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The Club of Elderly Gentlemen

The Club of Elderly Gentlemen
Sergey Barancheev 11.01.2008

It is impossible to estimate the prospects of political party proceeding from the results received by that party on elections. There were a lot of examples of sharp rises and falling of popularity of the parties.


Popularity of a party is often not connected with degree of its presence in the supreme bodies of authority or level of real influence of a party on political process. The future of any organization first of all depends on qualitative structure of its management. Therefore, at the analysis of prospects of development of the Communist party of the Russian Federation it is necessary to pay attention not to percent of voices received by it on the past elections (as many have doubts that the figures announced by the Central Electoral Committee corresponded to the real results of voting) but on the structure of deputies elected according to the list of the Communist Party of the RF.


Considering the structure of deputies-communists it is possible to notice the following facts. First of all it is evident that the communistic elite continues to grow old quickly. In 1999 only one of 94 deputies from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (1 %) was more than 70 years. After elections of 2003 6 % of members of fraction appeared to be 70 years old. Today already 12 % of the deputies-communists are older than eighty.


A share of sixty-years' members of the Duma fraction of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation is increasing to the detriment of middle age. So, if in the Communist fraction, formed on the results of elections of 1995, 11% of deputies reached a pension age, in 1999 there were 22 % of them, in 2003 - 30 %. After elections of 2007 there are more than third - 35% - of "pensioners" in fraction!


The fraction of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation in the State Duma of present calling again appeared to be the most elderly of all Duma fractions. Dynamics of increase of a share of elderly members is seen on the picture:


One more appreciable feature is very low level of updating of the structure of the Duma fraction of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. From 57 deputies-communists only 15 got to the Russian parliament for the first time. Other three quarters of fraction are made by professional members of the parliament with long-term experience. 27 present deputies-communists - almost half - made the Federal Assembly already 10 years ago. This December they received mandate in the fourth or even in fifth time.


It looks as if for the significant number of party leaders the deputy mandate became lifelong regalium, something like a red cap for cardinals. Thus the most elderly members of fraction, entering into the Russian establishment for decades, have in it the greatest influence. So, under "the batch agreement" fraction of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation in the present Duma got a chair only in two committees. And those vacancies were occupied by 70-years old Valentine Kuptsov and Jury Masljukov - politicians, entered Politbureau and Secretariat of the CPSU Central Committee at Gorbachev. Other members of fraction, obviously, considered to be less mature for the leadership!


It's important not only that updating of the structure of fraction of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation was insignificant but also that it was done due to the young party staff only in the minimal degree. From 15 deputies-beginners five (a former commander-in-chief of fleet V. Komodoev, directors or members of the administrative board of the commercial enterprises S.Gavrilov, A.Russkih, I.Edel and pensioner O.Denisenko) were never party active workers.


Five more new deputies - functionaries of the fraction apparatus S.Obuhov and V.Soloviev and regional party leaders N.Razvorotnev, N.Ryabov and V.Ulas - are 50 years old or more. Only five new members of fraction - A.Andreev, J.Afonin, A.Kornienko, D.Novikov and K.Shirshov - are party active workers younger than 40 years. There are all in 57 deputies in the fraction. Five people from 57 - is very little for a personnel reserve.


The structure of fraction ceased to reflect the structure of voters of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. It's especially well seen if to compare present structure of fraction to the structures of 1999 and, especially, 1995 years. Then there were among deputies-communists - and in a significant amount - teachers, workers and farmers. Now there are in fraction - only professional members of parliament who entered strongly the Russian establishment or functionaries of the party apparatus or heads of the commercial organizations.


It's paradoxical situation: now the Communist Party is much further from getting of authority, than in 90th years - but thus the Duma fraction of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation is much more elite structure, than earlier.


By the way, the representation of women in the fraction of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation also decreased. Though it always was low - 11-12 % - but in present structure of fraction there are less women, than ever - only 7 %. The facts listed confirms that the Duma fraction of the Communist Party turned into the closed elite club of elderly gentlemen which is characterized by personnel stagnation, quick getting elder and detachment from the mass of party active workers.


The Communist Party does not carry out function of "social lift". The young party active worker practically does not have chances to pass in the Duma. The management of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, as a rule, will prefer to put forward the veteran of the party apparatus, notable retiree or businessman of an average hand. Rates and ways of updating of parliamentary fraction of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation allow to draw only one conclusion: the only aim of a party top is prolongation of the term of stay within the precincts of the parliament.


Questions of rotation and making management of the Communist Party younger, promotion of new, adequate to new political conditions party leaders, obviously, do not blow anybody's mind.


P.S. We shall recollect, by the way, that 90 years ago, in the end of 1917 there were also elections in Russia - the deputies of the Constituent assembly were elected. The half of the nominees put forward by the Central Committees RSDRP (b) were workers and soldiers, third part - journalists. The middle age of the Bolsheviks who made up the Constituent assembly was 34 years. The supervising group of Bolsheviks, in comparison with supervising groups of other parties, was the youngest and the closest on structure to the social base. It is obvious, that Bolsheviks could have won also because of that fact. It's also obvious that at present personnel policy the Communist Party has no chances to come to power.
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