Growing Pains: Russian Democracy and the Election of 1993

By Timothy J. Colton; Jerry F. Hough | Go to book overview

The 1993 Federation Council election was Russia's only federal-level experiment with two-member districts. The 1993 constitution left the formation of the Federation Council to be determined by legislation at a later time. The law adopted in December of 1995 replaced the principle of the formation of the upper chamber through election with the principle that heads of the executive and legislative branches of Russia's regional governments would become ex officio members of the Federation Council. Thus no election to the Federation Council took place in St. Petersburg in December 1995.

The 1996 equivalent of the Council of the Federation elections was St. Petersburg's mayoral election, in two rounds that took place on May 19 and June 2. In this race, the incumbent mayor, Sobchak, won in the first round but lost to another reformist candidate, his former deputy Vladimir Yakovlev, by 1.7 percentage points (47.5 percent to 45.8 percent) in the runoff election. Election results from 1993 through 1996 demonstrate that the city remains Russia's most democratic metropolis.


Notes
1.
Guillermo O'Donnell and Philippe Schmitter, Transitions from Authoritarian Rule: Tentative Conclusions about Uncertain Democracies ( Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), pp. 61-64. Huntington prefers to use the term "stunning elections" to describe the same phenomenon. See Samuel P. Huntington, The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century ( University of Oklahoma Press, 1991), pp. 174ff. For the survey of the founding elections in eastern Europe, see Kimmo Kuusela, "The Founding Electoral Systems in Eastern Europe," in Geoffrey Pridham and Tatu Vanhanen, eds., Democratization in Eastern Europe: Domestic and International Perspective ( London: Routledge, 1994), pp. 128-50.
2.
Claus Offe, "Capitalism by Democratic Design? Democratic Theory Facing the Triple Transition in East Central Europe," Social Research, vol. 58, no. 4 (Winter 1991), pp. 865-92.
3.
For an argument that links development to the collapse of communism, see Lucian W. Pye, "Political Science and the Crisis of Authoritarianism," American Political Science Review, vol. 84, no. 1 ( March 1990), pp. 3-19.
4.
The "pocketbook voting" theory postulates direct relationship between personal economic conditions and voting behavior. For a discussion, see Morris P. Fiorina , Retrospective Voting in American National Elections ( Yale University Press, 1981), pp. 25-32; Samuel L. Popkin, The Reasoning Voter: Communication and Persuasion in Presidential Campaigns, 2d ed. ( University of Chicago Press, 1994), pp. 31-34; Paul Lazarsfeld, Bernard Berelson, and Helen Gaudet, The Peole's Choice: How the Voter Makes up His Mind in a Presidential Campaign

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