Real democracy is not created simultaneously, it is not copied according to an external sample. It is necessary that society be ready to use democratic mechanisms. To make most people feel like citizens, they would be ready to spend their attention, their time, their efforts to participate in the management process on a regular basis. In other words, democracy works where people are willing to invest in it.
At the beginning of the 90s, our society was inspired by the collapse of the Soviet one-party, command-administrative system that was taking place before our very eyes.
Going to the close, it seemed democracy. Moreover, the samples of a civilized, mature democracy were very close - in the United States and Western Europe. However, the introduction of democratic forms of the state brought almost immediately a halt to the necessary economic reforms, and a little later, these forms themselves were occupied by the local and central oligarchic elites, shamelessly using the state to their advantage, dividing the national wealth.
I know from experience that even at that time there were many honest and intelligent people in power who sincerely strove for the people's welfare. Thanks to them, the state did not perish, everyday problems were solved, and, albeit inconsistently and slowly, some urgent reforms advanced. But in general, the existing system was stronger.
As a result, in the 90-s under the banner of the accession of democracy, we received not the modern state, but the clandestine struggle of clans and many semi-feudal feedings. Not a new quality of life, but huge social costs. Not a fair and free society, but the arbitrariness of self-appointed "elites" who openly neglected the interests of ordinary people. All of this “poisoned” Russia's transition to democracy and a market economy — a steady distrust of a large part of the population to these concepts themselves, their unwillingness to participate in public life.
The Russian philosopher and lawyer Pavel Novgorodtsev warned at the beginning of the last century: “Often they think that the proclamation of all freedoms and universal suffrage has in itself some miraculous power to direct life to new paths. In fact, that in such cases is installed in life is usually not a democracy, but depending on the turn of events, or oligarchy, or anarchy. "
In 90, we faced both anarchy and oligarchy. This period was literally riddled with a crisis of responsible state thinking. It would be naive to associate his reasons only with the selfish actions of oligarchs and unscrupulous officials. By the beginning of 90, our society consisted of people who had freed themselves from communism, but had not yet learned how to be masters of their destiny, who were accustomed to waiting for favors from the state, often indulged in illusions and who could not resist manipulation. Therefore, in the economic and political life, for the time being, the vicious principle "who dared, he ate" worked.
But society has gone through a difficult process of growing up. And it allowed us all to pull the country out of the quagmire together. Reanimate the state. Restore people's sovereignty - the basis of genuine democracy.
I want to emphasize - we made it democratic, constitutional methods. The policy, which was carried out in 2000-s, consistently embodied the will of the people. This was confirmed every time by elections. Yes, and between elections - polls.
If you look at how our population assessed and assesses the priority rights for it, then the right to work (the possibility of earning money), the right to free treatment, the right to education of children will be at the first places with a huge margin. Returning, guaranteeing these vital rights was the task that the Russian state was solving, we were resolved with Dmitry Medvedev, working as the President of the country.
Today our society is completely different than at the beginning of the 2000s. Many people are better off, more educated and more demanding. The changed requirements for power, the emergence of the middle class from the narrow world of building their own welfare is the result of our efforts. We worked for it.
Political competition is the nerve of democracy, its driving force. If such competition reflects the real interests of social groups, it repeatedly enhances the “power” of the state. In ensuring the development of the economy. In mobilizing resources for social projects. In providing protection and justice for citizens.
Today, the quality of our state lags behind the willingness of civil society to participate in it. Our civil society has become incomparably more mature, active and responsible. We need to update the mechanisms of our democracy. They must "accommodate" increased social activity.
On the development of democracy
Today a whole package of proposals on the development of our political and party system has been submitted to the State Duma. It is about simplifying the procedure for registering parties. On the abolition of the need to collect signatures to participate in elections to the State Duma and regional legislative bodies. On reducing the number of voter signatures required for registration as a candidate in the country's presidential election.
Registration conditions, the order of the parties, the technology of election procedures - all this is certainly important. The "political climate", as well as the investment climate, requires continuous improvement. But along with this, it is necessary to pay priority attention to how the consideration of the interests of social groups is organized in the political mechanism.
I am sure we do not need a farce and competition in the distribution of unsecured promises. We do not need a situation where democracy is reduced to a signboard, when a one-time political entertainment show and casting of candidates is given out for “democracy of the people”, where the meaningful meaning is emasculated by outrageous statements and mutual accusations. And the real policy goes into the shadow of backroom deals and decisions that are not discussed with any voter in principle. Such a dead end, the temptation to “simplify politics”, to create a fictitious democracy “for the needs” - we must avoid. In politics there is an inevitable share of political technologies. But image makers, billboarding masters should not manage politicians. Yes, I'm sure - and the people will not buy more of it.
