United Russia: an analysis of Vladimir Putin's party
The art of governing does require great consensus. For what we can judge by electoral results, United Russia has accomplished that.
Having been born as one-aim-party, that is to sustain its president, United Russia represents the main party of Russia. As of 2016 it holds 343 (or 76.22%) of the 450 seats in the State Duma it is the largest party in the Russian Federation.
Russian parliament is made up by two chambers: the Federation Council, the high chamber, and the State Duma, the low chamber. With 76.22% of the seats in the State Duma United Russia as the ruling party can change the constitution, oppose to President's veto and amend the high chamber opposition.
The president is the head of the state while the prime minister is the leader of the cabinet. Since the birth of United Russia, Vladimir Putin has been in office eleven years as president and four as prime minister.
In 2008 the local establishment could consider to change the constitution but than changed his mind: Dimitri Medvedev became president without violating the constitutional law and its deny to get the presidency three times consequently.
For what concerns its ideological position, United Russia presents three main elements:
1) about economic positions, it is changable, being both pointed thowards the free market and the state driven economy
2) It is nationalist
3) its leader is fundamental figure
According to studies, United Russia voters in 2007 were younger and more market-oriented than the average voter. In Russia, the era of Soviet command economy is over, but state policies still create an important backdrop to economic activity.
Voters in Russia are considered not-totally-free from the U.S. main information networks. For example Bloomberg agency does recognize the press in Russia to be almost under government's control.
Since 2015, Russia has got a system which is mixed: 50% is proportional (1 constituency) and 50% single winner voting.
Yet 2016 elections are very similar to 2011 election, even though these elections have been made with two different systems.
Comparing russian elections: 2011 with 2016 results
The system does require 200.000 signatures to create a new party (allowed at the Duma) one has to consider there cannot be more than 7.000 signatures per region. Regions are 38; that means, at least, an average of 5263 signatures per region so that a new party can get the possibility to enter the parliament.