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Ian McAllister and Stephen White, "Democracy, Political Parties and Party Formation in Postcommunist Russia," Party Politics , 1 (January, 1995), 49-72.

First Paragraph:
Postcommunist Russia has yet to see the emergence of a party system, at least in the accepted western sense of the term. Although the collection of political parties and groups that currently exists is best characterized as embryonic, this seems to have fueled, rather than inhibited, speculation about the nature of the party system that will eventually dominate a democratic Russia (see, for example, Kitschelt, 1992; Evans and Whitefield, 1993; Sakwa, 1993; White et al., 1994b). Nor are such questions merely academic: many observers have regarded the party system in a country as the key to understanding political performance, with strong party systems both contributing to and reflecting a healthy, stable democracy, and weak party systems indicating an ineffective or unstable system (Powell, 1982: 74).

Figures and Tables:
Table 1: Attitudes to different political systems (%).
Table 2: Public opinion towards political parties (%).
Table 3: Popular views and intending vote for 20 political parties and groups(%).
Table 4: Patterns of party support (factor loadings).
Table 5: Intending vote for party groupings.
Table 6: Sources of support for reformist, nationalist and communist political parties.

Last Paragraph:
The results imply, contrary to Sakwa (1993), that while stable political parties are some way from emerging, and notwithstanding the popular skepticism displayed towards the parties themselves and about the motivations of those who have established them, an embryonic party system is in the process of emerging. However, that party system is unlikely to follow the socio-economic cleavage model proposed by Kitschelt (1992) since, as we have shown, the divisions are complex and the possibilities for coalitions and mergers between the various groupings are considerable. Equally, the results of this and any other survey-based investigation should be regarded with an element of caution, given the difficulty of ensuring an adequate national sample, the relative novelty of parties as a phenomenon and the continuing reluctance of Russian respondents to answer survey questions as straight-forwardly as would be the case in the West. What does seem clear is that there will be substantial voter volatility, as Evans and Whitefield (1993) argue, since none of the groupings can count on any secure social basis of support, and what bases exist are ideological in nature. There is, accordingly, much scope for personalities and events to mobilize voters for short-term aims.