"Party Zero":
Russian Elections Through the Prism of the Effective Number of Parties


Paskhina I.S.,

master student, Faculty of Political Science, Lomonosov Moscow State University, politpaskhina@gmail.com

Telin K.O.,

Cand. Sci. (Pol. Sci.), Researcher, Faculty of Political Science, Lomonosov Moscow State University, kirill.telin@gmail.com

elibrary_id: 712039 |


DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2017.05.04
For citation:

Paskhina I.S., Telin K.O. "Party Zero": Russian Elections Through the Prism of the Effective Number of Parties. – Polis. Political Studies. 2017. No. 5. P. 43-53. (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2017.05.04



Abstract

The article focuses on the parliamentary election results at both federal and regional levels (2003-2016). The research is based upon the index of the effective number of parties (the Laakso-Taagepera index and Golosov index) and proposes that these indices demonstrate a certain extent of political and electoral competitiveness. For the period under review authors distinguish 4 consequent stages, which reflect trends in Russian electoral competition. After the adoption of amendments, which tightened Russia’s electoral law, the electoral landscape transformed gradually from high levels of representativeness to limitation of inter-party competition through periods of “forced partization” and liberalization of electoral law. At the current stage (2013-2017) the system seeks to follow a tendency towards controlled competition. Thus, a relatively large number of parties take part in election (for instance, eleven parties were registered to participate in the 2016 election to the State Duma), but can’t provide competition to the ruling party. Based on statistics for regional parliamentary elections, only the Republic of Karelia has demonstrated more or less competitive situation. It is also confirmed by the effective number of parties index, which at the last election (2016) amounted to 3,76. In general, despite the existing partial frauds in the election results, the analysis of electoral statistics allows to build a so-called “electoral portrait” that takes into account the medium- and long-term tendencies of the electoral process and, above all, the consequences of reforms in the respective field of legislation. 

Keywords
political system; electoral process; effective number of parties; democracy; political regime; party system.


References

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Content No. 5, 2017

Статья посвящена результатам отечественных парламентских выборов как на федеральном, так и на региональном уровне в 2003-2016 гг. Основу методологии исследования составляет использование индекса эффективного числа партий (согласно расчетам Лааксо-Таагеперы и Голосова), обозначающего степень политической конкуренции. В течение изучаемого периода авторами выделены четыре этапа, отражающие определенные тренды в развитии политической конкуренции. Предполагается, что трансформация электорального пространства от высокого уровня репрезентативности к ограниченному межпартийному соперничеству напрямую связана с ужесточением избирательного законодательства. В настоящее время политическая система склоняется к переходу в состояние “управляемой конкуренции”. Несмотря на то что в выборах участвует относительно большое количество партий, ни одна из них не может составить реальной конкуренции правящей силе. Основываясь на статистике региональных выборов, авторы отмечают, что только Республика Карелия демонстрирует более или менее конкурентную среду – на последних выборах 2016 г. индекс эффективного числа партий составил 3,76. В целом анализ имеющейся электоральной статистики позволяет составлять так наз. электоральный портрет, который учитывает средне- и долгосрочные тенденции в электоральном процессе и отражает воздействие нормативных решений на регулируемую законодательством сферу деятельности. 

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See also:


Simonov K.V.,
Does Russia Need a Bipartisan System?. – Polis. Political Studies. 2015. No2

Solovyov A.I.,
A sketch by a master: political system of post-soviet Russia in Sergey Peregudov’s version. – Polis. Political Studies. 2012. No3

Peregudov S.P.,
Russia’s political system: experience of social engineering projections (based on the materials of the ISP report). – Polis. Political Studies. 2009. No6

Bolshakov I.V.,
The culture of russian political actors: a variant of typology. – Polis. Political Studies. 2011. No5

Peregudov S.P.,
Political System of Russia After the Elections of 2007 to 2008: Factors of Stabilization and of Destabilization. Part II.. – Polis. Political Studies. 2009. No3

 

   

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