United Russia drafts program on people’s proposals

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, left, and Nikolay Fedorov, head of the Institute of Socio-Economic and Political Studies, meet at the Government House (RIA Novosti / Aleksey Nikolsky)
More than one million people have been polled across Russia as the ruling party is striving to reach out to as many voters as possible in the run-up to the State Duma elections.

­Vladimir Putin has supported the idea to call the program which is being drafted for United Russia “a people’s program.” It is “bigger than just a party program,” he told Nikolay Fedorov, the head of Institute of Socioeconomic and Political Studies, on Thursday.

Fedorov and his colleagues are responsible for the creation of this major proposal, which United Russia is preparing to present to voters before the December parliamentary elections. Putin asked the experts to commence with their work as the party had scheduled its congress for September 23-24.

The draft program should be discussed “in different formats,” Putin said, referring to branches of both United Russia and the Popular Front.

More than one million Russians have already been polled in 83 regions as the authors want to include what people “really need to know” on the program.  People are being questioned on the streets, through party representatives, via a special call-center, and on the institute’s website.

The program being drafted takes into account “the vital requests and expectations of citizens everywhere from Chukotka to Kaliningrad,” Fedorov assured. These are “the real pains, troubles and dreams” of the people, he noted, handing over to Putin one of 100 files with the people’s proposals that have been gathered so far. The work that has been done allows the members of a federation coordination council and experts to describe the draft as “a people’s program,” Fedorov maintained.

For the first time in the history of Russian politics, the drafting of a party’s program is being done by citizens through the medium of public discussion rather than by a group of analysts, Sergey Neverov, the acting secretary of the presidium of the United Russia’s general council, said on Thursday. It is now clear that the Popular Front has become “an effective instrument to discuss the strategy of Russia’s development,” he stressed.    

Many public organizations have joined the Popular Front, which was created on Putin’s initiative. However, all the opposition parties have refrained from the move and are now busy drafting their own programs to present to voters.