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02.04.2023, . 09:37


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East Siberia

East Siberia is a study in contrasts. Voters here are more likely to support continued economic reforms, but less likely to say that political parties are necessary for democracy and much less likely to vote than those in other regions. They have a penchant for «outsider» candidates (Lebed, Yavlinsky, and Zhirinovsky top the list).

- Voters in East Siberia are much less interested in politics and government than any other region except the Volga. Only 24% are interested while 76% are not interested in politics and government. Only 8% are satisfied and 87% are dissatisfied.

- With two exceptions, the reasons for dissatisfaction are in line with national responses. However, 66% mention crime (15% above the national average) and 42% - as compared with 16% nationally - mention housing. Concerns about crime are mainly regarding threats to personal safety and property (30%). Other reasons for voter dissatisfaction include: inflation (65%), Chechnya (32%), standard of living (52%), unemployment (35%), chaos (32%).

- In open-ended questioning, the most important concerns are the economic crisis (29%) and quality of life (12%). Crime receives 10%.

- Regarding the political situation, 22% say it will get better over the next few years and 39% that it will get worse. On the economic front, the response is 25% better - 36% worse.

- Support for continuing economic reforms is higher in East Siberia (32%) than in any other region. Only 34% want to return to state control.

- Voters in East Siberia are also more likely to say that Russia is a democracy. 55% say that Russia is a democracy and 34% say that it is not.

- Voters in the region are more likely to say that political power should be centralized (37%) while 33% think it should be decentralized.

- One third of all voters see Russia as a model for its own development (33%). 20% mention the U.S., 4% Sweden, 2% Germany, 3% Switzerland and 8% Japan. 6% say the Soviet Union (-1%).

- Only 15% say that Russia should be oriented toward neither the East nor the West. In all, 27% believe Russia would benefit from a western orientation, 5% say the East, and 31% both.

- Voters express a lower level of reliance on media organizations or personalities (33%) for information when making voting decisions. 35% are self-reliant, and 7% look to government leaders. 91% say National Channel 1 is useful and 77% call Channel 2 useful. Local television programs receive a 52% useful score (-1%). 51% say discussions with friends and family are useful. 78% say that newspapers are useful sources. Local radio is at. 49%. 35% say that magazine articles are useful. 33% say that posters are useful. The top sources are National Channel 1 (34%) and newspaper articles (26%).

Institutions and Officials

- Perceptions of corruption are as follows: 52% say that official corruption is very common (-2%) and 40% say fairly common. 4% say that corruption is rare. 74% say that elected officials in Moscow are only interested in helping themselves and 1% say they are interested in improving our lives. 42% say their elected officials can make an improvement in their circumstances while 49% say they cannot.

- President Yeltsin's job approval score in this region is low as 17% approve and 78% disapprove. The Duma's approval score is 23% approve and 45% disapprove. 22% approve of the Federation Council and 40% disapprove.

Attitudes Toward the Electoral System

- Perceptions about past fraud are low in East Siberia as 50% believe there was at least some fraud in 1993 (-6%). However, 52% say there will be fraud in the 1995 elections (+4%).

- Voters in East Siberia are less likely to blame the CEC than those in other regions.

12%

Central Election Commission

1%

Executive Branch

13%

Other central authorities

10%

Local election offices

9%

Local executive authorities

8%

Political parties

8%

Local candidate organizations

28%

All of these

- Improper voting practices have the following scores. 7% report seeing financial incentives being offered to voters. 2% saw poll watchers and 6% saw local/election officials try to influence votes, while 10% say they felt their ballot wouldn't be kept secret. Group voting is at 18%.

- Voters in the East Siberia also have a higher than average knowledge score on the CEC. That is, 8% have read or heard a fair amount or more, and 34% have heard nothing at all (-17%). The CEC's job approval here is also high as a 27% plurality say they are doing their job well and 25% poorly.

- 76% support the computerization of elections and 6% are opposed.

