A Just Russia: Manifesto for 2011

A Just Russia was formed in 2006 from a merger between three parties. The first, a nationalist party called “Rodina” (Fatherland) had won 9% of the vote in the 2003 Duma elections. The second, The Russian Party of Pensioners, was a socialist party that had taken just 3% of the vote. The third, the Russian Party of Life, was a very young political party that, at the time, had participated in only a few regional elections.

In the 2007 Duma elections, the newly-merged A Just Russia won 7.7% of the vote, placing it just over the minimum required to win seats in Russia’s parliament. Since then, the party’s performance in certain regions has improved (a fact that the party often points out). However, as of October, 2011, most polls show that public support has fallen to about 4-5%, well below the minimum needed to win seats.

Sergei Mironov has lead A Just Russia since its formation. However, he recently has turned over chairmanship of the party to his protege, Nikolai Levichev, creating what they termed a “tandem” in party leadership.
Photo from www.spb.mironov.ru

A Just Russia, a social-democratic party, has made at least two overtures to the Communist Party of Russia. The first was a proposal to merge and came just after the 2007 vote, in which the Communists had been supported by 11.5% of voters. However, the Communist leader scoffed at the proposal, calling A Just Russia a “charade.” The second came in 2011 as parties began preparing for the next Duma elections. This time, A Just Russia proposed a coalition with the Communists, an offer which was quickly rebuffed. The proposal was also a shock to most analysts, not only because it was made surely knowing that its acceptance was improbable, but also because such collations had been made illegal in Russia. A Just Russia has since carefully explained that their offer only entailed “cooperation during the election season,” but many observers had already branded the event as indicative of disorder and desperation within the party.

In other recent scandal, the party’s leader, Sergei Mironov, after publicly criticizing St. Petersburg mayor and United Russia member Valentina Matviyenko, was expelled from his position as the Speaker of the St. Petersburg City Duma by a vote from that United-Russia-dominated institution. This effectively also disqualified him from serving as a member and Speaker of Russia’s Federation Council. He was replaced in that capacity by Matviyenko at the suggestion of Russian President Dimity Medvedev.

While Mironov has since taken a seat in the state Duma, the episode likely shows that the party is now completely out of favor with the Kremlin, a status that does not often bode well for a party as elections near.

A third event of concern to the party, is the reformation of Rodina as a “social organization” by its former leader, the charismatic Dimity Rogozin. Rogozin left Russian domestic politics shortly after the merger of his party to serve as Russia’s Ambassador to NATO. While he has not left that position, he is now actively growing the newly-registered Rodina and has actively denounced the former merger that formed A Just Russia. Rogozin and his group are now supporting United Russia as members of The All-Russia People’s Front, threatening to draw votes away from A Just Russia’s largest block.

Alexander Babkov, a former leader of Rodina who had served as the President of the Central Council of A Just Russia since its formation, has also left the party and joined The People’s Front. He has been joined by several other high-ranking, now-former members of the party.

In the midst of this drama, A Just Russia has released a manifesto, provided below in English translation by a student on The Home and Abroad Program from SRAS.org, to state their position on several key issues.

See Also – A Just Russia: Party Program from 2008 (Partial)
See Also – A Just Russia: A Foreign Policy Wish List

