RIA Novosti

Poll shows trust in authorities falling

13:54 06/07/2005

MOSCOW, July 6. (RIA Novosti) - A poll by the respected Levada Center shows that trust in the president and his team fell in June, although Vladimir Putin's personal rating is still high, at 69%, according to a report in Noviye Izvestiya daily Wednesday.

The findings show that many voters support the president simply because they see no other candidate. The poll showed that 45% of respondents identify with no particular part of the political spectrum. As Yuri Levada explained, this is always the case in between presidential elections. "When voting time comes around, two thirds of the electorate will go to the polls, and one third will not. We are simply having a non-political period now."

Mistrust of political parties, rampant corruption, unpopular reforms and social dissatisfaction have seen unparalleled growth in right-wing activity and support for the idea of "Russia for Russians," which an impressive 58% of respondents support. "The bulk of those who voted for this slogan are young people." Levada commented. "Therefore it is very serious and even dangerous. These young people, who have learned to make money and be independent of others, are politically uneducated. They have not been taught such things, and so they came to their own conclusions. They, for example, consider that foreigners are to blame for all their troubles. And it is the state in the first place that is at fault for political ignorance among young people. We need a clearly formulated government policy on this issue. It may even be worthwhile convicting some people for spreading ethnic hatred."

With political parties and their electorate not understanding each other, and with the spread of nationalist ideas, people are again talking of a "special brand of democracy" which must take into account a specific "Russian mentality". The "Russian democracy" idea was already popular in the late 1990s, and today again 45% of those surveyed see a need for it.

© RIA Novosti