Old slopes around New People | Latest news The Moscow Post
28 September 2021

Old slopes around "New People"

The "New People" party is unlikely to get into the State Duma, but attempts to counteract it today suggest that the threat from it to parliamentary factions is real.

According to the correspondent of The Moscow Post, the network for the third day in a row discusses the performance of candidates for State Duma deputies from the "New People" party. Moreover, this discussion, for the most part, is negative and has signs of a planned attack by bots to discredit this political force and its supporters.

We are talking about a rather banal, albeit generally successful action in terms of PR, when 60 candidates from "New People" rode bicycles around Moscow to the State Duma building to submit documents for nomination.

The attack on the New People party continues to echo suspicions and even accusations of the structure's work on the Kremlin and the Presidential Administration. Roughly speaking, the thesis that "New People" is another Kremlin project is advancing.

Such suspicions, of course, may have some basis. Especially in the context of a fierce political struggle and constant accusations by the authorities of trying to clean up the political field.

Many believe that the party in 2020 appeared from nowhere, but this is not so. From the very beginning, she had a certain base of public organizations, and not only volunteers from the outside, but also, first of all, its leader, the owner of the Faberlic cosmetics company Alexei Nechaev, were supposed to sponsor the structure.

The attack of bots and a shaft of negative comments in social networks seem only an element of the political struggle, because today a number of experts predict the passage of "New People" to the State Duma. In addition, a significant argument of political scientists is that "New People" is not a party on a scorched field. As of June 2021, 34 parties are registered in the Russian Federation, 32 of which have the right to participate in elections.

In this sense, suspicions that the party is working for the Kremlin have a fragile basis. Another thesis is that this is not important at all, since the party's work on the ground is supposedly real, and not declarative.

The first pancake is not a coma

Whoever became the author of the "attack" on the party, (and there is a possibility that political strategists of all four parliamentary parties are trying), they clearly have something to worry about. In 2020, "New People" was considered a frank fake with no electoral prospects. But the results of the elections to local parliaments last September showed the prematurity of such an assessment.

It would seem that the simple PR of "New People" caused attacks in social networks, which may be custom-made

An alarming call was that, participating in its first serious elections, the party almost everywhere managed to overcome the five percent barrier. One of the indicative cases was the passage of Tomsk to the City Duma with a result of 15% of the vote, while local analysts predicted that the party would not be able to gain five.

Party representatives were also elected to the ZakAssembly of the Novosibirsk, Kaluga, Kostroma and Ryazan regions. This year, "New People" intend to repeat and consolidate their success: not counting the participants in the Duma elections, the party nominates more than 700 candidates in regional elections in 34 constituent entities of the Russian Federation.

These successes are preliminary and do not guarantee getting into the State Duma. However, the party skillfully plays on the contradictions of "United Russia" and the current power team. The economic crisis and the difficulties of the pandemic play in their favor, but most importantly, the request for new faces and for a responsible, rather than comprador-destructive political structure that could represent the liberal flank of Russian politics.

According to the president of the Center for the Development of Regional Politics, Ilya Grashchenkov, the "New People" party is able to repeat its success last year. The reduction in the rating of support for the party in power opens up a real opportunity for non-parliamentary parties to hold their candidates not only in the regional Legislative Assembly, but also in the State Duma, the expert said.

"Her (parties "New People "- approx. Ed.) Candidates respond to the request for generational succession, can look at existing problems from a new angle and offer unexpected solutions, and also have a drive," which is not enough for those who have been in politics for 20 years, "quotes Grashchenkov" "Moskovsky Komsomolets".

Alexey Nechaev continues to repel attempts to present his party with the "Kremlin project"

"New people" understand their advantage over the old parliamentary parties, says political analyst Alexander Asafov.

"They see their vulnerabilities and offer a system that will give them the maximum advantage. Duma "mastodons," the same LDDR, "United Russia," "Fair Russia" and communists are clumsy and lazy, they do not know how to quickly rebuild to new realities, and new faces in this case will get advantages, "Asafov said in an interview with" "Gazeta.ru".

The party itself has repeatedly emphasized that "New People" is not a party of youth, although this segment of society is also relied on. The structure is represented as a meeting of held and competent people, many of whom already have experience in politics or public administration, but for one reason or another found themselves outside the Russian political field.

This field needs new people, even in the past they had experience in politics and are quite recognizable. Perhaps the most striking example here is the ex-mayor of Yakutsk, Sardana Avksentiev, who entered the federal part of the party list with Alexei Nechaev.

Sardana Avksentieva is a revealing, but not the only example of how "New People" attract popular and competent, but turned out to be "unnecessary" people

Accordingly, the entire political technology platform of the party is based on the involvement in orbit of these people and the voters whose views they represent. Another ideology is growing from this - new people, these are new (i.e., not demanded by the current political elite) solutions in politics, economics, public relations.

Move EP, but not now

That is, this is an attempt to play on the request for the succession of elites, the democratization of political processes and pluralism. Whether she will play in the elections against the background of other subpoenas is a big question. No, rather than yes. But the solutions that the party offers in its program can really be called "fresh."

One of the main points is the speech against the political monopoly in the State Duma. This idea is not new at all - all parties claiming to get into parliament require this without exception. But in the case of "New People," it is proposed to legislate the norm according to which if one of the parties gains more than 35% of the vote, then they should be distributed among other election participants. About such an initiative writes "Gazeta.ru".

Moreover, an important position promoted by party leader Alexei Nechaev is the refusal of elections in single-mandate constituencies - only on party lists. Political scientists evaluate this as a political maneuver - single-mandate candidates, even going self-nominated, often receive coordinated administrative support - that is, the winner can be predicted in advance.

Large businessmen have almost unlimited opportunities for their own PR. Whereas "New People" in politics, albeit competent, simply cannot fight them one-on-one in the districts - they simply do not have the resources to do this.

As Mr. Nechaev himself stated earlier: "we are a party that is built from below, from the ground." The thesis is populist, but this does not contradict the idea that the party can and should be a springboard for those very new people of liberal views who today do not see representation of their interests in the country's parliaments.

Meanwhile, this, again, does not mean mandatory success in the elections. According to the ratings for July 2021, so far the party has not passed to the State Duma, thereby losing to the "mastodons." But there is still a month before the elections, and the ratings do not always correspond to real results.

Summarizing, it can be assumed that the "New People" party will not pass in the State Duma, but will significantly strengthen its representation in regional and city parliaments. So, in the next election cycle, there will be a real chance of passage to the lower house. And this is an occasion for parliamentary factions to worry today. Which they seem to be doing.

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