It is necessary to tune the mechanisms of the political system so that it captures and reflects the interests of large social groups in a timely manner and ensures the public alignment of these interests. It was able to ensure not only the legitimacy of power, but also the confidence of people in its justice (including in cases where they are in the minority).
We need a mechanism for people to be put in power at all levels of responsible people, professionals who think in the categories of national and state development and are able to achieve results. Understandable, operational and open to the public mechanism for the development, adoption and implementation of decisions - both strategic and tactical.
It is important for us to create a political system in which people can and must speak the truth. The one who offers solutions and programs is responsible for their implementation. Those who choose "decision makers" understand who and what they choose. This will bring trust, constructive dialogue and mutual respect between society and the authorities.
New participation mechanisms
We must show the ability to respond to the demands of society, which are becoming more and more complex, and in the conditions of the “information age” they acquire qualitatively new features.
The huge, ever-increasing number of Russian citizens have become accustomed to receiving information instantly, at the touch of a button. The free, and even more uncensored availability of information on the state of affairs in the country naturally forms a request for permanent, rather than “from election to election,” citizen participation in politics and government.
Therefore, modern democracy as the power of the people can not be reduced only to the "march to the urns" and they end. Democracy, in my opinion, lies both in the fundamental right of the people to choose power, and in the ability to continuously influence the power and the process of decision-making. This means that democracy should have mechanisms of constant and direct action, effective channels of dialogue, public control, communications and "feedback".
And what is the "feedback" in practice? A growing amount of information about politics should translate into quality political participation, civil self-government and control. First of all, this is a general civil discussion of draft laws, decisions, programs adopted at all levels of state power, an assessment of current laws and the effectiveness of their application.
Citizens, professional, public associations should be able to “test” all state documents in advance. Already, constructive criticism from the business community, teachers, doctors, scientists helps to avoid unsuccessful decisions, and on the contrary - to find the best.
For example, last year, as part of the “regulatory impact assessment”, which is carried out jointly with the business community, at the preliminary stage of development, virtually every second draft of the regulatory act was rejected as worsening the conditions for the development of the Russian economy. Well, that such a "filter" began to act. We need to see if it fully covers the areas of business relevance.
It is necessary to improve the language of lawmaking. It must be made, if not euphonious (in the ancient world, laws were often written in verse for better memorization), then at least understandable for the addressees of norms. It is important to create a friendly interactive interface on the portals of public authorities to fully reflect and discuss plans and programs, the results of monitoring their performance. I want to ask the professional community of language and web designers - help the state in this. Such input will be highly appreciated. history.
Further. It should be understood that one of the main trends of the modern world is the complication of society. Specialize the needs of different professional and social groups. The state should answer this challenge, correspond to the complex social reality. One of the important decisions here is the development of self-regulatory organizations. The competencies and capabilities of which should be expanded. On the other hand, SROs themselves should make more active use of their powers. In particular, the right to develop and submit for approval technical regulations and national standards in relevant industries and activities.
It is necessary to avoid the bureaucratization of self-regulating organizations, the creation with their help of “self-regulating” barriers (primarily in those areas of activity where there is no unacceptable risk, or the security of which is already ensured by other state regulatory methods). This requires full information openness of SROs, their regular public reports to the public and market participants. I hope that self-regulation will become one of the pillars of a strong civil society in Russia.
Already, we use the practice of placing draft laws on the Internet. Everyone can send their proposal or amendment. They are considered, and the best and informative are taken into account in the final version of the bill. Such a mechanism of collective selection of optimal solutions or, as experts call it, crowdsourcing should become the norm at all levels.
But here only the “passive right” is realized - the ability of a citizen to respond to certain ideas and projects of the authorities, subjects of legislative initiative. And we need to provide for “active law” - to enable citizens themselves to formulate a legislative agenda, put forward their projects and formulate priorities.
In this regard, I propose to introduce a rule of compulsory consideration in the parliament of those public initiatives that will collect 100 thousands and more signatures on the Internet. A similar practice operates, for example, in the UK. Of course, the anonymous Internet is no good for this - although in other cases it helps to identify public sentiment. It will be necessary to develop a procedure for the official registration of those who want to become a member of such a system.
Internet democracy should be built into the general flow of development of institutions of direct referendum democracy. It should be especially widely used at the municipal and regional levels. In each municipality not only direct elections of heads and deputies of the municipal assembly should take place. Assessment of the people should receive and other officials holding key positions. For example, following the results of the first year of work of the head of the district police department, the citizens of the district should be asked to express whether they want this person to continue working in their area. Similarly, you can raise the question of the head of the district center utilities. About the justice of the peace - if he is not elected by the citizens.
