Russian Democracy in Eclipse: What the Polls Tell Us

Issue Date July 2004
Volume 15
Issue 3
Page Numbers 43-51
file Print
external View Citation

Some think that the failure of the democratic parties during parliamentary elections in December 2003 and undisputed dominance of President Putin’s supporters on political arena mean the demise of the hopes of establishment in Russia of a democratic system, in the very least — for the foreseeable future, for 50 or 100 years. Until recently out of all the post-Soviet transformations political pluralism and multi-party system received the lowest grades in public opinion. Democracy attributes that emerged in Russia with the advent of changes did not include citizens’ active participation and responsibility. The curtailment of political pluralism which started with President Putin’s coming to power and which became obvious after 2003-2004 elections did not meet with serious resistance. During Putin’s first presidential term the depolitization of the political arena in the country took place. To the extent the political constituent is returning into public life the democracy mechanisms will also develop.