Monday, March 26, 2012

Russians gave up on democracy

Russian opposition was utterly unsuccessful battling Putin's propaganda machine, and as I noted, it looked like an amateur battling a professional.

The polls of Russians indicate the their awareness of meetings in support of Putin was twice as outpaced those of the opposition fold. Russian polling agency VCIOM found that 60% of those questioned heard about meetings supporting Putin, while only about 30% were aware of demonstrations "For Fair Elections", 17% were not sure of the meetings political slant. 8% were not aware of these meetings.

According to the earlier polls, awareness of Russians about meetings favoring Putin or "United Russia" is rising - 20% in December, 38% in February and 60% in March. The awareness with the meetings organized by the opposition decreased - 54, 48 and 30%, respectively. These statistics are consistent with the view that the propaganda efforts of Putin's party was successful in displacing the awareness of meetings opposing Putin in the minds of most Russians.
Sign reads "My decisive vote - for Putin"
The poll found that the public support for the opposition is fairly broad, but waning. For example, in December 48% of Russians were for overturning the results of rigged Duma (Parliament) elections, with only 28% opposed.

In march polls taken after Putin's reelection 38% of Russians continued to support the main demand of the opposition - review of elections, however, a majority of 49% consider them baseless. Unfortunately, these numbers have moved in the wrong direction. The general discontentment with rigged elections has not translated into a proactive stance for majority of the Russians. 

The March poll found the majority Russians (42%) to be indifferent to the protests. A mere 17% of responders favored opposition protests, with 14% expressing unease about them. 10% of Russians are tired of meetings "For Fair Elections" or have become disappointed with them.

These poll numbers quantify what many have feared - Putin's propaganda successfully countered the opposition protests by parroting them, then driving the Russians towards their familiar state of resignation.
The opposition has run out of steam. The failure of opposition to provide a credible alternative to Putin, or to differentiate itself in the media in the eyes of an average Russian, may herald a few years of resigned acquiescence of the hopeless masses, and a weakening of the opposition.

What's the point of coming to a meeting now to stand for hours in the cold? All of opposition's demands were ignored, and they have no hope of effecting change in the foreseeable future.

No comments:

Post a Comment