It is necessary that citizens at the city, municipal level can vote, submit to local referendums or online polls their acute problems, identify bottlenecks and ways to embroider them.
An important task is to change the work of public councils under the executive authorities. At the present time, their work, I will say frankly, is formal or ostentatious. It is necessary to abandon the departmental approach to the formation of such councils - their composition should be approved, for example, by the Public Chamber of Russia, and for regional bodies - by the relevant public chambers. Public councils should cease to be convenient for the heads of departments. It is necessary to ensure the participation in them of truly independent experts and representatives of interested public organizations. Establish a set of regulations and programs that cannot be adopted without prior and public discussion at the Public Council. The competence of the Public Councils may include participation in the activities of competitive and certification commissions, as well as commissions for resolving conflicts of interest, which is equal to the agency itself.
A few words about the development prospects of the e-government project. Now our citizens have access to any information about political debates in parliament, the state of world markets, marriages and divorces of Hollywood stars. But they most often cannot get information about their payments for housing and communal services, or see their hospital card online, or find out about their local police officer on the Internet.
The official website with information on public procurement has already become a powerful anti-corruption mechanism, many public services have also been translated into electronic format. It's good. But most people need vital information about their home, local area, nearby park, school, their municipality. It is necessary to pay special attention to the foundation of electronic power - the sites of municipalities and subjects of the Federation.
I propose that during this year the Public Chamber and the Council on Civil Society and Human Rights under the President of Russia should develop, hold a public discussion and make draft lists of information for clients, which is necessarily posted on the websites of educational and medical institutions.
It is necessary to more accurately target the project "e-government" to the needs and demands of citizens. To fully disclose information about the activities of state and municipal authorities. Through electronic technologies to make the state mechanism understandable and accessible to the public.
Local Government - School of Democracy
Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote about the role of local self-government: “Only in such a volume can people accurately determine the elects, who are well known to them both for business skills and spiritual qualities. Here false reputations will not hold, fraudulent eloquence or party recommendations will not help ... Without correct A local government cannot be a good life, but the very concept of "civil liberty" loses its meaning. "
These words contain a very precise idea: the democracy of a large state is made up of "democracy of small spaces". Local government is a school of citizens' responsibility. At the same time, it is a “vocational-political school” that forms the key competencies of a novice politician: the ability to negotiate with different social and professional groups, it is understandable to convey their ideas to people, to protect the rights and interests of their voters. I believe that politicians and state administrators should receive “professional training” in the system of local self-government.
With regard to specific areas to improve the effectiveness of local self-government, then, firstly, it must remain the power of "walking distance" - that is, municipalities should not be mindlessly consolidated. And secondly, the municipalities must become fully financially sound and autonomous. Have sufficient sources for the execution of their powers, to solve everyday human problems. It is necessary to overcome the dependence on "handouts from above," which suppress independence and responsibility, give rise to dependency. And in essence, the very existence of the municipal level of government is meaningless.
In this regard, I propose to transfer to the level of municipalities all taxes from small businesses, which are now operating under special tax regimes. Of course, it will be necessary to balance the powers between the subjects of the federation and the municipalities. If the latter have more resources, then the volume of their obligations to citizens may be increased.
Strengthening economic independence is especially necessary for large and medium-sized cities. The economic potential of the country and the most active citizens are mainly concentrated here. Cities are sources of economic growth and hotbeds of civic initiatives. Transferring many powers and financial resources to the regional authorities from the federal center, it is important to take care that this does not result in the defenselessness of cities in front of regional leaders.
It is equally important to ensure the partnership nature of the interaction of governors and mayors of regional and city legislatures. It is no secret that their relations are often conflicting, and in the conditions of electing governors they can escalate. Especially if in the subject of the federation one party will be in power, and another in the city.
It is necessary to stop setting indicators for local self-government at the regional level and linking the provision of financial resources with them. Municipal authorities must report to their constituencies.
A separate problem, and the patient is the fate of small cities in which a significant part of our citizens live. Often they do not have normal income sources, are forced to live on transfers from the regional budget. At the same time, a small city is in some cases the best platform for municipal democracy. People here know each other well, the work of all services is not anonymous, in plain sight. I think it is necessary to ensure the long-term, sustainable income of such municipalities (which implies a stable, well-known amount of regional transfer). Eliminate the situation when the activity of the mayor is reduced to more or less successful knocking out money at the top, and its assessment depends on the authorities, and not on its own citizens. Then we can count on the emergence of a new generation of politicians and effective social managers.
