July 6, 2020, 7:54 p.m.
Dear colleagues and friends,
The third issue of our journal is divided into two parts. The three papers that make up the first part cover various issues of electoral politics.
The paper by Nikolai Grishin serves as the opening act, where he discusses the institution of electoral system regulation at the constitutional level in various countries. Although the piece coincides with the time when a large number of amendments are being introduced into the Constitution of Russia, the issues raised there look to the future.
The paper by Maksim Prikolota is a survey-based analysis of the work performed by members of precinct election commissions. This is an attempt to understand the prerequisites of members following the procedures established by the legislation. The author deduces that a demanding observer plays a significant part in making the members follow the procedure.
In the first and second issues of our journal, we published reviews of the recent elections that took place in the countries going through various stages of democratic transit, namely Mongolia and Spain. The present issue continues the tradition with a review of the 2015–2019 elections in Portugal written by Andrei Baranov.
The second part of the issues takes on a form of discussion. The 2019 Moscow City Duma election provided several points of interest, one of them being the impact that “Smart Voting” campaign had on vote returns and election results.
A brief preface by Arkadii Lyubarev opens the discussion by raising the issue. The follow-up paper by Andrei Buzin argues in favor of “Smart Voting” having a significant impact on the results of the opposition candidates. Ivan Bolshakov and Vladimir Perevalov counter Buzin’s arguments, as well as arguments made by other analysts. Estimates made by Bolshakov and Perevalov indicate that “Smart Voting” had a much lesser impact, and its mistakes even brought defeat to the opposition candidates in some constituencies. The paper by Arkadii Lyubarev concludes the discussion by establishing “Smart Voting” as one of the factors that influenced both vote returns and election results.
I hope the new issue will further secure the journal’s status in academic circles and the array of topics and authors will continue to expand.
Arkadii E. Lyubarev