The current parliamentary configuration in which the state Duma is represented by only four parties — United Russia, KPRF, LDPR and “Fair Russia”, — was formed after the elections of 2007. The electoral campaign held in the fall of 2016, which for the first time were allowed independent candidates did not disturb this equilibrium: the 450 seats in the lower house of the Russian Parliament, only two do not belong to the representatives of these factions.
All these years the Communists, the socialist-revolutionaries and the liberal Democrats positioning themselves as a system of opposition to United Russia, often criticized important legislative initiatives, the traditional objects for the most harsh public rhetoric is the project of the Federal budget.
In fact, different factions in different years occupied a different position in the vote on the draft budget, however, never in all the time “United Russia” in power there were no problems with passing it through the lower house of Parliament.
V convocation of the state Duma (2007-2011)
In the elections of 2 December 2007, United Russia got a constitutional majority, having received 315 seats in the Duma. For the next four years the voices of opposition parliamentarians had virtually ceased to matter in the adoption of all bills, including when voting on the budget.
For the first time, the fifth composition of the state Duma voted for the draft budget in 2008. It was discussed on the background of flares worldwide economic crisis: oil prices became cheaper, the government took measures to support the industrial and financial sectors. “United Russia” could have the budget alone, but in support of the bill also was unanimously made by the LDPR faction: 38 voted “for” and two not voting. Communists and socialist-revolutionaries voted unanimously against.
Vladimir Kashin, the Communist party
“It is unclear why it continues again the same formation of the budget, when the surplus is laid almost 2 trillion roubles when again on national spending almost a trillion is laid, which is two and a half times more than the economy. We see with what great difficulty breaking today some 10 billion rubles for the restoration of our broken agriculture what is spent on this energy resource and how trillions of roubles away again to save banks, this sphere of services” (transcript of the meeting of the state Duma).
The only case of joint voting in the Duma against the opposition of the draft budget occurred at the end of November 2009. Of the 135 representatives, only three of the socialist-revolutionaries did not participate in the vote, all other representatives of the three factions voted against. However, the resources of the “United Russia” was enough: 313 votes in favor, and as a result the project budget went to the Federation Council.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the liberal democratic party
“What do you give to those who work? You give them money, not earned in our country, the money received from the sale of natural resources. Why do you give pensioners, when all countries of the world with a healthy economy relies on the middle generation — the forty-year man, educated, who works, family life, develops their country?! And you say: get out, we Oldies will support” (transcript of meeting of the state Duma).
A year later the opposition in the Duma was almost as solidarity — again, not a single vote in support of the project with only one abstention. The difference consisted only in the fact that the faction of the liberal democratic party this time at full strength (40 deputies) ignored the vote. “United Russia” supported the budget of 314 votes in favor, with one absent, and again this was more than enough for the bill.
Oksana Dmitrieva, A Just Russia
“We vote against the unwinding of the pyramid of public debt and exponential growth of cost of its maintenance. We vote against the new phase of the wholesale privatization of infrastructure and defense facilities. We vote against to borrow and squander of state property, while the own funds in the form of the national welfare Fund and Reserve Fund invested in foreign economies” (transcript of meeting of the state Duma).
The 2011 budget was made two weeks before the new elections to the Duma, the results of which caused a wave of protests in major Russian cities. The new draft of the budget received the least support during the vote in the fifth composition of the Duma: he was adopted, 300 votes. Among them were 298 United Russia and two representatives of the “Fair Russia” Elena Mizulina (later she said she voted by mistake) and Elmira glubokovskaya. The rest of the socialist-revolutionaries and the Communists in full strength was against, and the liberal democratic party of Russia again ignored the vote.
Elena Mizulina, A Just Russia
“Dear Oleg Viktorovich (Morozov, Vice-speaker of the state Duma. — ) dear deputies! For question 7 I voted against it, an error has occurred” (transcript of meeting of the state Duma).
