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The Soviet State?
Nowadays it’s being commonly thought that lacking feedback between the authorities and the public makes one of the most dramatic issues in Russia of today. In any case this is exactly the viewpoint many experts stick to. But is this the case from point of view of ordinary Russian citizens, and precisely of those living in cities? Do they feel the authorities represented by the President for e.g., don’t listen thoroughly enough to their opinion, the opinion of opposition, that of experts, that of religious leaders?
To get the idea of the state of things we have asked our respondents a simple question: «It has been nearly one year since Vladimir Putin became a President for the third time. Do you feel Vladimir Putin in his taking steps, considers the opinion of the following public representatives?» (% of respondents)
From the diagram it is seen that no opinion prevails on this issue. About a half of urban dwellers think their President listens to the opinion of all the four groups been mentioned. This being said, according to our respondents, the President gives the least consideration to the opposition’s opinion (45%), and more often takes into account the viewpoints of religious leaders (55%).
Additionally we should note that it has appeared hard for our survey participants to get definite on whether Vladimir Putin values what experts, religious communities and the opposition think (17% - 15% - 13% of don’t-knows accordingly). The easiest question to answer was if the President listened to its ordinary people (only 8% of those who did not know).
It’s remarkable that Muscovites and residents of Saint Petersburg are a bit more skeptically minded than the Russian city dwellers at large. In terms of people and the opposition just 40% of the capitals residents believe the President listens to opinion of any of them, 47% of Muscovites and Petersburgers think the President listens to what experts might say. But according to the capital residents, the President most often values the opinion of religious representatives – 58%.
The difference in approach to this issue in men vs. women is also noticeable.
Generally ladies are more inclined to believe the President follows the Russian public representatives’ opinion. Thus 56% of ladies think President listens to his people, while a share of such in men makes 49%; 47% of women believes the state leader listens to the opposition, and the percentage of men here is 42%; 58% of women are sure the President takes into account the opinion of the representatives of religious confessions, while there are 53% of men who think so. The only point where we see no difference is the expression in relation of the expert community.
Also we should note the differences in relation of that how the situation is viewed by urban dwellers of different ages. These are the young people (between 18 and 29 y.o.) and the pre-retirement age people (50-59 of age) who most often think President considers different population categories’ opinion.
Summing up what has been said, we are able to say, that Russians are rather inclined to consider Vladimir Putin being an authoritarian leader, who focuses on his personal judgment alone.
The study was conducted in March 2013 based on the all-Russia representative sample (adults of 18+) using face-to-face interview method in place of residence. Altogether 1500 respondents in 8 federal districts, 46 entities of the Russian Federation in 80 settlements have been interviewed. The sample error doesn’t exceed 2.5%.