Political experts about Tatarstan: “There is no complete ossification”
Experts discussed the development of the region and reviewed the speech of Rustam Minnikhanov at a United Russia conference
Whether the current situation in the country will allow Tatarstan to develop as before or the statement “this can't get any worse” should be considered an achievement and agenda for the next five years — this was discussed on 27 June in Volga expert club. The audience reviewed the speech of Rustam Minnikhanov at the regional party conference of United Russia, which was held on the same day, in the context of the future election campaign. Read more about the discussion on the election programe of the current leader of Tatarstan, coronavirus reality and expectations of the population in the material of Realnoe Vremya.
“The government has made a terrible mistake, crowds of people are rushing to the voting station”
“Today, Rustam Nurgalievich has made programme statements within the framework of the United Russia conference. Probably no one doubt who will set the trend of development of the republic on the results of the September elections," moderator of Volga club, head of Theory of Darwin PR agency Vladimir Kurilov set, in turn, the tone of the discussion at the meeting of experts.
Alexander Malkevich, the member of the working group of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation to prepare for the all-Russian vote, president of the Foundation for the Protection of National Values, had time to vote on amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation in Kazan at school No. 181. He noted that he was pleasantly surprised by the current condition of the school and the organisation of the voting process.
“Today, when we met with the president of the republic, I said that every time in Tatarstan you discover something new for yourself and tell other regions of the country how everything works here. I am familiar with the topic of IT practice: I have seen attempts in a number of regions to introduce digital passes — the measures aimed at restricting the movement of people. As far as I understand, only Tatarstan has managed to pass this period more or less without failures. And then, when it's all over, to correctly destroy the database of people who ordered these digital passes. I think this is an experience that a number of regions of the country would be good to adopt. No one can stop the movement forward. I hope that electronic voting will also affect the republic — but already, for example, next year, when the federal elections will be held," Malkevich said.
He reminded that on September 13 the republic elects not only the president but also municipal deputies — in fact, it will be a huge election campaign. According to Malkevich, during the current all-Russian vote, people “get used to the good” in terms of compliance with all security measures in the context of the epidemic: if I couldn't vote today — then I can do it tomorrow. “And now comes September, when you get not one ballot with two columns but many ballots, in one day," Malkevich said. He warned that there may be fakes like: “The government has made a terrible mistake, crowds of people are rushing to the polling station”, noting that it is necessary to carefully consider the organisation of a single voting day.
“There is a false proposition that we need to refuse oil and gas”
In continuation of the topic of security and related remote capacities, Vladimir Kutilov noted that “in this speech of the president, not much attention is given to electronic services, but the angle of presentation was certain: electronic services — for interaction with the population, for feedback.” The moderator recalled the priorities that Minnikhanov set in the following order: taking care of citizens, creating conditions for self-realisation, developing a comfortable environment and developing the economy.
The president of the National League of Specialists in Business and State Relations, Marat Bashirov, started analysing the report of the head of the republic with the last point:
“He (the president) did not hesitate to say that the basis of the republic's budget is the oil and gas complex plus oil refining and industrial production. There is a false proposition that we need to refuse oil and gas. Alexander Malkevich, my colleague, told us about information fakes — so this is also an information fake. We should value what we own. Emphasis is placed on small and medium-sized businesses, and on the development of IT — this is what the economy of the future will be built on. Two layers: mineral resources and new knowledge.
At the same time, Bashirov drew attention to the development of Innopolis and the support of its young specialists. And then he went back to the first point:
“Taking care of people is something that is fixed in the form of direct norms in the Constitution of Russia. Guarantees for all vulnerable segments of the population. For the region, these standards are directly laid down in the federal budget in the form of guaranteed funding. This equalises the position of people in the social sphere. Tatarstan has always set standards for social behaviour of the authorities. As a person whose relatives live in Tatarstan, I can see how happy people are with this policy and that this point is in the first place.
“The topic of coronavirus is not left behind, but it has found a reasonable place”
Mikhail Vinogradov, the president of the St. Petersburg Politics Foundation, reminded about “the popular stereotype”: it is important for the voter that the candidate has a programme. The programme document of the current leader of the region, according to the political expert, is a collective document, the result of the work of a large system.
“The ordinary official rarely has the opportunity to think about the goals of his work. He lives in a world of deadlines and paperwork. The development of a large programme is just an opportunity to talk to a large number of leaders of the republic at different levels in order to make them think in the category of goals," Vinogradov said.
He noted that in the speech of Minnikhanov, the topic of coronavirus “was not left behind but found a reasonable place… There were no accents: the situation is not very clear — it is too early to celebrate the victory, and it is untimely to frighten each other. The topic is much bigger and more frightening to trade away for political purposes.” According to the speaker, the conversation about the quality of life and the role of work was also balanced, which was highlighted in the speech of Minnikhanov — a reasonable balance in the conditions of both hope and anxiety that exist in society.” Vinogradov said that in the president's speech “there was a lot about the republic and support for what is called local patriotism”.
“Saying things that people don't agree with in the hope that they will believe you — that time has passed”
Political expert Abbas Gallyamov went over the points of the speech of the head of the republic, which were posted on his official website. “We are having an honest conversation: we can not only praise each other, but we can talk about what worries us, and besides, who know that I always praise them and treat them positively better than the Tatar brothers," Gallyamov introduced his analysis.
