Russian Election Reform and the Effect of Social Conformity on Voting and the Party System: 2007 and 2008

18 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2009 Last revised: 29 Sep 2009

See all articles by Stephen Coleman

Stephen Coleman

Metropolitan State University (retired)

Date Written: July 29, 2009

Abstract

In 2007 Russian voters elected representatives to the State Duma under new electoral procedures that President V. Putin had instituted. A presidential election followed in 2008, won by D. Medvedev, leading to Putin's new role as prime minister. To many observers, the reforms and the election campaigns resulted in a party system manipulated to the advantage of the government, although Putin's reported goal was to reduce the number of political parties. Earlier research [1,2,6] reported that social conformity exerted a strong, persistent, and predictable influence on voting in national elections from 1991 to 2003. This analysis examines how the effect of social conformity on Russian voters might have changed from earlier elections as a result of the electoral reforms and campaign practices. Specific questions addressed are how well the political party system now aligns with the interests of voters, and whether this type of analysis can speak to fairness of the elections.

Keywords: voting, elections, mathematical model, social conformity, social norms, cognitive model, political psychology, entropy, political parties, Russia

JEL Classification: C12, C13, C21, C51, C52, D72

Suggested Citation

Coleman, Stephen, Russian Election Reform and the Effect of Social Conformity on Voting and the Party System: 2007 and 2008 (July 29, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1370128 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1370128

Stephen Coleman (Contact Author)

Metropolitan State University (retired) ( email )

St. Paul, MN 55108
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.populardelusions.org

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