Big Yawn In Russia Over Duma Elections

President Vladmir Putin’s political party, United Russia, has been dominating the electoral field during the past few months. But, despite its control over media outlets, laws which curtail opportunities for other political parties to elect members of the Duma, the electorate appears to have an overwhelming boredom with the entire process. United Russia was garnering 57% of potential votes in October, but now its numbers are down to about 44%. The ironic aspect of this decline is that competitive parties are not gaining additional votes, people appear to be indifferent. They are probably tired of inflation and the lack of competition in a vote dominated by one party. A party must gain at least 7% of the vote in order to qualify to have any of its members elected to the Duma. As of this point, it appears only the Communist party will reach that number.

President Putin lacks trust in the Russian people and thus has stacked laws to prevent opposition parties from electing members to the Duma. Ironically, in so doing, he has made the election boring and irrelevant to most Russians. Why develop an interest when the entire process is arranged so United Russia will eventually win.