About Russian federalism
One of the main tasks of the beginning of 2000-s was to overcome both open and latent, "creeping" separatism, the merging of regional power with crime, nationalist groups. This problem is mostly solved.
Today, at a new stage of development, we are returning to the direct election of governors. At the same time, the President of the country will have the tools of control and response, including the right to dismiss the governor. This will provide a balanced combination of decentralization and centralization.
The center should be able to give and redistribute authority. And not only powers, but also sources of financing local and regional budgets. However, one cannot lose control over the country. You can not "throw away" state power. It is unacceptable to mechanically shuffle resources and powers between levels of government. There should be no "fetish" of centralization or decentralization.
The distribution of state powers across different levels of government should be carried out according to a clear criterion - the function should be performed at the level of government where it will be done with the greatest benefit for the citizens of Russia, their entrepreneurial activity, and for the development of the country as a whole.
It is also obvious that the potential for consolidation of the subjects of the federation is far from being exhausted. But to act in this area must be reasonable and balanced. Based on the opinions of citizens.
It is necessary to take into account the fact that the territories of the Russian Federation are at different levels of socio-economic development. And also - in different socio-cultural planes, which cannot be compared on a “better-worse” scale. Lifestyles of people define different traditions, customs, behaviors. Therefore, integrators are the undoubted value for us, powerful binding factors - the Russian language, Russian culture, the Russian Orthodox Church and other traditional Russian religions. And, of course, the centuries-old experience of joint historical creativity of different nations in one, united Russian state. This experience clearly shows that the country needs a strong, capable, respected federal center - a key political stabilizer of the balance of inter-regional, inter-ethnic and inter-religious relations. At the same time, our historical task is to unlock the full potential of Russian federalism, to create incentives for the active, active development of all regions of the country.
The reality of the global world is the competition of states for ideas, people and capital. And in fact - for the future of their countries in the globalized world.
We need a new state of consciousness. In the center of which is the creation in Russia of the best, most competitive conditions for life, creativity and entrepreneurship. In this logic, the activity of the entire state apparatus must be built. We must constantly proceed from the fact that citizens of Russia, and especially Russian capital, see how everything is organized in other countries - and have the right to choose the best. It is important to concentrate on the following main priorities.
The first. Break the bond "power-property". The borders of the state should be clearly established, the limits of its intervention in economic life - I already wrote about this in the “economic” article.
The second. It is necessary to widely introduce the best, viable practices of the state institutions of the leading countries. The borrowing criterion is proven efficiency, which will be expressed for every citizen of Russia in the comfort and convenience of obtaining public services, in reducing financial and time costs. On this basis, harmonization of service standards with international standards can be ensured.
Third. We will develop competition for state administrators - governors, mayors, functionaries - at all levels and in all cases where this is appropriate. To do this, we will set up monitoring, identifying and widely introducing the best practices of public administration. And for their own decisions at the federal level, and for the information of voters - at the regional and city level.
Fourth. It is necessary to move on to the standards of state services of a new generation - based not on the position of the contractor, but on the position of the consumer of these services - the company that conducts the cargo through the customs, the citizen who receives the certificate, the car owner who completes the accident.
Each person must clearly understand from the information on state sites what and how he can get from this or that department, and what to ask from a particular official.
The fifth. A law has just been adopted that establishes a realistic assessment of the work and responsibility of officials for non-compliance with the standards for the provision of public services to the population and entrepreneurs. For deviations from the standards - fines. I propose to go further, to introduce into the legislation that for a gross or repeated violation of the standards a disqualification is considered. A poorly working official should not just be fired, but for several years be denied the right to be a state or municipal employee.
The sixth. For the qualitative solution of complex tasks of public administration, an adequate level of civil servants is required in terms of qualifications and work experience. It will be necessary to introduce a system of remuneration of civil servants, allowing flexibility to take into account the state of the labor market, including for certain professional groups. Without this, it is naive to rely on the qualitative improvement of the corps of officials, the involvement of responsible and effective managers.
Seventh. The institute of ombudsmen - ombudsmen will be further developed. We will follow the path of specialization and professionalization of this institution. I believe that the institution of ombudsmen for the protection of the rights of entrepreneurs should appear in every subject of the federation.
We must conquer corruption
Administrative procedures, bureaucracy historically have never been a subject of national pride in Russia. The conversation between Nicholas I and Benkendorf, in which the king threatened to "eradicate bribery with a hot iron," is well known, to which he received the answer: "With whom will you remain, sir?"
