‘Anti-Establishment Wave’ like Those in UK and US May Engulf Russia, Minchenko Consulting Says
October 26 – As a result of a decline in social well-being, the weakening of
the position of United Russia, and the increasing strength of populist
politicians, a Minchenko Consulting study says, “Russia has fallen under an
anti-establishment wave” like those which have already engulfed Great Britain
with Brexit and the US with the victory of Donald Trump.
encountered the Brexit effect,” the study says, “when the communication
strategy of the authorities which had worked earlier has failed” under the
impact of “populist attitudes and the popularity of populist political projects.”They then propose a series of measures to
slay “’the dragon of populism’” ranging from censorship and force to adopting
Russians are now dissatisfied with life than satisfied, 52 percent to 45
percent, Minchenko Consulting says.The
standard of living is falling, social supports are weaking, prices and taxes
are going up, corruption is widespread, and regional and social stratification
is increasing, it continues.
Russians had viewed as “’stability,’” the report says, they now are inclined to
view as “stagnation.”They are
increasingly apathetic, but they also want to express their unhappiness via
elections.But 42 percent say that “none
of the existing political parties expresses their interests” so they have no
channel in that sphere.
lack of representation within the party system in turn is leading to the growth
of protest activity, Minchenko Consulting suggests.Up to now, this protest is about very narrow
issues and is territorially dispersed. But with time, it may become more
generalized and more united across the country.
that happens, the experts who compiled the report say, the federal center will
either have to “create a new party” to draw off the protesters or “carry out an
institutional reform of the entire political party system as a whole” lest the
protests become increasingly powerful and lead to the formation of a new party “’from
below’” that could challenge the powers that be.
Minchenko expers say that there are several possible scenarios by which this
could happen: the most likely of which is “the return of party blocs” that
would allow “the rebranding of United Russia. But there could also be the
formation of new parties on the left and right or from the regions.
nothing changes in the next two or three years, the report warns, Russia will
approach “an inert scenario” in which the existing parliamentary parties will “slowly
die” but one where the opportunities for the formation of new parties will be
extremely limited.That could lead to
the rise of more independent parties and major losses for the party of power.
the worst case, the current parties could find their influence reduced to
nothing; and the population would turn to “non-electoral forms of political
struggle” that the powers that be would have to come up with various means to