Madhouse-2018: why pre-election debate turned into a farce

The reality show “presidential Elections” has already reached the finish line, and a decent scandal, contrary to the laws of the genre, all was not and was not. And here’s this week’s long-awaited finally happened: first, the participants accused each other of various sins, including the prodigal (“remove the prostitute”), and then, forgetting about mutual grievances, staged a joint rebellion against TV channels, imposing candidates unacceptable to them the format of “place of execution”.

photo: Alex geldings

The ringleader of the uprising, as usual, was the candidate of the Communist party. “What’s going on here is not a debate – said Pavel Grudinin in the course of the next candidate “buttle”. – This market is some screams. The debate is when you argue with your opponent… the Central election Commission and the Central channels don’t want to argue one on one… I believe that these debates do not have the right to life, and therefore, I leave this Studio.”

According to the sternum, informed his staff sent the TV channel a letter of offer to “do things differently”. Which, lamenting the candidate was ignored. But, however, it was not a voice crying in the wilderness: an initiative taken up by another three candidates – Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Sergei Baburin and Ksenia Sobchak.

Their signature plus the signature Grudinina – stand under the collective appeal to the CEC Chairperson Ella Pamfilova: “Candidates for the post of President of the Russian Federation made the consolidated decision to require changes to the debate format and time of airing. The debate should go on TV at the best time from 20.00 to 22.00. During the debate candidates should be able to argue with each other directly, the number of debating should not exceed 2-4 people”.

These requirements cannot be called absurd. Candidate debate one-on-one – world practice. By the way, in Russia during the previous presidential campaign was practiced mostly this format. That now everything will be different, that everyone involved in the debate, the candidates for the presidency will participate in the debates together, at the same time, it became known three weeks ago, during the draw allocation between the candidates with free airtime.

Read the material: “the Late Pope road opened”: Zhirinovsky and Sobchak were having an argument”

At that moment, surprised Ella Pamfilova, none of the candidates claims to the form of the disputations is not expressed. However, even then, the CEC made it clear that such claims do not accept: TV and radio companies, say, define the layout yourself. “It is their right, – said, as cut, CEC member Maya Grishina. – The Central election Commission in a grid formation is not involved”. Grishina stressed that the term “debate” in the electoral legislation is absent. Is the concept of “joint campaign events”, and the proposed candidates is the format of “round table” matches him quite well.

Now, after the collective candidate of the protest, the CEC expressed less categorically. Besides, as it turned out, the policy of the TV channels don’t like and some izbirkomom. Criticized, for example, exposed her to a Commission member Yevgeny Kolyushin, posetovali at a recent meeting of the CEC that early with the candidates, at least the topic of the debate was agreed upon, now “the practice is ruined.” Pamfilova promised to spend with the broadcasters “appropriate consultations”. The proviso, however, that the conversation will be very delicate and that to encroach on the competence of channels in her plans is not included.

In General, to expect a radical change of the scenario does not seem worth it. Moreover, the law on presidential elections, and indeed on the side of “broadcasting organizations”. Their civic duty is limited by the need to: a) take half (two thirds in the case of the second round) provided candidates with free airtime “to conduct discussions, round tables or other joint campaigning events”; b) to ensure equal conditions for the candidates to use this share the air. All. In what form are “joint campaigning events” – on the patterns of transfer “To the barrier” or show “Dom-2” is, to say the politesse, none of our damn business.

As you can see, the preference now given to the latter. The reasoning for the decision is absolutely transparent. First, the format chosen provides the maximum possible for this genre ratings. A permanent fight between locked in one of the Studio’s opponents are much more watchable than the pompous candidate’s speech. The latter would be interesting only if someone from “the magnificent seven” was even the slightest chance to fulfill their ambitions in life.

The second and perhaps the decisive fact: the puppet show emphasizes the benefit dignity of the candidate, initially refused the debate.

But, as you know, is good in moderation. Ksenia is absolutely right, claiming that the copy in many respects even surpassed the original, that the participants “House-2” behave decently, some of the participants in the debate. This is some kind of “Madhouse-2”. Or, more accurately, a “Madhouse-2018”. Comforting “patients” can be only that the scandal is very likely the only thing that will be remembered ELEKTOR their participation in these less predictable, but such a fun “big races”.

Read the article: “the Debate of the presidential candidates rebuffed: “Where the head of the transport Department?””

Expert opinion on whether participation in the debates affect the election rating of candidates was divided.

“Debate is beneficial to the candidates of the second echelon, – said political analyst Konstantin Kalachev. – They had and have the opportunity to score points at the expense of the first three. To date, the ratings than statistical error only Putin, Zhirinovsky and Grudinina. Catch-up have the opportunity to draw attention to himself, as did Sobchak, pouring Zhirinovsky water. Suraykin could ottoptatsya on Grudinin. Yavlinsky would earn points at the anti-war rhetoric and criticism of Putin. But in terms of preparedness while allocating only Sobchak. To outsiders, the principle of all publicity except an obituary. Corridor their possibilities much wider. From the point of view of experience, public speaking skills, abilities to use different tricks and ways to attract attention from an experienced TV presenter, which is not alien to the theatre and cinema, there is a certain advantage.”

Kalachev sure that the debate is first and foremost a show. “The main thing is the emotion and artistry. To some participants this is not enough,” he said.

According to analyst Abbas Gallyamov, debate is a very serious mechanism of pre-election struggle for a rating, however, with one caveat – don in Russia.

“Sometimes the debate is able to determine the fate of elections. It is known, for example, that in 1960 Kennedy won the election from Nixon thanks to the debate, he explained. – In many respects the debates helped Obama to win in 2012, the year MITT Romney. However, the current Russian discussions of the candidates on TV all this in no way is not true. First, they are not involved Prime candidate. It defeats the whole debate is 90%. Real contractions they become empty the view that the final result does not affect. The second problem is the awkward timing of the show. Two key channel – put them early in the morning when people are running to work, and late in the evening when people go to bed. The third reason is the format itself. It is built so that the discussion of candidates there is practically not occur. Each one speaks with the lead, while the others listen to him. It’s too academic and boring. Such debates to a mass audience is not interesting, they do not have the necessary drama. Therefore, the final balance of votes they will have no effect”.

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