Saturday, October 6, 2012

Russia: Debates of Opposition Coordinating Council

What follows is the first installment in a series of paraphrased transcripts from the debates [ru] between candidates for the upcoming elections of the first Coordinating Council of the Russian Opposition. Beginning on October 1 and ending on October 6, all 216 individuals running for seats on the CC will have the opportunity [ru] to participate in lightening-round debates aired live online [ru] by Dozhd Television. Viewers and CC-election-registered voters will then select 60 of the candidates to take part in a semifinal stage of debates, beginning on October 8 and ending on October 12. For the final stage, voters will select just 20 people, who will participate in the last debates beginning on October 15 and ending on October 19.
Each day at midnight, Dozhd TV airs roughly 90 minutes of debate coverage, spanning 6-8 groups, each containing four individual candidates. The debates are moderated by one of two hosts, either Yuri Saprykin or Demian Kudriavtsev. Candidates are given 30 seconds to introduce themselves, another 30 seconds to answer a group question, and a final 30 seconds to respond to a third question tailored to them specifically. Each debate lasts roughly 12 minutes.
Given those very strict time constraints, it's no surprise that very little debating actually occurs in this first “qualifying” stage. Candidates barely have enough time to introduce themselves, let alone interact on political issues. This dynamic will likely improve, as more debaters are eliminated from the competition.
Below, you will find paraphrased transcripts of the first four debates on October 1, Day 1 of the qualifying stage. In posts to follow, RuNet Echo will provide similar coverage of the remaining Coordinating Council debates.

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