Try to use his authority and great power to negotiate with the Federal Assembly (equivalent of Senate) in order to bring it to support the pursued radical reformism policy.
Try to neutralize the parliament before its disbanded
Avow defeat of radical reforms and transform political paradigm to take into account new realities.
For a while Mr. Yeltsin hesitated whether to choose the second or the third alternative, and various political groups struggled to influence his decision. In Autumn 1994 the relationship between the executive and the legislative at showed signs of becoming constructive. Whatever looming confrontation with the President was prevented by speakers of the both chambers. Leaders of Duma's major factions didn't stand in the way either. All in all Duma showed no disapproval for government reshuffles, if only it wished them to be more radical.
The President's message to the Federal Assembly of '94 proclaimed the idea of strengthening Russia. This proclamation had many important consequences. On the one hand, this new accent in the official policy was recognized by the opposition as an attempt to regain initiative in propaganda and state-oriented ideology. One the other hand it suddenly exposed a vast unoccupied area in the political layout, which triggered aggressive attempts to dominate it. There is still another essential consequence. After the proclamation many political forces that had been up to that moment rather passive started to become more and more involved in the process of making crucial political decisions.
Inasmuch as the President agreed in his words with many items of opposition's program, thus neutralizing it in a way, brand-new and stronger opposition began to emerge comprising the forces that have been taking active part in the state policy since Autumn 1991. At the same time the 'primary opposition' continued as such more nominally than factually. That opposition rejected not the course of the reforms themselves, but rather views and actions of living people who realized them.
The assumption that political struggle in Russia will be concentrated on various political niches, some of which may be clearly seen even now, sounds very realistic. Those who will win in this struggle will secure long-term political capital, and such a struggle has become obvious in the last few months. These political niches include the following:
National idea, patriotism, consolidation of the state.
Political conservatism, centrism.
Local government involvement.
Business representatives' political organizations.
So a lot of parties and even the executive itself are going for those political niches. However the sheer scope of problems related to the nationalist idea and patriotism in politics, consolidation of the state on the basis of traditions and traditional practices still leave a lot of space in this niche even though virtually each and every party and block in Russia manifests great interest in those issues. No wonder then that the absence of a conceptual Nationalist idea has already engendered bitter struggle. It is this idea that has become lately one of the hottest if not the hottest issue on the scene and in Russia on the whole. Opinions vary greatly. Some authors claim in their works that no state could ever exist without a strong nationalist idea - a system of values derived from national and geopolitical framework of a society.
The problems of ideological choice were covered in several issues of Russian patriotic magazine "Obozrevatel" (observer) in the articles called like "The National Doctrine of Russia", "Russia Today: A Real Chance" and "Modern Russian Idea and State". Liberal, hardcore, socialist, and conservative concepts represent a layer of opinions that stand out by themselves: great power, revival of the once-great power of the Russian Empire. Scholars working for Obozrevatel call forth for the immediate elaboration of the national doctrine based on the spiritual factors. One of the worst errors of the President and his allies in the rightist scholars' opinion is disregard of those factors. They are sure that "nation must regain its dignity, see clearly its historical prospects and feel confidence in itself and its future. It has always been important for Russia to have a 'master goal', which would capture the fancy of the whole nation and in an attempt to achieve it the nation would unleash its spiritual potential to the fullest. It is important that the idea of great power become state ideology and political practice - state policy in the end." Original way of Russia's development is inevitable in reality and it is this original way that will be supported by Russian mentality. However, the revival of nation's spiritual potential is not the purpose unto itself. It is thought of as the indispensable promise of economic, political and social growth.
Today's Russian society is not divided into leftists and rightists, but into those who stand for a strong state and those who are against it. Everyone understands that only state power can overturn destructive tendencies in Russian society.
Similar ideas are propounded by agrarian conservatives, social democrats and communists. The party of Russian unity and concord declared that its main idea is uniting parts of the country and preserving the integrity of the state. This was proclaimed just before the 1993 elections. Some liberals also tend to recognize the rationale behind these ideas that was described as "enlightened patriotism" in their programs. This conception was most thoroughly formulated by V. Shumeiko (ex-speaker of the upper chamber of parliament) who presented the "unified Russian idea" in the form of tri-union:
supremacy of mind over matter
preference to decent well-being over excessive wealth
supremacy of good over evil
The situation in Russia makes it inevitable for communists and partisans of great power to draw near their positions. The Communist party of Russia doesn't have anything among its main postulates that would contradict the idea of unification and great power. On the contrary both unification and great power (Communists call it "self-sufficiency") maybe only amplified with aspiration implement the sacred ideals of justice and fraternity. Even foreign experts and politologists recognize now that all the pro-western reformers failed because they didn't take into account the rejection of Western liberal values by the significant part of Russian population, and their acceptance of socialism.
Recently attempts have been made to propose a social democratic alternative of Russia's future development (by Rybkin, V. Bakatin). It includes multi-partisan system, 'social partnership' conception, and national interests' protection. However this conception is not yet properly developed and it serves mainly as an element of criticism aimed at 'cynical, primitive capitalism' engendered by the total refusal of whatever ideology by the state and those in power.
