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Campaign strategy of the Kremlin — the status quo

Предвыборная стратегия Кремля — сохранение status quo
<sup>Photo: RIA Novosti</sup>

The election program of the ruling party, which approves the Congress of “United Russia” on 26 and 27 June, reveals the Kremlin’s strategy, however, and all parties-satellites. The lack of surprises and some fresh ideas underlines the confidence of the elite in achieving the right results and at the same time leaves the reserve, the bubble is more powerful but more risky technologies.

The main intrigue September 18, of course, is not whether to get the “United Russia” the majority in Parliament, and not even whether it is the most constitutional, mainly due to the victory in single-member districts, but the answer to the question of whether the Kremlin is now such a dominance in Parliament. Expulsion from the Duma party system could provoke them into unpredictable steps, flirting with the opposition electorate, much as it did the social revolutionaries during the events on Bolotnaya square. Apparently, therefore, the Kremlin embarked on the attempt to negotiate with all.

The first step is the exchange of districts was made at the end of winter, and with the holding of the primaries and the formation of the party lists have received the final confirmation. Well-known candidates from all parties the system of separate districts and regions. First, to reduce the conflict during the election campaign, and secondly, to ensure the predictability of the composition of the future Parliament. Bet on “silence”, i.e., no large-scale clashes and vibrant election campaigns, will play into the hands of the party of power: it reduces voter turnout and increases the proportion of specially mobilized to the vote of the population, state employees, retirees, apparatchiks. Most problematic for the “United Russia” district, it seems, gave Leonid Kalashnikov of the Communist party, Galina Khovanskaya from the CP, Oksana Dmitrieva from the Party of growth and even a couple dozen active members. “Breeding” candidates even decided to consolidate formally, but the process of torpedoing Communist party is not ready for a public coalition with the ruling party.

But outside public fields, the Communists demonstrated a willingness to compromise. It would seem that all of the current economic situation, the decline in living standards creates a natural request on the ideas of the left. The rating of the Communist party ranges from 18% to 26% — and this even before the official start of the election campaign. But Zyuganov exploit the crisis agenda is quite modest, especially compared to their formal counterparts on the ideological spectrum — SRS, balancing, according to the ratings, on the verge of missing in the new convocation of the Duma.

While Mironov has threatened to collect 10 million signatures for the resignation of the government of Medvedev, and the poster actually encourages Russians to forgive all their debt, the Communists did not even include in its Federal party list of some fresh candidates. Their main campaign message — an attempt to exploit a Patriotic agenda, associated with the former successes of the Soviet Union, victory in the war.

The recent pre-election tour of Dmitry Medvedev is traditionally the “red belt” — Irkutsk, Novosibirsk, nearby area — was not accompanied by any meaningful information resistance from the Communists.

To mute the conflict, the Kremlin is trying within the ruling party. According to the results of primaries of their seats lose about 100 deputies of the EP, or lost a preliminary vote by County, or not taking the best seats in the party list of regional groups. Sidelined and embittered, members can significantly rock the the background information. So it is not repeated in September, we announced the creation of a special Commission within the ruling party, which deal with the employment of former MPs. Of course, some important posts of the party departed from the nest will not give, but to “nourish hope” until September will.

Completes the picture of the lack of a coherent anti-crisis program, which would be a pre-election trump card of the ruling party and Dmitry Medvedev. A retelling in the official pre-election program of “United Russia” impossible the may decrees, with direct quotes Putin, is the intentional creation of a collective responsibility and attempt somehow to use the forbidden reputational capital President. All great ideas, reforms and strategies have strongly deferred to 2018.

At the same time in the Arsenal of the Kremlin remain the tools created long ago, but completely unused during this election cycle. The most striking example of the popular front, which, judging by its activities in 2012-2015, expected to become the new “party of power” or a likeness of her sparring partner, “the party of the second choice” in this election cycle. Instead of more risky, but spectacular pseudocongruence two fringe projects, we got the co-optation of the “veterans” in the “United Russia” candidates heavyweights in troubled regions. That’s the mission of the front has ended.

Before the traditional political lull of July and August, the Kremlin relies on the preservation of the current political situation, hoping to hold the elections very smoothly for all “their” players.

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