23/08/2011  23/08/2011
Манифест партии
Manifesto of the
A Just Russia Party
Сегодня в Москве обнародован Манифест партии СПРАВЕДЛИВАЯ РОССИЯ, с которым она идет на выборы в Государственную Думу 4 декабря 2011 года. Ниже следует текст этого документа: Today, in Moscow, the party A Just Russia published their manifesto, with which they will go to the State Duma elections on December 4, 2011. Below is the text of this document:
Россия находится на переломе. Сырьевая модель экономики себя исчерпала. Мы продаем нефть и газ и покупаем электронику, к нам едут работники из Средней Азии, а от нас – талантливая молодежь. Дальше так продолжаться не может. Иллюзии и докризисный оптимизм россиян сменяются опасениями сокращения реальных социальных гарантий, расширения числа платных услуг в образовании и здравоохранении, повышения пенсионного возраста. Russia is at a turning point. Our raw-materials based economic model is exhausting itself. We sell oil and gas and purchase electronics. As workers from Central Asia come to Russia, our talented children leave. We can’t go on like this. The illusions and pre-crisis optimism of the Russian people are turning to fear that real social protections will be cut, the number of paid services in education and public health care expanded, and the retirement age raised.
Политическая система «зажата», конкуренция и возможности выбора сокращены до предела, гражданский контроль за деятельностью государства отсутствует, что ведет к всевластию чиновников. Хроническая неэффективность государственного аппарата усугубляется чудовищной коррупцией на всех этажах власти. Социальные лифты, обеспечивающие продвижение талантливых людей, оборваны, в кадровой политике царит «кумовство», дети, родственники и близкие высокопоставленных чиновников занимают все «теплые места». There exists a political system of “squeezing.” Competition and the possibilities to chose from are reduced to the absolute minimum. Citizens lack control over government actions, which results in omnipotent bureaucrats. The chronic inefficiency of the government apparatus is aggravated by monstrous corruption in every government tier. Social advancement, which should guarantee the advancement of talented people, is squelched as hiring choices are ruled by “favoritism.” The children, relatives, and friends of high-ranking officials occupy all the “warm places”.
Как следствие всего этого – доверие людей к власти стремительно падает, растет раздражение во всех слоях общества. Однако возможность предотвратить социальный взрыв еще есть. Это понимают и те, кто находится в конструктивной оппозиции, и те, кто волею судьбы оказался в рядах провластной партии, и те, кто считает себя далеким от российской политики. Здоровые силы общества может объединить стремление к свободе и справедливости, становлению демократии и правового государства, обеспечению равных возможностей для всех граждан. Это и есть стратегия СПРАВЕДЛИВОЙ РОССИИ. Именно социал-демократия – это путь к ликвидации вопиющего социального неравенства, путь к интеграции российского общества. As of a result of this, people’s trust in government is swiftly falling and resentment is growing in every sector of society. However, there is still a chance to prevent a social implosion. This is understood by those in the constructive opposition, and those who, fate has carried to the pro-government party, as well as those who consider themselves detached from Russian politics. The robust powers of society can unite in the pursuit of freedom and justice, the formation of a democratic and legal government, and in the support of equal opportunities for all citizens. This is the strategy of A Just Russia. A social-democracy is the path to the vanquishing of glaring social inequality. It is the path to the integration of Russian society.
С самого начала кризиса мы ясно заявили свою оппозиционность ошибочному курсу власти. Мы голосовали против бюджета и антикризисной программы Правительства, которые перераспределяли средства в пользу сырьевого и банковского секторов. Мы выступали против антинародных законов, предлагая конструктивные решения проблем, стоящих перед страной. Давление на партию и ее лидера со стороны правящей бюрократии постоянно росло. Мы гордимся, что наш лидер Сергей Миронов не стал держаться за кресло Председателя Совета Федерации, чтобы иметь моральное право продолжать отстаивать свои принципы и бороться за идеалы справедливости. From the very beginning of the crisis, we have clearly declared our opposition to the mistaken course of the government. We have voted against the budget and anti-crisis program of the government, which reallocated funds to the raw materials and banking sectors. We have spoken out against anti-popular laws and offered constructive solutions to the problems that stand before our country. Pressure on the party and its leader from the sides of the ruling bureaucracy has continued to grow. We take pride in the fact that our leader, Sergei Mironov, did not hold onto his seat as the Chairman of the Federation Council as now he retains the moral right to continue to defend his principles and fight for the ideals of justice.
