United Russia (Russian: Единая Россия, Yedínaya Rossíya) is a centrist political party in Russia and the largest party in the country, currently holding 238 of the 450 seats in the State Duma. The party was founded in December 2001, through a merger of theUnity and Fatherland-All Russia parties. Ideologically, it self-identifies as a "Russian conservative" party, and it supports the policies of the presidential administration of Dmitry Medvedev. The party's association with former President and current Prime MinisterVladimir Putin, who is currently the leader of United Russia, has been the key to its success, and there is also evidence that the electorate credits the party (in addition to Putin) for improvements in the economy. Party platform
According to the party's 2003 political manifesto, The Path of National Success, the party's goal is to unite the responsible political forces of the country, aiming to minimize the differences between rich and poor, young and old, state, business and society. The economy should combine state regulation and market freedoms, with the benefits of further growth distributed for the most part to the less fortunate. The party rejects left-wing and right-wing ideologies in favour of "political centrism" that could unite all sections of society. In addition, the official party platform emphasizes pragmatism and anti-radicalism. The party regards itself to be one of the heirs to Russia's tradition of statehood, both tsarist and communist.United Russia's long-time moniker is "the party of real deeds."
United Russia has always characterised itself as wholly supportive of the agenda of the popular former President and current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and this has proved key to its success. A survey, whose results were presented by Henry E. Hale in 2008 at the Annual Meeting of American Political Science Association, indicates that the Russian population associates the party with a market economic orientation, opposition to communism, a moderately pro-Western foreign policy and a tough stance on rebellious minority regions like Chechnya. Voters who support such values are significantly more likely to vote for United Russia. Survey results also provide clear evidence that Russians tend to credit United Russia (as well as Putin) for improvements in the economy.
Since 2006, when Vladislav Surkov introduced the term Sovereign democracy, many figureheads of the party have taken usage of the term. President Dmitry Medvedev has criticised the term.
The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) (Russian: Коммунистическая партия Российской Федерации; КПРФ;Kommunisticheskaya Partiya Rossiyskoy Federatsii; KPRF) is a Russian political party. It is the second major political party in the Russian Federation. Under present conditions in the Russian Federation, the Communist party believes it is necessary to :
stop the extinction of the country, restore benefits for large families, reconstruct the network of public kindergartens and provide housing for young families.
nationalize natural resources in Russia and the strategic sectors of the economy; revenues in these industries are to be used in the interests of all citizens
return to Russia from foreign banks the state financial reserves and use them for economic and social development
break the system of total fraud in the elections
create a truly independent judiciary
carry out an immediate package of measures to combat poverty and introduce price controls on essential goods
not raise the retirement age
restore government responsibility for housing and utilities, establish fees for municipal services in an amount not more than 10% of family income, stop the eviction of people to the streets, expand public housing
increase funding for science and scientists to provide decent wages and all the necessary research
restore the highest standards of universal and free secondary and higher education that existed during the Soviet era
ensure the availability and quality of health care
vigorously develop high-tech manufacturing
ensure the food and environmental security of the country and support the large collective farms for the production and processing of agricultural products
prioritize domestic debt over of foreign (to compensate for household deposits, burnt in the disastrous years of "reform")
introduce progressive taxation; low-income citizens will be exempt from paying taxes
improve the efficiency of public administration, reducing the number of officials to extend the powers of labor collectives and trade unions
create conditions for development of small and medium enterprises
ensure the accessibility of cultural goods, stop the commercialization of culture, defend Russian culture as the foundation of the spiritual unity of multinational Russia, the national culture of all citizens of the country
stop the slandering of the Russian and Soviet history
take drastic measures to suppress corruption and crime
strengthen national defense and expand social guarantees to servicemen and law enforcement officials
ensure the territorial integrity of Russia and the protection of compatriots abroad
institute a foreign policy based on mutual respect of countries and peoples to facilitate the voluntary restoration of the Union of States.
The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (Russian: Либерально-Демократическая Партия России (ЛДПР), Liberal'no-Demokraticheskaya Partiya Rossii (LDPR) is a political party in Russia. Since its founding in 1991, it has been led by the charismatic and controversial figure Vladimir Zhirinovsky. The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia aims for "a revival of Russia as a great power." It has opposed both communism and the "wild" capitalism that resulted from Russia's reforms. It favours a mixed economy with private ownership but with a strong management role reserved for the state. In foreign policy, the party places a strong emphasis on "civilizations." It has supported the restoration of Russia with its "natural borders" (which the party believes include Belarus, Ukraine and other former Soviet republics). It sees the unification of Russia and Belarus as a first step in the restoration. The LDPR regards the United States and the Western civilization as the main external threat to Russia. The party has harshly criticised thediscrimination against ethnic Russians in the Baltic states and demanded that they should be given Russian citizenship and protected against discriminatory legislation.
Professor Henry E. Hale lists the party's main policy stands as nationalism and a focus in law and order. Although it often uses radical opposition rhetoric, the LDPR frequently votes for government proposals. This has led to speculation that the party receives funding from the Kremlin.
Federal. On the federal level, Russia elects a president as head of state and a legislature, one of the two chambers of the Federal Assembly. The president is elected for at most two six-year terms by the people (raised from four years from December 2008). The Federal Assembly (Federalnoe Sobranie) has two chambers. The State Duma (Gosudarstvennaja Duma) has 450 members, elected for five-year terms (also four years up to December 2008), all of them by proportional representation. The Federation Council (Sovet Federatsii) is not directly elected; each of the 83 federal subjects of Russia sends 2 delegates to the Federal Council, for a total of 166 members.
Presidential. On the federal level, Russia elects a president as head of state and a legislature, one of the two chambers of the Federal Assembly.