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The political events of late 2011 and of 2012 have ruined the seemly regular ideology and political preferences of the Russian society, leading political analysts of the Centre for Political Technologies Igor Bunin, Boris Makarenko and Alexei Makarkin write in their article published by the Vedomosti. The article is based on a report called “Power – Elites – Society: Outlook of New Social Agreement,” which had been prepared at the order from the Committee for social initiatives; and the sociology research was conducted in February-March of the current year.
The experts stress ceases its existence the so-called Putin’s consensus, where the biggest part of the society during elections supported the power or the regular opposition, and between elections chose not to be involved actively in the political life. The inertial development of the current political system, which is associated with the name of Vladimir Putin, the research showed, has been supported clearly by only a half of the nation. The top popularity of that development trend is in the past, and the society has formulated a demand not for “general reforms,” but for reforms of the existing order.
However, the Russian society does not demonstrate a “left trend” either: 12.5 percent, not few, would prefer to see Russia’s future as “socialistic, similar to the Soviet style; 17.6 percent see the outcome from the current situation in an authoritarian regime of an “iron hand,” but still more attractive for most Russians (38 percent) would be the democracy similar to that in European countries.”
This demand does not characterise in any way the democracy, which the people are aspiring, but the analysis of responses from democracy supporters to other questions in the research demonstrates that people mean a move from the current state to a bigger transparency, to the pluralism, and, most importantly, to the power’s reporting and responding. This demand does not mean an opposition to the power – it means the request for changes in this “democratic” direction. This is also a request for new faces and personalities in the policies. It is next to the request for other weaker requests for going back to the Soviet past and to the “iron hand,” while the satisfaction with the current status quo is at a very low rate.
The Russian society is becoming more differentiated in its ideology and political view, and the growing pluralism is bound to demand a more flexible party and political system, the political analysts say.
The quantity sociology research has revealed the society’s variable reactions both to the “banning” and to the “liberal” laws, adopted lately. The banning laws were adopted during the “conservative period,” the liberal ones are those on returning elections of governors, easier registration for political parties, etc.
About every fourth respondent commenting on the banning laws and about 30 percent on the liberal laws say they would not be affected by those lows in any way.
This part deducted, the banning laws (the Anti-Magnitsky law, that on foreign agents, or criminal responsibility for defamation) are supported by a relative majority (about 40 percent) of supporters, and only the ban for the dirty language in the media is supported by a clear majority. The respondents did not support tougher regulations for rally organisers (22 percent are for it, and 38 percent – against).
The “conservative way” does not receive full support. Liberalisation of the political system, in its turn, is supported by a majority of the nation. This is true not only regarding the laws (where the support is about the level of that for the banning laws, though only fewer would criticise them), but regarding other factors, too. Quite demonstrative is the research’s results on the attitude to rallies in the streets. The rallies are supported by 32 percent of the respondents, while 18 percent share negative attitudes. The most frequent position, which has developed lately, is: those rallies have nothing to do with me, though people have a right for a peaceful expression of their any demands.