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"Parties in Power" and Their Ideological Chameleonic Behavior

"Parties in Power" and Their Ideological Chameleonic Behavior
Oleg Kulikov 14.02.2007

Last week political situation was defined by coming federal elections. The aggravation of the political struggle in which the parties leading preparation for new election campaign takes more and more active part testifies it. Increased activity of both parties in power - "Edinaya Russia" and "Fair Russia" attracts attention. The first one follows known political technology "catch everybody" aspiring to involve voters not by one complete program but by various and ideologically polar “projects” each one directed on certain audience.  The second one tries using different means to take some place on the political scene.

One of the important themes in the agenda of the last week appeared to be an ethnic question. Till now the Kremlin carried out purposeful policy directed on replacement and actual destruction of nationalist and simply national focused parties. For this purpose the theme of "fascist threat" was puffed up when everyone who raised Russian question were enlisted into fascists and extremists. As a result was practically destroyed the party "Rodina" and LDPR out of fear before the Kremlin refused from nationalism. Now it turned out that it was simply the way to clear off of national-patriotic field from unsuitable and unnecessary players in the interests of “party in power”. When there remained no competitors and the corresponding electorate appeared to be "ownerless", the Kremlin sharply changed tactics and started to attract this electorate on the side of the party "Edinaya Russia". It, by the way, once again testifies cynical attitude of authorities to national values and Russian question, that they are used in especially pre-election purposes, i.e. as a matter of fact to deceit voters. Struggle of "Edinaya Russia" for nationalist adjusted electorate can be as well explained by its competition with "Fair Russia” which has been adjoined by the party “Rodina”.

Following its new tactics "Edinaya Russia" showed last week its "Russian Project". It is going to present a society "correct", i.e. as a matter of fact - approved by the Kremlin - nationalism and to carry out propaganda campaign from these positions. Nationalism only yesterday exposed to ostracism will be legalized, allowed in those forms which will be registered in analytical messages by court political scientists. The rate is done to attract youth among whom nationalist moods are really more and more wide spread. Not for nothing the leader of the project “Young Guards” – I.Demidov – is busy with “Russian Project”.

In pursuit of additional percents of voices "party in power" is ready to offer on its own behalf literally everything that is supported by voters, not caring of the measure this one can be joined by another. «Edinaya Russia» wants to appear before voters as a party in which everyone will find something after one’s own heart. Thus, certainly, there is no complete program of driving out Russia from crisis and in particular – of spiritual revival of the Russian people, no serious intentions to do something in this direction. Another direction popular in "parties in power" remains social one. Both "parties in power" in eager rivalry want to prove to be the most active and consecutive defenders of the rights of the working people and socially not protected categories of the population, in particular - pensioners. “Fair Russia” is especially active here trying to create to itself an image of the "left" party. In a situation when many regional branches of the Russian party of pensioners refused to enter into incorporated party and voters of pensioner age are being actively “joshed” by “Edinaya Russia” “socialist-revolutionaries” tried to seize the initiative. S. Mironov started to appear with criticism of M.Zurabov for the failure of pensionary reform.   

However, "Edinaya Russia" itself is going to represent socially focused party. Before "zero" reading of three-year budget for 2008-10, it is making PR supporting increase of social charges. The decision to increase minimal monthly wage before the elections is accepted. It is supposed that since September, 1st it will make 2,5 thousand rbl. and in the end of 2008, i.e. already at the new president of Russia it will be raised up to 4,3 thousand. Not out of place will be to remind that unlike "parties in power" which main aim is protection of positions of officials and businessmen, their official armchairs, corruption incomes and superprofits and all the rest is secondary and which acts from the necessity to solve these problems, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation has been always supported interests of workers. The principle position of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation in sphere of social policy was formulated already in 1990th when there was neither "Edinaya", nor "Fair Russia" and since then remained constant.

