What will fill the void?
I emphasize one historical nuance. Twenty years separate us from how the Soviet Union ended its existence. On a historical scale, seconds. But over this period, a whole generation has grown up in the country, which did not feel the “charms” of Soviet life. Repression of the Stalinist regime for them is a distant and irreversible story. They do not know what life is in constant fear. They don’t know how they arrested them for expressing their own opinion, especially on political issues; as forbidden not only to generate any creativity that runs counter to the communist ideology, but also to show interest in it. How the churches and temples were destroyed, how many people died at construction sites, and how amicably the press monopolized the regime in silence about all this. Even the bloody 90s of the youth do not cause scary associations with shooting on the streets and miners on rails: they were not directly affected by these events, they do not remember and do not know the truth of those days. Their parents are used to protesting in silence: do not go to the polls at all or in protest to vote for anyone, but not for power. Because they no longer believe any power.
The new generation (due to the reasons sounded above) will not be content with the freedoms available. From birth, they are accustomed to say what they think in full voice. But how can they do this? They might have come to the existing party structures, but those that have already discredited themselves sufficiently. Who is frank conformism, who is directly cooperating with the authorities, turning political activity into a profitable business, and many others, which is unacceptable for people who feel themselves citizens, and not a faceless population. And since there were no other parties, the citizens went to the square. This was at a certain point filling the vacuum created in the party system of the country.
And since the party system is a segment of the country's overall political system, it is difficult to underestimate the danger of the current situation. The reforms announced by the authorities in December of last years were not proposed from a good life - the threat of possible social upheavals was hanging. And the Russian government, which is not very characteristic of it, heard public signals. The Law on Political Parties adopted by the State Duma appears as never before. It can even be considered to be somewhat liberal at the present stage of Russia's historical development. But whether the initiated political reforms will lead to success, no one will predict today. And that's why.
Yes, some groups of citizens who realize that, having formed into an officially registered party, they will have the opportunity of a direct dialogue with the authorities, and even through an elective mechanism will participate in its formation, will try to achieve party status. And there will be many such groups. About seventy applications have already been submitted to the Ministry of Justice. Soon, in all likelihood, there will be even more. It seems that everything is fine: democracy is sweeping the country, realizing the civil rights of Russians declared by the constitution. And by and large this is a catastrophe for party building, the development of which has been artificially held back for decades. The stream of dozens of social structures that are far from the image of the ideal understanding and purpose of the parties, will “smear” the unsettled and not fortified party glade and turn it into one big swamp. Maybe there is nothing bad here, and those who claim that these are the costs of the political process are right. Most of the weak will drown, and the 3-5 parties will remain, which will form the backbone of the system. But how long will it take? And who will remain is also a question.
There is one trick here. A party is a structure that reflects the interests of a group of people. These can be groups that unite large parts of the country’s citizens who share strategic ideas on the development of the country in all aspects. And there may be groups that unite a small number of people on the basis of various kinds of narrow interests. For example, territorial, national, economic. In what chaos something similar turns into a political field, we have already seen in the mid-nineties of the last century. Of course, chaos can be controlled, but is it necessary to follow this path of development in the 21st century?
They say that history repeats itself twice: once in the form of a tragedy, the other - in the form of a farce. In the nineties, Russia experienced a tragedy. I do not want the current liberal political reforms turned into a farce. To prevent this from happening, it is necessary that the vacuum in the party niche of the general political system of Russia be filled under close and vigilant attention by both the authorities and society.
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