- Voters in this region are more favorable toward allowing candidates for the State Duma (36%) and the Federation Council (36%) to receive private contributions than any other region. 28% support private contributions to candidates for the Presidency. A majority oppose such contributions in all cases and 70% say that a ceiling should be established for such contributions. 70% support a minimum voting threshold for validating elections.

- 31% would like to increase the number of Duma representatives who are elected from party lists, 6% want more from single mandate constituencies, 32% would like the system to stay the same and 30% don't know.

- 65% say the Federation Council should be directly elected, 14% call for indirect elections, and 3% think members should be appointed by the President.

Voting Patterns

- Voters in East Siberia are less likely to vote than most other areas. As in Centralno-Chernozemnyi, only 66% say they plan to vote in the Duma elections, and 28% say they will not - more than any other region. Further, the percentage of those saying they are certain to vote is only 24%, the lowest in the 10 regions. Only 18% of those age 17-35 are likely voters.

- Projected turnout for the presidential elections is also low at 66% and with a definite vote of only 28% - 18% below the national average of 46%. This is bad news for General Lebed, who leads in the region with 24% and Mr. Yavlinsky who is close behind with 19%.

- Vote efficacy scores in the region are at average levels. 54% (+2%) believe that by voting, people can actually change something in the life of our country and 41% (+1) say this is not possible.

- The following table rank orders the results of the Presidential ballot test in the region. Again, Lebed and Yavlinsky are far ahead of other contenders. Candidates who are currently in government do very poorly here. Zhirinovsky does better here than elsewhere in the nation.

Lebed

24%

Yavlinsky

19%

Zhirinovsky

11%

Chernomyrdin

3%

Zyuganov

3%

Rutskoi

5%

Yeltsin

2%

Solzhenitsyn

3%

Gaidar

2%

Shakhrai

1%

Staravoitova

2%

Shumeiko

1%

Kozyrev

1 %

Rybkin

1%

Don't Know

13%

Political Parties

- Voters in East Siberia are less likely to say that political are necessary for Russian democracy. Only 54% hold this view as compared with 69% nationwide. 25% hold the contrary view and 20% don't know. Only 35% strongly believe that parties are necessary.

This is consistent with their view on the «ideal» number of political parties to have as 29% say several, 11% say one, and 14% feel that «none» is the ideal number.

The problem of party definition is quite pronounced in East Siberia. Fewer voters here (16%) say there are clear differences between the parties, while a 53% majority say there are not. Party membership levels are low as 5% say they are members of a party. It is not surprising, then, to find only 12% saying they are more likely to vote for a candidate who is affiliated with a political party, 29% who are more likely to vote for an unaffiliated candidate, and 50% who say it makes no difference.

Just 41% say that political parties speak to the issues that concern the Russian electorate and 33% say they do not. As a result, 30% pick «none» as their party of choice in the Duma ballot - a national high.

- In the Duma ballot, the results are as follows:

Women of Russia

13%

Yabloko

9%

LDPR

8%

Communist Party

7%

Russia's Democratic Choice

2%

Democratic Party of Russia

1%

Agrarian Party

1%

Stable Russia

1%

None

30%

Don't Know

27%

Voter Education

* 45% say they received enough information from election officials so that they understood the election process;

* These voters are relatively uninformed as 1% have a great deal of information about the Democratic process, 7% have a fair amount, 60% have not very much, and 25% have none at all.

* 77% agree (42% strongly) that they don't have enough information with regard to their rights with regard to the authorities.

* 32% (-1%) say they received enough information about the candidates or parties to make a good choice in the 1993 Parliamentary elections and 43% did not.

* 16% are very or somewhat familiar with their voting rights.

* 25% didn't have enough information on how to check the voter registry and 30% had too little information on means of alternative voting.

* 28% do not believe that voters must be inside the ballot booth when they fill out their ballot.

* Misunderstandings about voting rights include the following: 44% believe a family member can vote on your behalf by presenting your passport (10% above average and tied for first with the Far East); 35% say that those who don't currently reside in Russia may not vote. Unlike the rest of the nation, a majority of the voters here know that prisoners may not vote. Only 26% say they can while 66% say they cannot.

* 36% say that those who don't speak Russian may not vote.

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