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The All-Russia People’s Front (ONF) enjoys support of Russians, while most of them are against this structure to turn into a political party. Prior to the ONF congress, which opens on Tuesday, the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Centre (VCIOM) has run an all-Russia sociological survey aimed to find out what the Russians know and think about ONF.
“The largest rejection in the society is caused by the idea of a potential turning of ONF into a political party. If at the congress the ONF management decides to become a supra-party platform, this will mean that it has found a unique niche for itself that coincides with the society's requests,” political expert Alexei Zudin noted.
Head of the Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Studies Dmitry Badovsky also noted that ONF is needed in the society. In his view, people do not expect ONF to turn in a party, but to turn in an institute of communication between people and the president.
The VCIOM sociological survey showed that 42% of respondents are completely unaware about ONF, 49% “have heard something” about ONF, but do not know the details, the Kommersant daily reported. Seven percent of pollsters “know well what it is about”, 17% of respondents associate the phrase “people’s front” with “the union of people for the settlement of the problems”, nine percent link these words with “the war, guerrillas.” Another six percent associate ONF with “the protection of the interests or ordinary people”, five percent - “Putin’s party”, the majority of respondents (45%) could not answer the question.
53% of respondents failed to answer the question about the goals for the creation of ONF. Each fifth respondent (19%) believes that ONF is needed “for the improvement of the situation in the country”, six percent - “for the strengthening of United Russia before the elections” and five percent - “for Putin’s support”. Some respondents are sure that ONF was created “to cheat people, manipulate them” or “to fight against the incumbent authorities” (two percent each).
Half of respondents take the ONF activity “impartially”, 29% - “positively”, almost every tenth respondent (nine percent) states about a negative attitude towards the organization. Meanwhile, about a third of respondents (34%) do not want ONF to be registered as a party and to participate in the elections. The respondents believe that ONF should “inform the president about what is happening in the country” (73%), and “exercise people’s control” over the fulfilment of presidential decrees (71%). People expect ONF to participate in the improvement of the housing and public utility services quality (54%), creation and modernization of jobs (44%) and salary growth for public service employees (37%).
The number of people informed about ONF totals 56% and shows a considerable growth comparing with April figures which were 47%, head of the VCIOM department of socio-political studies Stepan Lvov noted. Overall, people are changing their attitude to ONF, Lvov explained. “In 2011, 21% of respondents stated their negative attitude towards ONF, now there are only nine percent of them,” he said.
The results of the sociological survey show that people “are not interested in politics” and tend “to avoid” this area in all possible ways, political expert Alexei Makarkin, cited by the Kommersant daily, said. “We are discussing lots of public initiatives, but actually all this happens within a very small segment of the society. As a matter of fact, the society is concerned over the growth of salaries and the reduction of the prices in the shops and is indifferent to everything that does not concern the life of a concrete person,” he said. Therefore, most Russian citizens “are indifferent” whether ONF exists or not, “but as it exists people want it to deal with specific, familiar issues,” Makarkin noted.