Staunton, Sept. 5 – In most political campaigns, candidates compete among themselves for the support of voters by talking about the future and making promises, Kirill Martynov Says. But that isn’t how Russian campaigns take place now. “No one believes in any changes for the better,” and the party leaders have nothing to propose they will do to make the future better.
The political editor of Novaya gazeta says that Russia’s parties have had to find another way to attract attention and they hope support. What they are doing to meet those hopes is to inspire in voters “hatred to the contemporary world” either by attacking its features or celebrating the past (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2021/09/04/pri-staline-privivok-ne-bylo).
This has meant that both United Russia and the KPRF have spent a remarkable amount of time defending Stalin and Stalinism, the former because it opposes criticism of any Russian ruler and the latter because its traditional electorate remains mired in admiration for the Soviet dictator, Martynov says.
When that isn’t enough, he continues, they attack modernity in the form of coronavirus vaccines, with the KPRF doing everything it can to become the chief opponent of inoculation. And all of them offer xenophobic attacks on immigrants and others. This is all they can do because none of them has anything to promise for the future except more of the same.
The systemic parties have been reduced to this because the entire system is based on the idea that nothing must change, but the way that the campaign is being conducted serves to highlight something those in the Kremlin likely would prefer no one to notice: the complete intellectual bankruptcy of the political elite.