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A Year after Elections Which Shook Moscow

A Year after Elections Which Shook Moscow
Источник: Centerof Researchesof Political Conjuncture of Russia

A year passed after elections into Moscow municipal Duma. Elections were significant. As they passed for the first time under party lists. And for the first time in modern history of the capital communists formed their fraction in a legislature of city authority. So in Moscow, apparently, a new epoch began capable to stir up a political life of the megacity for a long time has already run whether in hibernation, whether in a tetanus.

Representative of general Moscow poll which has been carried out by our Center of Researches of Political Conjuncture of Russia from the 1st to the 7th of December, 2006 on the basis of representative accidental remeasured selectionof 500 people (method – telephone interviews of inhabitants of all 10 districts of the capital) should be aimed to give in this connection an estimation of a modern political situation in the capital.

The first impression: life perception of muscovites, more or less comfortable and quiet on the eve of December elections of 2005, have sharply become tougher. And if to take an estimation by citizens of all spectrum of problems with they come across in capital, it should be said that it has worsened in one and a half.

For example, one year ago similar poll of Center of Researches of Political Conjuncture of Russia revealed that cleanliness in the streets fully or partially satisfied 85 percent of the population. After one year after elections of a new municipal Duma - only 62 percent from them remained to be satisfied with it. Accordingly, the work of metro estimated positively in 2005 – 78% and today - only 55% of muscovites. Organization of movement on the streets did not irritate 62 percent of citizens. A year later - only 32 percent from them. The condition and quality of trade did not provoke negative emotions of 76 percent of inhabitants of a megacity. Whereas today it it is possible to say only about 40 percent of the townspeople. With opportunities for a parking of cars were at the very least reconciled in 2005 51% and today – 14% of muscovites. And so on, and so forth …

Another thing became symptomatic. About every fourth-fifth of the interrogated muscovites chose strange position. He did not compliment or blamed the state of things in Moscow. But at the same time showed some uncertain or vague irritation or frank unwillingness to talk to the interviewer on this theme.

Let's notice by the way that deep irritation in reply to any attempt to talk about the state of things in capital nevertheless appeared to be the most characteristic feature of the carried out overture during which out of five interrogated citizens to participate in conversation agreed only one. "City in itself" – thus it is possible to characterize today's Moscow. Or: city - "a black box", to understand mood of which is impossible but it’s possible to expect everything of it.

Even on such, it seems obvious, problem as migration of natives of Central Asia and from Caucasus captivated capital, position of muscovites has become rather strange. For example, to welcome inflow of migrants today are ready 18% of citizens and not 15 as in 2005: let it be otherwise there is nobody to work. Whereas relative density of critics was reduced from 40 up to 38%. Earlier the basic reason was that migrants didn’t work much but create criminal conditions (a share of followers of this opinion has reduced from 16 to 9%). Nowadays there appeared another point of view: “The capital needs working power – let’s get it from Russians, in Russia itself”. This point of view is being followed by every sixth citizen of the capital (earlier it was the 11th). To say in other words – social-juridical, so to say, accent of demands has changed into national-political.

And one more thing. The role, so to say, buffer, compromise opinions has sharply fallen (from 40 up to 27% of mentioning) - say, if you have arrived to the foreign country, follow our vital norms. The share of muscovites who preferred to evade in general from substantial conversation has grown in three times. In 2005 there were 5% and in 2006 – 17%.

What can be said in this occasion? Firstly, obvious polarization of opinions is prominent. Secondly, position of muscovites is becoming less distinct. So in this question as well as in many others the capital continues to turn into “black box” from which the course of public events could extract everything that one needs.  

Thus ability of political forces operating in the capital to influence moods of citizens and to control sociopolitical processes remains doubtful. It is visible from the attitude of muscovites to political parties in general.

Already last year's poll of our Center of Researches of Political Conjuncture of Russia revealed very disturbing tendency - alienation of "ordinary" townsman from political forces and structures. For the expired year the situation was not only not corrected but even deepened.  

As dialogue showed, only one muscovite from seven had personal contact with the representative of any party during an expired year. Thus in each fourth case it was the contact with "Edinaya Russia", in each third - "Yabloko" (their capital organizations in comparison with the last year managed to increase the volume of communication with population in one and a half or even two times). And only in every fourteenth – that were contacts with LDPR, Union of Right Forces, Party of Life, etc. Contacts with representatives of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation were not mentioned during interrogation by muscovites at all.

Nevertheless, even activization in the capital of "Edinaya Russia" and "Yabloko" could not prevent sharp falling of the general prestige of political parties. So, in a rating of the most known and well working pary divisions of "Edinaya Russia" has gone down from 52 up to 34 percent of mentionings. The right - "Yabloko" and Union of Right Forces - have fallen from 5 up to 2. Positions of LDPR in this rating also have worsened - from 4 up to 2 percent.

As to the capital organization of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, it used to collect and is still collecting in a rating of activity about 1 percent of positive responses. So the question about political estimation of such situation is still debatable: whether it is possible to call such work "firm retension of the borrowed positions" or it is a question of something essentially different …

In any case, any contact of a muscovite with party-political sphere gives absolutely scanty result. Less than 2 percent of interrogated admitted that they received some positive feedback from interaction with branches of any political parties of capital. While half of muscovites - even in those rare cases when they manage to get crossed with representatives of political parties - are simply powerless to tell distinctly what was a practical result of such meeting.

Thus, present interrogation forces to repeat that conclusion which was done according to the results of similar research of 2005: muscovites and political parties live as though in different planes and measurements, in itself. They are not crossing in a real life and know little about each other.

It is once again proved by the fact that 92-97% of inhabitants of a capital megacity are not in condition even to name a surname of heads of party fractions operating in the Moscow municipal Duma.

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