Мы идем на выборы, вооруженные народной программой. We are going to the elections armed with a popular agenda.
Она создана в результате широкого обсуждения наших приоритетов с представителями всех общественных групп современной России, с учетом предложений наших избирателей. It was created as a result of a broad discussion of our priorities with representatives of every social group in modern Russia, and considering proposals made by our constituency.
Мы считаем, что депутаты новой Государственной Думы должны: We believe that the deputies of the new State Duma should:
• вернуть людям реальное право политического выбора; • return to the people the real political voting rights;
• прекратить произвол коррумпированной бюрократии; • stop the lawlessness of the corrupt bureaucracy;
• защитить права людей труда от произвола со стороны собственников; • protect employee rights from lawlessness on the part of the owners;
• создать надежные гарантии в социальной сфере для широких слоев населения; • create reliable social protections for a wide segment of the people
• поставить законодательные барьеры вывозу капитала и «оффшорной» экономике; • place legal barriers on capital exports and “offshore” economics;
• добиться реальной прозрачности принятия решений на всех уровнях власти, усилить ответственность всех государственных органов перед гражданами; • seek real transparency in decision making at all levels of government, as well as strengthen the accountability of all government organizations to the citizens;
• поддерживать и беречь реальные институты гражданского общества, создаваемые на основе общественной самодеятельности. • support and protect the real institutions of civil society, created based on independent civil actions.
СПРАВЕДЛИВАЯ РОССИЯ, отстаивающая права и свободы большинства россиян, не позволит новой Государственной Думе «замотать» эти вопросы в отличие от: A Just Russia, standing up for the rights and freedoms of the majority of Russians, will not permit a new State Duma to “tie up” these questions. This is in opposition to:
• «Единой России» – партии правящей бюрократии, не заинтересованной ни в каких изменениях; • United Russia – a party of ruling bureaucrats not interested in any changes;
• КПРФ, застрявшей в далеком советском прошлом; • The Communist Party of the Russian Federation, stuck in the distant, Soviet past;
• ЛДПР, громко критикующей власть и тихо идущей на выгодные компромиссы с ней; • The Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia, who noisily criticizes the government, yet quietly makes profitable compromises with it;
• «Правого дела» – удобного олигархического спарринг-партнера «Единой России». • Right Cause – United Russia’s handy, oligarchic sparring partner.
Мы принимаем на себя обязательства уже в течение первой сессии новой Государственной Думывнести на рассмотрение первоочередные законы, предусматривающие: We assume the obligation to discuss the following top-priority laws during the first session of the new State Duma:
В политической сфере: In the political sphere:
• прямые выборы глав субъектов Российской Федерации; • direct gubernatorial elections for the regions of the Russian Federation;
• прямые выборы мэров городов; • direct election of city mayors;
• восстановление графы «против всех» в избирательных бюллетенях на выборах всех уровней; • reinstatement of the “against all” options on election ballots for all election levels;
• прямые выборы членов Совета Федерации; • direct elections of Federation Council members;
• уведомительный принцип регистрации политических партий при минимальной численности 10 тыс. человек; • registration by notification for political parties with a minimum membership of 10,000 people;
• превращение Первого канала в независимое Общественное телевидение с действительно равным доступом на него представителей всех политических сил; • transformation of Channel One into an independent, public television channel with truly equal access for representatives of all political powers;
• амнистию для предпринимателей, ставших жертвами рэкета со стороны чиновников; • amnesty for entrepreneurs, who became victims of the racketeering from officials;
• введение декларации расходов для государственных служащих высокого ранга; • introduction of a declaration of expenses for government employees of high rank;
• конфискация имущества коррупционеров. • confiscation of the assets of corrupt officials.
В экономической сфере: In the economic sphere:
• введение прогрессивного подоходного налога. Несправедливо, чтобы олигарх и рабочий платили по 13%; • introduction of a progressive income tax. It is unfair if an oligarch and a worker both pay 13%;
