Famous political scientist speaks of elections, ratings and Olympic construction.
- People, which take part in elections, always look for the most efficient and safe scheme for them. Some time ago, relatively speaking, it was convenient to go as an independent. When the support of “Edinaya Rossiya” (“United Russia”) became beneficial, in a few regions some went under its flags. Now in a range of country’s subjects the situation is changing, the support of the party is not so powerful, regional head is not so authoritative, so candidates are seeking another way. They cannot join “Narodniy Front” (“People’s Front”) in time, so they prefer to be independents. In Kuban we have one of the most powerful party organizations of “Edinaya Rossiya” in the country. It is connected, first of all, with charisma of its regional heads - leader of the faction in Legislative Assembly Vladimir Beketov - our irreplaceable speaker and governor Alexander Tkachev, a person with a huge rating and respect. In majority of municipalities party departments are headed by city of district executive.
- So, weak candidates in “Edinaya Rossiya” gain additional votes owing to Tkachev and Beketov?
- Of course! It was checked many times at municipal and regional elections. An independent candidate’s rating was compared with his rating if he was under a party in power. In the latter case his chances were two or three times higher. For a voter it is important that a person is from a team, he can solve something, get support from the region.
- Does “Edinaya Rossiya” have problem municipalities on forthcoming elections?
- No, because in figuratively problem districts there will be no elections on that day. Let’s take, for example, Gelendzhik - in September they will elect both mayor and City Duma there. Present head Viktor Khrestin is so popular and top-rated mayor that to win him it might have been only Sergey Shoigu nominated. It is unproblematic territory election wise. There were problems in Anapa under Tatyana Evsikova, she had low rating, but now there is a serious and responsible head. So I do not see any territory where ruling party is in danger election wise.
- Prior to elections in Krasnodar region under the egis of KPRF (Communist Party of the Russian Federation) a public organization “Children of War” has started activity. In a range of cities, for example in Novorossiysk, there have already been scandals - pensioners are promised benefits and free pass that they cannot get in fact...
- This is a speculative project of blackest dye. Benefits that do not exist on a legal basis are masked with attractive name. Mean speculators understand that there is no legal basis for listed benefits and earn political dividends on it. And when people get nothing, they address their claims not to the action’s organizers, but to the power. In fact it is antisocial project that increases public discontent and irritation for the sake of doubtful political gains.
- You had been heading regional sociological center for several years. From last year there is no such unitary enterprise in the region. Does it have real alternative? Is it as important for the authorities today to know clean public opinion?
- A structure, that could have filled this niche, might appear anytime soon or it might not.
We have groups, specialists, which can once in a year or half a year conduct an appropriate research. But situation monitoring means constant keeping one’s finger on the pulse of events, estimating inhabitants’ reaction to different factors. Lately we can see that President’s administration pays much more attention to sociological surveys, than, say, a year ago. For federal authorities now Public Opinion Foundation, Levada Center, VCIOM are not enough. And measuring public opinion is a professional job, where a simple questionnaire is insufficient.
- It is less than 200 days before the Olympics in Sochi. In your opinion, why the preparation for the Games did not make it into history from positive side?
- Krasnodar region does not have benefits and preferences, which a part of North Caucasian republics and territories with other religion domination do. In Kuban one may be reprimanded even for work processes. And this is economically and socially developing region, so we are always under microscopic observation. On the other hand, it is easier for mass media to write about negatives. Advantages of the Olympics may be seen if only one is in Imeretinskaya lowland. My friends, who were there, came back with eyes wide open with surprise! In fact a huge work has been done.