Manipulations and Having One On

On this background "parties in power" and standing up for their back financial-political groupings began struggle for the control over calculation of voices on elections in connection with formation of new structure of the Central Electoral Commission. Struggle for the Central Electoral Committee is partly connected with struggle between "parties in power" as positions of “Edinaya Russia” are quite strong in the State Duma and the Federal Council is headed by the leader of "Fair Russia". As to the State Duma "Edinaya Russia" is eager to get three places from five allocated on a quota for the lower chamber of the Parliament. The Federal Council formulated its own list also mainly composed from the present member of Central Electoral Committee. Notwithstanding of presentation of two “parties in power” in CEC its structure and leadership most likely won’t be changed, that in its turn satisfies the Kremlin. Accordingly, all those manipulations and infringements which are treated by selective commissions willingly or which they make themselves will remain in the nature of things. One can’t count on impartial and completely fair calculation of voices in the present Russia. Attempts of two "parties in power" and other dominating groups to affect the structure of the Central Electoral Commission are connected only with their desire to turn partiality of the selective commission to the party and to direct it against the competitor.

In passing “edinorossies” from  Duma create operated situation in the sphere which is borrowed by pseudo-patriotic parties-deceivers. For example, they let loyal to the Kremlin leader of "National Will" S.Baburin to stay as the vice-speaker of the State Duma but had not allowed him to create new, the third already fraction instead of former "Rodina". Such policy can be explained by the fact that the second fraction of "Rodina" had been already given to another loyal to the authorities character - G.Semigin. In the meantime fraction “Fair Russia” appeared on a place of the largest splinter of former "Rodina" which nevertheless was left without vice-speaker place. Thus president’s administration and “Edinaya Russia” dominating in the State Duma divides and rules in the upper chamber of the Parliament.   

It is interesting to note that, arguing about nationalism, «Edinaya Russia» does not leave attempts to intrude also on a liberal field. Ideological pantophagy and pre-election cynicism remains its main distinctive feature. The purposeful policy being carried out by means of the loyal selective commissions, on destruction of Liberal parties, clearing off this field also for «Edinaya Russia». We shall remind that nobody cancelled presence of the liberal wing in «Edinaya Russia» which was created to attract this part of the electorate. Meanwhile Union of Right Forces has been already refused in registration in four regions, that gives evidence of coordinated campaign. Most likely that liberal electorate is planned to “be given” to “Edinaya Russia”.    

While the Kremlin and "parties in power" are engaged in the manipulations, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation conducts active struggle for principles of democracy and for the right of people to solve vital questions on referendum. Last week the Constitutional court began administration of the complaint of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation on separate positions of the law about referendum. First of all, it is a question of a ridiculous interdiction to raise on a referendum questions concerning financial obligations of the state. It is obvious that no one question of a state policy can be solved free of charge. In other words, it is a question of conscious restriction of the right of citizens on carrying out of referenda which was the main aim of introduction of amendments into the law. Direct national will is just what the Kremlin is afraid of and what it tries to avoid in every possible way. Though recently both V.Putin and the “successor” D.Medvedev started to speak about democracy aspiring to be attractive to the West. But these are only words.

Commerce instead of Politics

Patriotism of the prevailing authorities also appears to be phoney at checking. They destroyed with their own hands the Union of Russia and Belarus having trampled on friendly relations with our nearest ally and having put economic relations on especially "market" basis. As a result A.Lukashenko who used to stand up during many years for the union with Russia was compelled to change the policy. In return Belarus brings attention to the question of the Russian military objects in its territory, of transit of cargoes to Kaliningrad area that means appearance of geostrategic problems to Russia. That is the bitter price of “pragmatic” external policy conducted by Russia in CIS.

Unpleasant situation in relations with Belarus is not surprising as soon as cleanly commercial interests and frequently simply - banal personal interests of the high-ranking figures define today the Russian policy. “Gazprom” which untied trading war with Belarus, in the meantime is going to become also the largest coal company of Russia having absorbed SCEC. In this way oligarches in exchange for inviolability hurry up to find influential allies in a presidential environment. The question of “handing in” of “Norilsk Nickel” by V.Potanin is also being discussed. Last week V.Putin collected oligarches to the Council having thus let them know that the oligarchy should be politically loyal and should share profits with officials. So that oligarches were obedient, they were one more time intimidated having put forward new charges to M.Hodorkovsky and P.Lebedev who, according to the investigation stole more than 22 billion dollars. At the same time officials were also intimidated by the creation of working group on struggle against corruption led by the assistant to president V.Ivanov. However everybody understands that the struggle against corruption and back-alley business has in Russia purely selective and political character as soon as its aim is repartition of the authority and property to the benefit of new groups connected with power structures.
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