Women in politics: Yarovaya and Poklonskaya – the most hyped deputies of new State Duma

Women in politics: Yarovaya and Poklonskaya – the most hyped deputies of new State Duma
Irina Yarovaya and Natalya Poklonskaya

Political analysts attribute the media popularity of these deputies to their outrageous statements.

Vice Speaker Irina Yarovaya and Deputy Chairwoman of the Security Committee and former Prosecutor of the Crimea Natalya Poklonskaya (both are members of the United Russia party) are the most hyped deputies of the State Duma of the new convocation. Such are the conclusions made in the study ‘Coefficient of usefulness of State Duma deputies’ conducted by the Deputat Klub online portal. Its authors studied the activity of parliamentarians from October 2016 to February 2017.

According to the study co-author, political scientist Aleksey Martynov, to assess deputies’ media popularity, they used the data of Medialogy and MediaMetrics, which assessed not only the speeches of parliamentarians in the media, but also their activity and mentions in social networks, as well as appearance in TV programs.

The study shows that Vice Speaker Irina Yarovaya is the most popular politician in media, while the former Crimean prosecutor is second. United Russia member Sergey Neverov is third in the top three leaders. Such media attention is not so much due to the parliamentary activity, but due to Poklonskaya’s image, Martynov told the RBC. Previously, Poklonskaya claimed that the bust of Nicholas II was secreting myrrh and performed ‘Murka’ on a Russian TV show.

The top ten also includes United Russia deputies Vitaly Milonov (6th) and Pyotr Tolstoy (10th). The two got caught up in a media scandal because of their statements, which aroused the indignation of the Jewish community. The only representative from a party other than the United Russia among the ten most media-active deputies is Head of the International Affairs Committee, Liberal Democrat Leonid Slutsky (9th). Communist Valery Rashkin, famous for a series of scandalous bills, such as banning state employees and deputies from owning property abroad and prohibiting the foreign training of officials' children, which, incidentally, have not received the support of the State Duma, is 11th by popularity in the media.

Experts also calculated the activity of deputies in the Duma in terms of the number of bills introduced and speeches given. Among the top three are Oleg Nilov (A Just Russia), Pavel Krasheninnikov (United Russia), and Nikolay Kolomeytsev (the Communist Party of the Russian Federation). At the same time, the expert emphasized that when drawing up the rating, the data on the leaders of four factions and Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin were not taken into account, since they were federal politicians and their indicators would in any case be higher than those of other parliamentary colleagues.

The extreme performance indicators of A Just Russia Duma deputies were the most remarkable; they were significantly higher than those of the Communists, Martynov said. According to him, this is due to the fact that Sergey Mironov’s team of this convocation is not just introducing many bills, but usually sign them by the entire faction.

As the faction’s Deputy Chairman Mikhail Emelyanov told RBC, in order for a deputy of their faction to introduce a bill, it is first necessary to receive the approval of the factional expert council. “And this is why other deputies often join the bill after some time,” he notes. Both in the previous and the one before last session, A Just Russia has always been in the first positions by activity. The Communists and the Liberal Democratic Party have often lagged behind, since "we have always wanted to show that we protect our voters,” Emelyanov adds.

The analysis of deputies’ media activity does not reflect the quality of their work; they simply make scandalous statements, which spread into the media, political analyst Igor Bunin believes. According to him, even Volodin, who strives to change the image of the State Duma, is not able to do anything with it: “He once said in one of the commentaries, that they cannot be forbidden [to make scandalous statements], as they are free people,” the political analyst told RBC.

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