• национализацию федеральных и региональных естественных монополий; • the nationalization of federal and regional natural monopolies;
• снижение НДС до 10%; • reduction of the value added tax to 10%;
• введение налога на роскошь; • introduction of luxury taxes;
• налоговые льготы для производителей, для малого и среднего, а не для сырьевого бизнеса; • tax breaks for manufacturers, for the lower and middle classes, and not for businesses centered on natural resources;
• поддержку реально работающих инновационных компаний как локомотивов «несырьевого роста». • support for truly working, innovative companies as the drivers of “non-resource growth”.
В социальной сфере: In the social sphere:
• отказ от МРОТ и переход на достойную почасовую оплату труда; • a repeal the minimum monthly wage and transition to an adequate hourly wage for labor;
• вместо повышения пенсионного возраста – отказ от обязательной накопительной системы пенсий и от регрессивной шкалы налогообложения, выгодной только наиболее состоятельной части общества; • instead of a higher retirement age, repeal the mandatory accumulative pension system and regressive taxation, which is advantageous only to the most well-off part of society;
• законодательное ограничение тарифов на газ, электроэнергию, железнодорожные перевозки, рост которых не должен превышать индекс инфляции; • legal limits on the price of natural gas, electricity, and rail transport, the growth of which should not exceed the inflation index;
• снижение максимально допустимой доли расходов граждан на оплату услуг ЖКХ до 10% от совокупного дохода членов семьи; • a reduction of the maximally acceptable share that citizens have to pay for utilities to 10% of the total revenue of the family’s members;
• справедливую политику в жилищной сфере, принятие поправок в Жилищный кодекс, защищающих интересы граждан; • fair housing policies, as well the passage of an amendment to the housing code, protecting the interests of citizens;
• расширение права трудящихся на забастовки, защиту прав профсоюзных лидеров; • expansion of the rights of the working population to strike and the protection of the rights of union leaders;
• запрет на увеличение объема платных услуг в образовании и здравоохранении. • ban increases in the number of paid services in education and healthcare;
У нас нет административного ресурса, нам не создают преимуществ на государственных телеканалах, против нас устраивают разнообразные провокации и ведут пропагандистские войны. Партия расстается с карьеристами, для которых близость к власти важнее интересов избирателей. Сегодня к нам приходят люди,которыми движут политическая принципиальность и государственная ответственность. Партия становится сплоченнее и сильнее! We have do not have administrative resources. We don’t have the advantage of the state television channels. They are making various provocations and are leading a propaganda war against us. The party is parting company with those careerists, for whom proximity to power is more important that the interests of the voters. Today, people are coming to us who are moved by an adherence to one’s political principles and state responsibility. The party is becoming more united and stronger!
Мы знаем: если не принять срочных мер, если законным путем не провести серьезные изменения в структуре власти, нашу страну ждет деградация и смута. Мы не можем этого допустить. We know that if urgent measures aren’t accepted, if serious changes to the power structure aren’t advanced by legal means, our country is awaiting degradation and revolt.
Мы идем на выборы и победим! We are going to the elections and we will win!

About the Author

Josh Wilson

Josh has been with SRAS since 2003. He holds an M.A. in Theatre and a B.A. in History from Idaho State University, where his masters thesis was written on the political economy of Soviet-era censorship organs affecting the stage. He lived in Moscow from 2003-2022, where he ran Moscow operations for SRAS. At SRAS, Josh still assists in program development and leads our internship programs. He is also the editor-in-chief for the SRAS newsletter, the SRAS Family of Sites, and Vestnik. He has previously served as Communications Director to Bellerage Alinga and has served as a consultant or translator to several businesses and organizations with interests in Russia.

Program attended: All Programs

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Michael Smeltzer

Michael Smeltzer has degrees in Russian Language and Philosophy from St. Olaf College in Minnesota. At the time he wrote for this site, he had previously studied abroad in Irkutsk and then spent an academic year studying in Vladivostok as part of SRAS's Home and Abroad program.

Program attended: Home and Abroad Scholar

View all posts by: Michael Smeltzer