Age is the main influence in the second cleavage dimension of party constituencies. It appears that younger voters support both democratic and authoritarian parties as well as the economic left and right. The major parties have a centrist position on this dimension, suggesting that they draw support from all age groups. The parties that draw greater support from younger voters are Women of Russia, Dershava, and the Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia. Forward Russia and the Party of Self-Government draw support from older voters. The analysis shows the importance of generational differences in Russia, but these differences do not seem to be associated with a relevant ideological dimension of conflict. Thus the second cleavage dimension does not reveal a significant generational gap on policy.
In summary, the democratic-authoritarian dimension is a very important source of political cleavage in Russia. The main candidates in the 1996 presidential election were clear representatives of the opposing positions along this cleavage line. This cleavage has deepened as dissatisfaction with the new political and economic systems has increased among some segments of the electorate. Many Russians have expressed nostalgia for the Communist System ( White, Rose, and McAllister 1997).
This chapter presented an analysis of political cleavages in post-Communist societies. In some of those societies there is a strong cleavage defined by favorable and unfavorable views toward political and economic reform. Evidence of a democratic-authoritarian cleavage is particularly strong for Russia in the 1990s. In other countries, such as Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Slovenia, the democratic-authoritarian divide is less central. In these countries, political competition centers on a liberal-fundamentalist line of conflict. The next chapter analyzes the extent to which these issue dimensions constitute relevant political cleavages in Latin America.