backwards in voter support. For example, the authors argue that ill-gotten administra- tive resources alone did not lead the pro-Putin Edinstvo party to win the most seats in the 1999 Duma election; in fact, Edinstvo candidates were skilled campaigners and coalition-builders with a positive image, and this made a huge difference in their elec- toral success. They rightly point out that "parties of power" have not always suc- ceeded in Russia. It was not merely the infamous smear campaigns against Ote- chestvo-Vsia Rossiia (OVR), but also campaign bungling that led the party to fall be- hind among voters after an early lead. OVR had no message, a tired apparatchik im- age, and relied too much on regional governors who later switched allegiances. In turn, the factions among Communists failed to unify and reformulate their message to suit current problems; they sat idle and relied on outdated campaign techniques, ex- pecting success to fall in their laps. Yet the authors do not apply the same campaign-oriented framework in their as- sessment of the liberal parties in Russia. The liberals largely united under the Soiuz pravykh sil (SPS) in a well-organized Duma campaign (although a major party, Yabloko, failed to join),
Canadian-American Slavic Studies – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2006
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