections real, "political" opposition representing interests of citizens, deprived of own tools of participation in elective process will use somebody's else. Someone will put in the lists of minor parties which will be admitted by the Kremlin to the elections as "harmless". Someone will take part as the technologist or the propagandist. Someone will take a time-out. But after presidential elections in March the configuration of political space in Russia will start to vary significantly. Just because existing "stability" - is unstable by itself. It's unstable balance as soon as there is no balance and its visibility is being supported by huge effort of the authority. To the end of presidential elections they will simply pig out.
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