The Changing Nature of the Russian Electoral System: Past, Present and Future
Putin’s next six-year term “legitimisation” policy.
This report examines the development of the electoral system in Russia, with particular emphasis on the election culture since the establishment of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic to the recent 2018 elections. It analyses changes during six administrations (Lenin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and Putin) and explores the role each have played in moulding the constitutional and legal system in order to gain power and become the leader of their time. The campaign strategies and tactics used during elections are examined in the paper. The report’s emphasis goes to the latest president, Vladimir Putin, discussing his controversial role in the media and his political rivals; as well as exploring Russia’s change in the ‘public sphere’ and its relations with the West.
The main question that is being asked is, “why and how” Putin was re-elected for a fourth term, making him the longest serving leader after Joseph Stalin. Russia has always been known to have an undemocratic political structure, however to fully understand it, we must take into consideration its history and its evolution. The past decades have shown that Russian leaders have manipulated the electoral system to ensure maintenance of the status quo by using different campaigns, channels and strategies. This report states that although Russia has undergone many changes to its political system since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the country is still far from being a fully functioning democracy.