Talk about corruption in Russia is banal. There is a historical temptation to defeat corruption through repression - the fight against corruption, of course, involves the use of repressive measures. However, the problem here is fundamentally deeper. This is a problem of transparency and control by the society of state institutions (as mentioned above) and the problem of motivation of officials - people in the service of the state. And with this, in our opinion, there are enormous difficulties.
Sociological data is well known: teenagers, in "dashing 90-e" who dreamed of making a career as an oligarch, now massively choose the career of a state official. For many, it seems to be a source of quick and easy money. With such a dominant motivation, any “cleansing” is useless: if the civil service is viewed not as a service, but as a feed, then others will come to the place of some exposed thieves.
To defeat systemic corruption, it is necessary to divide not only power and property, but executive power and control over it. Political responsibility for the fight against corruption should be shared by both the authorities and the opposition.
It would be right to legislate a new procedure for nominating candidates for the positions of the Chairman and auditors of the Accounts Chamber, the formation of a list of the appointed part of the Public Chamber. Candidates should be nominated not by the President, as now, but by the Council of the State Duma on the basis of agreement with the candidacy of all factions.
I believe that parliamentarians need to think about filling the actual content of the parliamentary investigation procedure laid down in the law.
The fight against corruption should be a truly national affair, and not the subject of political speculation, a field for populism, political exploitation, campaigning and stuffing of primitive decisions - for example, appeals to mass repressions. Those who shout the loudest about the domination of corruption and demand repression, do not understand one thing: in the context of corruption, repression can also be the subject of corruption. And how. Few will not seem to anyone.
We offer real, system solutions. They will allow us to carry out the necessary reorganization of state institutions with much greater effect. To introduce new principles in personnel policy - in the system of selection of officials, their rotation, their remuneration. As a result, we must ensure that reputational, financial, material and other risks would make corruption unprofitable.
I propose to single out corruptly dangerous posts - both in the executive office and in the management of state corporations, the official occupying them should receive a high salary, but agree on absolute transparency, including expenses and large family acquisitions. Include in consideration also such issues as the place of actual residence, sources of payment for rest, etc. Here it is useful to look at the anti-corruption practices of European countries - they know how to keep track of such things.
We can give an answer to the “Benkendorf question” today: we know who we will stay with. There are such people, there are plenty of them - both in the state apparatus and beyond.
In the state, municipal bodies and today there are many professionals who live all their lives on one salary. They are insulted when journalists thoughtlessly put them on a par with corrupt officials. And how many honest and effective people are we pushing away from working for the state in this way?
I think society, the media must restore justice to honest state workers. The focus of public attention should focus on evidence-based corruption charges. This will help bring such things to the end.
The transition from words to deeds in the fight against "big" corruption will help to overcome corruption in the areas that citizens encounter in their daily lives - in the police, the judicial system, in the management of housing and utilities, medicine and education.
We will act consistently, intelligently and decisively. Eliminating the fundamental causes of corruption and punishing specific corrupt officials. Creating motivation for those people who are ready to serve Russia faithfully and faithfully. There are a lot of such people in our country. They will be in demand.
We coped with the oligarchy, we can handle corruption.
On the development of the judicial system
The main question is a pronounced accusatory, punitive bias in our judicial system.
We must solve this problem and propose concrete steps.
The first. We will make justice available to citizens. Including - we will introduce the practice of administrative legal proceedings not only for business, but also for special consideration of disputes between citizens and officials. The spirit and meaning of the practice of administrative court proceeds from the fact that a citizen is more vulnerable than an official with whom he argues. That the burden of proof lies with the administrative body, not the person. And because the practice of administrative proceedings initially focused on the protection of the rights of citizens.
The second. Public associations will receive the right to file lawsuits in defense of the interests of their members. This will enable the citizen to assert his rights, for example, to argue with the governor not alone, but on behalf of large public organizations. We will expand the scope of application of collective claims that citizens can bring.
Third. In the system of arbitration courts today a single, open, accessible base of all court decisions has been created. We must create such a base in the system of courts of general jurisdiction. We need to think about the possibility of online broadcasting of court sessions and the publication of verbatim records of them. It will be immediately clear who works how. What decisions are taken in similar cases, but with different composition of participants. Where the motivation of the judge is dictated by not quite clear and transparent logic. In addition, a peculiar element of "case law" will serve as a factor in the continuous improvement of the court.
Fourth. It is necessary to revive the “judicial” journalism, which will allow for a wider and deeper discussion of the legal problems of society, to raise the level of legal awareness of citizens.
In conclusion, I want to emphasize that we offer concrete solutions. Their practical implementation makes the power of the people - democracy - genuine. And the work of the state - puts in the service of the public interest. And all together - this provides Russia, the Russian modern society with sustainable and successful development. "