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The 'Americanization' of Russian politics: Russia's first television election, December 1993

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In the first competitive elections in Russia for three-quarters of a century, held in December 1993, aspiring politicians and parties were confronted with new challenges in organizing and presenting themselves to the electorate. With relatively few of the many parties possessing an effective organizational base, much use was made of the mass media, particularly television, in a campaign that came to resemble modern Western-style electioneering. It is significant that the party that performed unexpectedly well - to the surprise of pollsters and the dismay of its democratic opponents and Western opinion - was the Liberal Democratic Party of Vladimir Zhirinovskii: it presented a slick campaign, focusing on the persona of the leader in a way that brought him and his views to the attention of the electorate. The power of campaigning by television for the first time ever is the factor that may have misled the polling institutions and the government-backed 'democratic centre' in their predictions of the result.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/23062/

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