The sixth convocation of the state Duma (2011-2016)
In the new composition of the lower house of Parliament “United Russia” lost almost 80 seats, barely passing with a simple majority of votes. However, even such result has allowed the ruling party to pass the bill only with their votes. Thus, the strengthening of the Communists (92 votes) and “Fair Russia” (64) could not have a decisive effect on the outcome of the vote.
The first vote on the budget of the sixth composition of the state Duma almost repeated the results of last year: 299 votes. Only this time the result was obtained due to the votes not one faction, but two — to the “United Russia” with its full complement joined the liberal Democrats (56 votes). Moreover, the draft voted eight socialist-revolutionaries. All the rest of their representatives, except one not voting opposed. The Communists were more disciplined: all 92 deputies were against.
Sergei Kalashnikov of the liberal democratic party
“Most importantly, the budget now adopted, colleagues, and nothing in this terrible there — better a budget than one of the twelfth to Finance. But we must understand that the budget is the responsibility of the government, adopting the budget, the government signs for the final result during the financial year. I think that the result is not very good, but it is a question following the discussion” (transcript of meeting of the state Duma).
A year later the project of the budget received the least support in recent years: a total of 248 deputies voted “for”. The United Russia party was joined by ten representatives of “Fair Russia”. The Communist faction again unanimously was against it, but representatives of the liberal democratic party in contrast to the previous year in full force ignored the vote.
Sergey Katasonov, the liberal democratic party
“The budget is the diagnosis and the tool simultaneously. If the symptoms of the economy is clear, but as a tool for this document, unfortunately, does not suit those pills, which the government prescribes, unfortunately, the patient’s legs do not put. All the same oil and gas revenues, which in 2013 grew from 46 to 50%, and the issue of diversification… enough to see the program of development of industry and increase its competitiveness: if you remove the support of the industry, then there remains only the liquidation of chemical weapons — that you support competition” (transcript of the meeting of the state Duma).
The LDPR faction in the third time in three years changed its position when voting — this time she again had unanimous support for the bill. Traditionally the document was supported by part of the faction of socialist-revolutionaries (this time six), and quite unexpectedly, for the first time in many years, with the contents of the draft budget agreed at once, four Communists. In sum, it gave 301 votes “for” and 143 “against”.
Victor Kolomeitsev of the Communist party
“The budget does not encourage the full development of the domestic economy, employment, is not conducive to import substitution policy in the face of economic sanctions even in food production” (transcript of meeting of the state Duma).
In December 2015 a review of the budget the last time I had sixth convocation of the state Duma. The draft document has received almost the same support that he had a year earlier: “United Russia” and LDPR voted unanimously in favor, they are joined by four deputies from “Fair Russia”. The Communists this time misfires did not allow: all of 92 votes were cast against the bill.
Sergey Katasonov, the liberal democratic party
“The last two years, the budget called budget survival: when we only 5% of the budget spent on investments in the regions, in fact we are, of course, tried to survive. And if we talk about this budget, I would call, you know, a little bit fun — budget expectations: when people reach a certain point, they are starting to have fun and walk — and that’s us. What are we waiting for? And we’re waiting for the oil again will cost $100 per barrel” (transcript of meeting of the state Duma).
The opposition voted for the budget since 2008
- Only twice — in 2009 and 2010, none of the opposition MPs supported the draft budget.
- Eight recent polls, the liberal democratic party of Russia four times supported the draft budget, three refused to vote, and only once spoke out against.
- In eight years only one time the Communist party failed to vote unanimously in 2014, four Communist voted for the draft budget. All the rest of the faction unanimously opposed.
- Only once managed to vote unanimously socialist-revolutionaries: in 2009, all participating in the voting were against the project budget.
- The liberal democratic party is the only faction ignored the vote on the budget in full.
- The most disciplined faction in the state Duma — the Communist party. She was unable to vote at full strength only twice in 2011 in the vote was attended by nine of its representatives in 2014.
- Less refused to vote, abstentions every fifth vote of the parliamentary opposition over the last eight years had been given for the support of the project budget.