'It is more difficult for Tatarstan to compete with those regions where there are more parties in parliament'

State Duma Deputy and former Deputy Speaker of the State Council of Tatarstan Tatyana Larionova commented on the results of the study “Parliament in the palm of your hand”

Many Tatarstan citizens estimate the position of the State Council of Tatarstan in the rating of openness of Russian parliaments “significantly higher than the 21st place”, State Duma Deputy Tatyana Larionova is convinced. The former deputy chairperson of the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan, at the request of Realnoe Vremya, got acquainted with the report of the specialists of the Urban Self-Government Development Fund “Parliament in the palm of your hand” and called the study important when planning the work of legislative authorities in the regions of Russia. In the author's column for our publication, the Russian parliamentarian writes about what she does not agree with the compilers of the rating, as well as what issues Tatarstan deputies really should finalise.

Tatarstan declares itself, in my opinion, with dignity

I believe that the rating of the all-Russian study “Parliament in the palm of your hand 2021" is really important when planning the work of the current parliament in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, including our republican parliament — the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan.

It is also important that many areas are related to the effectiveness of feedback from voters, and this is one of the most important principles for building the work of the deputy and parliament at any level.

I am sure that many residents of the republic value the indicators of our parliament much higher than the 21st place determined by experts. Although, perhaps, there will be other opinions.

In the criteria of openness of decision-making and openness of legislative work, the Republic of Tatarstan declares itself, in my opinion, with dignity. The draft agenda of the meetings of the State Council of the republic is necessarily considered at the meetings of the presidium, which, along with the most authoritative deputies, includes the leaders of the faction of the United Russia party and the republican branch of the Communist Party. Thanks to numerous publications, interviews, public discussions, live broadcasts, Internet news resources, almost all discussions and decisions become available to voters.

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Voters welcome “live” accounts, in this we are still inferior

At the same time, I note that the new version of the parliament's official website is being finalised, as a result of which many of the issues noted in criteria 1 and 2 of the study will be resolved more effectively, thereby making the parliament's activities even more open to citizens.

In general, it is obvious that the issues related to digital transformation prevail among the criteria. Indeed, more than half of the questions are now received through social networks and Internet reception.

Currently, work and activity in social networks is becoming the norm for deputies of the republican parliament, the assessment of the deputy's activity is based, among other things, on his activity in social networks. Voters welcome the presence of “live” accounts of deputies in social networks, the promptness of feedback on user requests.

It can be assumed that in this direction we are still inferior to some regions. Considering that the deputies have been dealing with this issue more specifically in the last 2-3 years, it would be logical to assume the correct progressive chosen vector of development.

By the way, in my opinion, in the subsequent analysis, more emphasis should be placed on the ability of the parliament to conduct a dialogue with voters through traditional media, such as radio and television, which are used by the majority of residents of the republic. In this direction, the parliament of the Republic of Tatarstan occupies more significant, perhaps, even leading positions, including in terms of the representation of parties in them. On television and in print media, the work of each party is covered quite fully, answers to many topical questions are heard from the point of view of representatives of different parties. The press conferences regularly held in the State Council of the republic with the participation of deputies of all levels are very much in demand among voters. Open participation and self-declaration on regional TV channels and radio channels is available to factions and representatives of other parties.

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Rating is very useful for each regional parliament

It is important to note that it is practiced to hold meetings of the State Council with the invitation of all political parties registered in the territory of the Republic of Tatarstan. Here the principle of equality of parties registered in the republic is strictly observed. Each of them has the right to speak, make suggestions and recommendations.

By the way, this is evidenced by the latest election campaign of the State Duma, when in practice it was possible to see, hear, understand the views and positions of representatives of all parties who declared to participate in the elections with their programmes and concepts.

In my opinion, all four criteria, which are stated in the section “Internal openness of the parliament”, are implemented quite correctly in the State Council of Tatarstan, are systemic in nature and are fully implemented.

Certainly, it is more difficult for Tatarstan to compete in some ranking positions with those regions where more parties are represented in parliament than in the Republic of Tatarstan. There are two factions in the State Council: United Russia — 78 people, and CPRF — 6 people, one representative each from the parties A Just Russia, LDPR, and Party of Growth. I believe that this factor was not taken into account in the assessment of experts when analysing a number of issues.

In general, the presented rating is very useful for each regional parliament, as it gives the opportunity to analyse the strengths of the leaders, take note of the best practices and “tighten up” those areas of activity that need improvement. I am sure that this study will be an excellent tool for improving the work of the parliaments of our country.

Tatyana Larionova

The author's opinion may not coincide with the position of the editorial board of Realnoe Vremya.