Only a few political unions make attempts on serious theoretical elaboration and practical implementation of a national idea. Among the m are the Congress of Russian Communities and a state patriotic union called Spiritual Heritage. The Congress of Russian Communities headed by D. Rogozin proclaims patriotism an 'instinct for national survival' where main objective is the resurrection of Russian people as a unique national organism, the strengthening of its unified spirit and state order. The activity and program declarations of the Congress have some specific features in them. First of all, the attention is mainly directed towards the Russian ethnicity, great influence of the Orthodox church and the rejection of Russia's new constitution (adopted in 1993). Practical consequences of such an approach include limiting the scope of Russia's potential political partners, especially non-Russians. On the other hand, the Congress of Russian Communities declared and seeks to implement the program of social and personal protection of Russians who found themselves 'abroad' after the collapse of the USSR and are subject to discrimination by the governments of the newly formed sovereign states. As a matter of fact the leaders of Russia ignored for a long time these processes or just didn't pay enough attention to them, which was noted by the Congress. However particular emphasizing of this question prevents the Congress form active influence on Russia's home policy and narrows its scope of activity.
Unlike the Congress of Russian Communities the patriotic movement called 'Spiritual Heritage' tried from the very beginning to exercise influence over the domestic policy of Russia. Among various kinds of activities it suggested to various Duma factions for carrying out was to employ the services of highly qualified experts. Those experts are supposed to act as advisors for legislative and thus they'd contribute to Russia's overcoming its crisis unleashing its intellectual potential to the fullest based on nationalist patriotic ideology. As opposed to the Congress, Spiritual Heritage movement calls upon various political and social forces to carry out a constructive dialogue, and its does not shun political partnership, which is proved by its making a pre-electoral block with the Communist Party of Russia. Spiritual Heritage considers the Communist party to be the most consistent 'statists'.
The concept that forms an electoral union 'Fatherland' is as rather similar to the ones already described with the exception that the niche its leaders (S.Baburin, Y. Glaziev, K. Zatulin) intend to fill is described by them as 'constructive anticommunist opposition of statists'. Differences in opinions between the members of Fatherland and communists (especially those of Communist Party of Russia) have, it seems, exclusively tactical bearing. Once this union was going to accept some high-ranking politicians and leaders of such organizations as the People's Alliance, (S. Glaziev, A. Golovin, O. Rumyancev), Entrepreneurs for a New Russia (K. Zatulin), Derzhava (A. Rutskoi) the Federation of Manufacturers (Y. Skokov) the Party of Peoples Self-rule (S. Fyodorov).
Among the unions that have made national idea in its patriotic variant their basic ideology, Spiritual Heritage is in the most advantageous position has it has formed a bloc with the most popular, well organized and disciplined party (the CPR.)
The ideology of conservatism plays the least part in the life of modern Russia. It is consistently put into practice by the Party of Russian unity and Concord (the PRUC), which is the only party that has begun active elaborating of its own partisan philosophy that could be applicable to the realities of modern Russia's multipartisan system. The twelfth of October 1994 saw the publishing of a 'Conservative Manifesto' signed by S. Shakhrai and V. Nikolov. This manifesto proclaims conservative ideology, different from Western models, necessary for Russia as a pledge of stability and a means against waving to and fro in politics. This proposal is motivated by the assertion that it is conservative ideology that is most effective during the periods when a society lives through 'the erasure of confidence in social political institutions, when crime is spreading, legal and moral values are ignored.' The starting point of conservative ideology is considered to be respect for traditions as a universal value, on which all political platforms should be based.
As a whole, the 'Conservative Manifesto' contained many program planks propounded by the PRUC in December 1993: the preservation of the old and, at the same time, movement forward; private property along with public property (within necessary limits); effective economy founded upon the co-existence of private entrepreneurship, group co-operation, and state regulation; freedom of competition, the preservation of 'eternal' values; stable, democratic and responsible state; federalism and the growth of regional autonomy while the promise of Russia's integrity remains unconditioned.
It is important to mention that conservative ideas declared by the PRUC are only very close to the ideas of political centrism, embodied in practice by the PRUC itself. Both politicians and the electorate have an ambiguous attitude toward centrist ideas. The election campaign of December 1993 and December 1995 showed that centrist ideas were not supported by the electorate, which was one of the causes for the defeat of the Civil Union. On the other hand, experts say, the results of elections witness that about one third of Russia's active population pins their hopes on moderate slogans and, in the end, on centrism. Until recently, on the of the principle drawbacks of Russia's centrism was the lack of its own, especially social political, program (program documents repeated many theses of other parties trying to avoid extremes in formulas.) Also centrism did not have a broad and strong social basis because a middle class, which is still missing in Russia, has always been traditional support of centrism. Because of this, Russia's centrism either remains merely theoretical in character or is obliged to find support among the structures of supreme power.