This weekend past the preliminary elections (primaries) of the “United Russia” was held a unique for the world procedure, experts say communication Agency “Minchenko Consulting”. In his report (have) analysts described the international experience of such events and came to the conclusion that the common rules of the primaries in the world, although the Russian example in the degree of competition and involvement of citizens “does not lag behind world standards is studied”.
The authors of the report, headed by the founder of the Agency, Yevgeny Minchenko, said that the practice of holding preliminary elections is very different in many countries and even in the same country and the same party in different years. For this reason, it is possible to allocate only a limited number of criteria for comparison of the treatments of certain primaries.
For example, in some Latin American countries, preliminary voting is compulsory for all parties, their conduct is governed by formal law, and not by the party Charter or other organizational documents. A radical example of government intervention is Argentina, where a similar system has been running for five years. The law establishes the timing of the primaries and the best possible budget. For failing to appear for a preliminary vote, the state fines up to $3.5 (after re-appearance, the amount is doubled).
A different procedure exists in France, where the primaries is considered more of a one-time action, which becomes a matter of momentary political pragmatists and depends on the mood in the party leadership. For example, in 2012, after 17 years of conservative rule, the socialist party “guess society’s demands” and agreed to hold a provisional election of a single candidate among a bloc of leftist movements, the report notes.
After a year in France will be the next presidential election, and before the Socialist party gets a choice of a different kind: the establishment proposes to nominate Francois Hollande for a second term, their party members again raised the issue of primaries, pointing to the unpopularity of the President. According to the latest survey by TNS, the supporters of the Socialist party, opinion was divided: 40% oppose re-nomination of Hollande, 39% of respondents support his candidacy.
Competition is an important criterion for comparison, the primary in different countries of the world, according to the report. In some regions of the United States and Canada in the parliamentary elections preliminary vote passes unopposed. In the elections to the us Congress in November 2014, the party had more than 700 primaries, in which 20% of the time on the ballot last name was the only main candidate. In Canada, well before the election in 2015 in the three major parties, the average number of candidates did not exceed two people per place.
In Russia, analysts said, the ruling party in the conduct of the primaries used unusual for the world practice the system of voting for an unlimited number of candidates (in the West the principle of “one voter — one vote”).
Voter turnout is another basic criterion of evaluation of the primaries. In the inner-party voting “an United Russia” took part of 10.4 million people, or 9.5% of all potential voters. In the United States in 2014, the figure was 10,5%, and in France before the election of 2012 is 6.5%. According to the authors of the report, it says that the “party of power” managed to run a campaign at the level of Western political movements.
As noted by Minchenko, in Russia since December 2003 had not conducted elections in single-mandate constituencies, and therefore the primaries of “United Russia” was sufficiently competitive and attracted the attention of the electorate. Is the increasing political competition forced the “United Russia” to hold preliminary elections, Minchenko concludes.