“I'm not in a happy mood. In general, the situation in the country will deteriorate. The number of social, political conflicts will grow, and the mood of protest will grow. Russia is a centralised country. All trends are set from the centre. The leadership of my beloved Tatarstan can't do much to change anything. From what I read on the website from the speech of Rustam Nurgalievich, there is too victorious banality: “a lot has been done”, “the main provisions of the programme have been fulfilled”, “to increase economic potential”, “we are taking leading positions”. But in general, people do not have such sentiments now: the number of people who believe that the country is on the right and the wrong path is equal. In Tatarstan, the standard of living is higher than in the whole country, but not radically," said the political expert.
He believes that a political leader cannot afford alarmist statements, but if he talks only about success, he will “drive everyone into melancholy”.
“We still need to match the audience. Or make the discrepancy a special topic of your speech: “You don't see much, but I'll tell you.” Saying things that people don't agree with in the hope that they will believe you — that time has passed. The authorities treat people as children who need to be told stories. But the children have grown up, they think they need to know the truth. I don't have a simple answer for how to avoid alarmism and optimism. But in general, there is no confidence that the election campaign of the president of Tatarstan can now, in the summer of 2020, afford the luxury of being like this: from victory to victory. It seems to me that now “it can't get any worse” — this is already an achievement, this is the agenda of the next five years," suggested Gallyamov.
“I didn't say anything about ossification”
“When they talk about the processes in the ethnic republics, everything is ossified and fossilised politically... Today I went to the United Russia conference, a picketer with a placard was standing outside the building, and no one touched him. For me, this is a positive sign that there is no need to talk about complete ossification. There are territories with much severer ossification," Vinogradov objected to his colleague.
“I didn't say anything about ossification. Tatarstan is one of the most flexible and unossified regions," Gallyamov replied.
“I live here and observe sociology and public attitudes. I think [Minnikhanov's] speech today is timely. Yes, a month and a half ago, the situation was completely different. Abbas is right, a month and a half ago we would have expected something completely different. But now some restrictions have been lifted, people have calmed down and want a constructive understanding that in the near future they will return to stability," said Kutilov.
“The first two levels of the Maslow's hierarchy of needs in Tatarstan are closed”
Aleksey Kurtov, the president of the Russian Association of Political Consultants, said that he does not hear from young people in Tatarstan that they want to go to Moscow, and the conditions have been created for them in which it is interesting to live.
“At the round table discussion a year before last, we discussed how to encourage young people to a healthy lifestyle.. And this is impossible if they have not filled the first two levels of the Maslow's hierarchy of needs, if they do not know what to eat and how they will be protected. Tatarstan has passed this way — the first two levels of the Maslow hierarchy of needs are closed. Now we can talk about self-development and implementation of plans," Kurtov said.
“It's cool that such a block [of the speech] was dedicated to young people. The president has visited the extreme park today, it was opened in a test mode," the chairperson of the youth government under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Tatarstan, Alla Abrosimova, took the floor.
In her opinion, the president of Tatarstan emphasised the involvement of young people in the system of government. And they are active — for example, they are launching petitions in social networks. “We would like to keep in mind the involvement of young people in municipalities. Last year, we organised a youth election rally — we took a ride through the districts, made a measurement of what young people needed: somewhere parks, squares, youth centres," Abrosimova said.
“We elect the president of the republic, not the head”
“We elect the president of the republic, not the head. Federalism is alive — this is an important thing for Tatarstan. Regions themselves can achieve success. Farid Khayrullovich (Mukhametshin) says it right: 'Strong regions are a strong Russia," Viktor Sidorov, the political expert, Associate Professor, Candidate of Political Science at the KFU, disagreed with Gallyamov's statement about the trends set by the centre.
He noted that in the speech of the current president, he did not have enough emphasis on the “cool” programme Our Yard, the construction of the M12 Moscow-Kazan Highway in record time, the growth of life expectancy in the republic — the indicators that the quality of life has improved.
Marat Bashirov objected to the local political expert:
“Minnikhanov is a very subtle and experienced politician. He can't interrupt the agenda at the United Russia regional conference. Most importantly, as long as the candidate is not registered, he does not have the right to conduct an election campaign, this will be a violation. So he very correctly built his text.
“A Trump from Tatarstan”
“I feel like a Neanderthal among you. You are talking about things that I rarely think about and rarely talk to anyone. I 'walk on the ground', do business, I have my own 'garden', on which every entrepreneur 'work," Ruslan Abdulnasyrov, the owner of Avtoset.RF, joined the discussion. More entrepreneurs than people 'died' — I am saying very terrible things now, but no one could do anything about it. Shopping centres are still closed, and restaurants are not allowed to work. They are pulling out tables, trying to do business on the street... People are such a resilient organism, but our country is going to miss a large number of entrepreneurs.”
Abdulnasyrov believes that Tatarstan citizens are lucky that their President is “an efficient economist”. “He thinks like an entrepreneur, feels the economy at his fingertips," he explained. “Americans are lucky: they have Trump- an active entrepreneur, he is well versed in money. Our president is the same Trump, only our Tatar, he understands well how money is earned.”
In conclusion, Alexander Malkevich drew attention to the fact that during the voting in Tatarstan, it would be quite possible to apply elements of an electronic service. In his opinion, “it would be interesting to see how residents would make their proposals in an interactive form and vote for them, as well as to see how this is implemented in the next five-year plan”.
“People have a low level of confidence in the control of electronic voting," Mikhail Vinogradov replied to the suggestion of his colleague.
Aleksey Kurtov wished the current president worthy rivals and complementary programmes:
" Political competition is an engine that always helps to conduct a decent dialogue and broad public discussions. I think it will help engage people.”