VTsIOM conucted a poll recently on the members of the Government, and I was kind of surprised by the results.
First of all, Sergei Shoigu has the highest approval rating of anyone in the government (people were not asked about Putin). I have mixed feelings about Shoigu. He has held the post of Emergency Situations Minister since Boris Yeltsin came to power. On the one hand, I feel like he must be doing something right, and his approval rating has always been pretty high. But then yesterday’s incident makes me pause to think. His solution to the Bulgaria tragedy is to put black boxes in all boats. What? That’s his response? Quite frankly, the man has never been good in an “emergency” (Beslan, Dubrovka, etc.), and I’m still not sure where he is getting such high numbers. Unless people are just saying that they like him because they know who he is (he has been in the Government since 1991, after all). That’s the only thing I can come up with anyway. Also, presumably, the poll was conducted before the Bulgaria tragedy.
Here are some more numbers:
- Sergei Lavrov — 47% approval rating. Okay, I’ll buy that. He’s one of the most public figures of the Government since he is the head diplomat.
- Sergei Ivanov — 32% approve of the job he’s doing (or have heard of him, anyway).
And the lows are:
- Andrei Fursenko — 50% disapprove of the job he is doing. Hardly suprising since he’s the face of education “reform”, and most teachers are upset about it.
- Tatiana Golikova — 41% disapprove of the job she is doing. What is she doing, anyway? I don’t even know.
- Alexei Kudrin — 34% disapprove of the job he is doing. Well, he’s not exactly populist, is he? And I doubt he’s really out to win any popularity contests. But then none of these people are, are they? Their job doesn’t depend on what the general populace think of them. It only depends on what Putin and Medvedev think of them, and their work.
Some other numbers:
- 75% of people don’t know who Igor Sechin is;
- 72% don’t know who Vyacheslav Volodin is; and
- 71% have never heard of Igor Shuvalov.
I was a little shocked when I saw those numbers, but I bet if you asked Americans the same questions about their Government, they would say the same thing.