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The program presented by the Russian democratic party ‘Yabloko’, the structure formed in 1994 on the basis of the block of the same name, proved to be more sophisticated. At the time most of public organizations had already positioned themselves in the political spectrum, while Yabloko still finds itself at the interfaces between the liberal and the social-democratic movements. That is clearly declared in its 2001 democratic manifest: ‘The new democratic course that RDP Yabloko declares is based upon the revision of vulgar approaches to the past and a clear apprehension of tasks of the future. The course is based upon the contemporary liberal and social ideology’9. With a prefect understanding of what that implies, one cannot help but noting Yabloko’s conscious camouflaging their own stand. The documents also refers to ‘the European economic model’ but, again, fails to provide any specific guidance as to which institutions they have in mind. Likewise, Yabloko’s program documents appear immanently contradictory: while advocating guarantees for private property, protection of economic freedom, liquidation of bureaucratic barriers to entrepreneurs, protection of medium size and small businesses, creation of favorable conditions for any investment, a vigorous resistance to monopolists and supporting competitive environment on the one hand, the party tends to call for non-formalized expansion of government obligations, on the other (‘to raise the minimum wages to the actual subsistence level’); ‘decreasing by three times the number of Russians living below the poverty line’; ‘to liquidate the USSR foreign debt’10. The declaration does not say anything of lowering the tax burden, which just intensifies the concerns raised by the references to the European experiences regarding sources of funding such ambitious projects, that is, raising taxes; of the need for further privatization of government property; of cutting down public expenditures. The same can be noticed in the party’s previous program documents, namely the 1995 political declaration, the 1999 pre-election program, among others.

It is worthwhile noting that Yabloko’s attitude towards privatization is not just neutral. Rather the party is very negative to that. Thus, according to a statement made during the Duma campaign, G. Yavlinsky ‘carries out computations of a single tax to be levied on all those who participated in privatization deals. Its essence is as follows: the net profit over 9 years less the amount paid during privatization is subjected to the 25% tax11.’ Mr. Yavlinsky also argued that there should be introduced an occupational ban for those who had conducted privatization.

In conclusion, the attitude to current urgent challenges by major political parties that participated in the 2003 electoral campaign can be presented in the table form.

Issue

United
Russia

CPRF

LDPR

Rodina

SPS

Yabloko

Budget policy

Responsible

N/a

Condemns the financial stabilization policy

Condemns the financial stabilization policy

Responsible

Contradictory

Increase in social obligations of the state

In proportion as GDP grows

yes

yes

yes

In proportion as GDP grows

yes

Tax policy

N/a

Not articulated as a whole

Lowering

Increase of some with decrease of others

Lowering

Lowering

Including taxation of the mineral sector

Increase with some reservations

Increase

Increase

Increase

Increase with some reservations

Increase with some reservations

Including personal income tax and the SST collection system (the 2000 reform)

yes

No

yes

No

yes

yes

Nationalization of large enterprises

No

yes

Yes, with reservations

Yes, with reservations

No

No

Privatization

No stand

No

No stand

No

Yes

No, with reservations

Government regulation of the economy

Strengthening for large companies, loosening for others

Strengthening

Strengthening for strategic sectors, loosening for others

Strengthening

Loosening

Loosening

Accession to WTO

Yes, with reservations

No

No

Yes, with reservations

Yes

Yes

Economic aid to the CIS

No stand

Yes

No

Yes

No stand

No

Attitude to the 1990s reforms

negative

negative

negative

negative

Positive

Negative, with researvations

Professional army

Deadline for the completion of transition is not identified, not earlier than 2008

negative

negative

negative

Yes

Yes


1 K stoletiyu angliyskykh laboristov// Sovremennyaya Evropa. 2002. # 4

2 Cited from www.edin.ru

3 As Mr. Putin estimated in his TV address on December 18, 2003, the subsistence minimum accounted for 2,121 Rb.

4 For instance, 'Imposition of capitalism coupled with exploitation of man by man generated an intense>

5 http://www.vibory-info.ru/index.phpaction=show_news&id=137

6 http://www.ldpr.ru/programm_ldpr.htm

7 http://www.rodina-nps.ru/programma/show/id=3

8 http://www.sps.ru/id=63261

9 The Democratic Manifest of Yabloko party. http://www.yabloko.ru/Union/Program/manifest-2001-proj.html

10 Op.ed

11 http://taimyr.yabloko.ru/elections/index.phtmlf=1&ff=1

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