The Russian government is afraid of referendum

The Russian government and the parliamentary majority, which is in the service of the government, have publicly made fools of themselves several times. But there has not been such an unattractive situation, as it recently happened in the State Duma.  The Russian parliament voted to forbid holding a referendum a year before presidential or parliamentary elections.  Their main reason to explain such a voting was that fact that a referendum was conspired by communists as their pre-election propaganda. It was also claimed that referendum questions were of demagogical character. For example, who would give a negative answer to a question like, “Do you want  your rent to be adequate and affordable to your family?” A positive answer to this question would put an end to all reforms of the public utilities complex.

Well, then, ok, it was demagogy. First of all, politics is impossible without a bit of demagogy.  Secondly,  the word “demagogue” means “the leader of the people” in Greek. So, if a party becomes “the leader of the people,” then one shall assume that this “demagogue” label is stuck to it by its adversaries.

Most importantly, who prevents the government to set forth such demagogical initiatives that could be only welcomed by the people? They could add one more question like, “Do you agree that Russian citizens that take large capitals abroad should face a trial?” Or here's another one, ”Do you agree that all those people that are in strong need of a living space should move in apartments and mansions of those citizens, whose living space exceeds the norm five or even more times?” This would be a very good question indeed, for 80% of Russian people are in need of the improvement of their living conditions. Therefore, there is every reason to believe that such an offer will be welcomed by  them.

However, the government keeps on talking about unpopular measures. Why is it necessary to take unpopular measures? A suggestion to ask people, if they agree upon purchasing and selling land,  caused panic in the Duma. The deputies that were against the referendum yelled that it was an appeal to start a civil war.

The prohibition of the referendum did not allow to address to people regarding the issue, if natural resources, transport and the like, should belong to the state. The Russian society demands the income that is gained from the property on bowels  should be returned to the state. The government has the same position in this respect. So,  it would be so good to enjoy people’s support.

How can you fence with a question of the minimum wages or minimum pension that is not supposed to be lower than the living wage? Not to mention the fact that a Russian living wage is like a colonial one. Experts were not lazy to calculate, how many shirts and socks a man could buy not to ruin the state incidentally. A living wage in a post-industrial society is  supposed to include the money to purchasing a computer or pay for the Internet. The government removed that question. Do they acknowledge that they run the policy of genocide against their own people?

The process of voting was a shame.  The majority could not get the requisite number of 300 votes. It could be seen that there were a lot of people both from left and right factions that did not wish to participate in that show, which was not going to bring them any fame. The voting result was registered after a fourth try.

Gennady Zyuganov, the leader of the Russian Communist faction, complained to PACE of the violation of democracy and human rights in Russia. That was a big mistake of his. Europe is our irreconcilable enemy. Asking an enemy for some help is absolutely out of the question. However, Gennady Zyuganov made a good tactical step. He put Vladimir Putin in an embarrassing position. The president   has done so much to make Russia incorporated into the European  society. Now everybody will see that those efforts were nothing but a show. The president should understand that wrong politics will inevitably fail. The Constitution Court will have to sweat a lot, thinking over a way to protect an anti-constitutional law. The followers of that law fear their future responsibility. They have to  use hypocrisy here and there, which is a vestige of the coming end of liberal reforms. The struggle for referendum is not finished yet. Maybe, it is just getting started.

Mikhail Antonov


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Author`s name Olga Savka