In 1995, Russia held a huge political campaign — Russians had to elect deputies state Duma the second convocation. The elections came 43 political organizations, 25 in the end got less percentage of votes. Parties and electoral blocs were for all tastes: block healer juna, “Generation limit”, “Union of workers of housing and communal services”, “Cedar”. But best of all I remember one of the outsider race — drinking-the diner Party of beer lovers. They rolled a barrel of Duma, throw misinformation about Michael Jackson, bribed with beer NTV, and hired Boris Moiseyev to collect unsatisfied women. Half a million people voted for them. How was it possible, “the Tape.ru” said the leader of the party, political analyst Konstantin Kalachev.
“Ribbon.ru”: How it all began? Why beer?
Kalachev: it All happened quite by accident. I ran for the state Duma in 1993, according to lists of Party of Russian unity and Concord, was in the constituency and on the list. The district lost, and on the list — my colleagues and comrades said that now the people who stand in front of me in the list, will go to the Executive branch, and I am a Deputy of the state Duma, some have congratulated me. But Sergei Mikhailovich Shakhrai, the leader of the party, decided otherwise.
a Deputy, I did not. Some suffering for this reason I decided to compensate, or to pour a beer. Near the beer stand I met my friend Dmitry Shestakov, with whom we studied together at MGPI of Lenin in the history Department, served together in the army, he ran only on the list of “Civil Union” Arkady Volsky. He, too, lost. We decided to have a beer at my house. Two of the historian drank beer, discussed life and came to the conclusion that no decent party in Russia. I asked him: “And which party you would vote without hesitation?” He said he would be the party of beer lovers, I would have voted for it.
I Have after the campaign home Fax machine, printer and computer, I wrote an information message about the creation in Russia of the Party of beer lovers, and sent him all of the agencies. Then I was told of ITAR-TASS asked how you can join the party. In the same way responded and the rest. We were still sitting and drinking beer when the TV announced that Moscow hosted the Congress party created.
the next day I woke up and the party is already in all the media was present. Dima asked what to do next. I said that I will not engage in clowning, but if it is interesting and I want to continue, then try to arrange a press conference as party Chairman.
For the press conference picked the bar “Gambrinus”, we agreed that our cameras and their beer, for free. When I came in and saw 14 cameras, and half — foreign, I realized that I wanted 15 minutes of fame. Hell with it, with serious politics, where I worked from 1988-1989.
I sat down at the table and said, “Hello, I’m Secretary General of the Party of beer lovers”. It was totally impromptu.
What you told the journalists?
I said beer is power, unity and harmony. What Russia needs an expansion of spaces of freedom. What traditional parties, thinking only about the parliamentary mandates and authorities, do not reflect the interests of a wide circle of Russians. And that beer, as a symbol, not worse than other characters. Brings together beer, beer brings. Beer is a symbol of peace, understanding and kindness.
Then came the clown party-drinking-diner’s Declaration — “Everyone has the right to drink beer and drink beer”. But, by the way, the program of the party was very serious.
the interest which was manifested to the party, have convinced me that maybe this is a bit of a workout. First it was, well, optional, but then came the regional network, there were members of the party, it was entered by many famous people.
Famous people — who is this?
Journalists, musicians, politicians. The party anthem was written lemonade Joe — Valery Shapovalov. With us was a “Time Out”, “Mister Twister”. The Declaration we have written Yuz Aleshkovsky. With us was the greatest physicist Boris Rauschenbach.
What was the programme of the party?
It was a libertarian project. We were opponents of the authorities, because they thought that the authorities are vodka drinkers, that is, Yeltsin. We talked vodka — a drink that fosters aggression and promoting wars, social injustice, and a lot more. Then in the midst was the conflict in Chechnya, and we were of the world, of course, and against the strengthening of the security services. Normal kind of social-liberal program.
And you decided to go on elections to the Duma. What’s in it for you — parody or experiment?
of Course the experiment was more. The party of beer lovers was already in Belarus, Poland. And by the way, we developed international relations. We had a joint event with the Ukrainian party “samovarnik” beer. In parallel, we undertook various festivals, to have a beer in excess. On the other hand communicated with business tycoons.
by the Way, Gusinsky, whom we made a request to establish NTV, said: “You are me, even the beer did not put!” We had Packed a basket of beer and roach, but on NTV us and was not allowed.
What kind of beer he was carrying?
There was different, both domestic and imported.
In the process of recruiting new members a lot of beer drinking?
party events — Yes. Although there were many who did not drink. We were for the fraction of abstainers.
And the faction lovers of vodka was, as written on Wikipedia?
This is a lie, lovers of vodka we had. But it was a great faction in which I had an argument with Irina Khakamada. It was a fraction of the unsatisfied women, which was headed by Boris Moiseev. I asked Khakamada to join this faction, it offended me and then never said Hello.
and Moses were with you?
Yes, some time. We were part of a big show, so the musicians treated us with sympathy. Together, we are actively engaged in animation — concerts, parties, festivals and so forth.
Khakamada in the end reconciled?
No. Though I were joking, I was talking about dissatisfaction with government, political and economic system.
And other policies how were you treated?
We hung out at their feet. It told me Yavlinsky. We encountered him on television, I had to make-up, and he took my chair. I told him a couple of gentle, and he told me that here, they say, the fate of the country be decided, and we are underfoot. To which I told him that he will never become a great politician and with that attitude towards people he did not Shine. And so it happened.
Where do you get the money for the campaign?
Money, in fact, was quite a bit.
Write about 300 thousand U.S. dollars.
Maybe even a little more.
Quite a large sum.
we Should thank the then President of the Moscow commodity exchange Yury Milyukov, who issued the call to entrepreneurs, and gradually, little by little they gained the same amount. For them it was not a big burden, and we had the opportunity to turn on the TV our videos. Milyukov seems to be even Boris Berezovsky applied to other large businesses, but basically all refused. Someone gave money to behind them.
If you look at the results, it is quite expensive you stood every voice — $ 300 thousand to 500 thousand people. It’s $ 600.
Yes, I agree, but it’s cheaper than it is now obtained almost all parties.
Sponsors are not upset?
No, it’s, again, not a lot of money. Upset was mostly me.
What led to the sad end?
unfortunately, I was separated from my first wife, I had a whirlwind romance with a well-known journalist, whom we parted on the eve of the election campaign. I got depressed and it affected the progress of the campaign and the result. Although I tried, but the drive and courage were not. The campaign came up with a rating of 1.5 per cent, we finished with a half percent.
the number of members we were one of the first, followed by the tens of thousands. Another thing is that many people in the end voted in favor of others. The campaign itself, unfortunately, was not very successful from the point of view of content.
What was the error in the campaign?
first, it was impersonal. So we decided that all the party — autocratic, and we do not bet on the person, and the brand label. In fact, the policy in Russia is very personalized. I was young, handsome and well spoken, but did not itself stick out in policeman, but in vain.
Second — there was no clear content strategy. I don’t even want to remember now, honestly. And the third part of the budget we distributed to the regions, and the money our friends spent happily and drank. Although I’ve traveled the country, met people…
People came to talk with the Party of beer lovers serious?
And serious too. For that matter, the name of the Yabloko serious or not?
the Party named some fruit. But under the name “Apple” people tried to prepare a serious program. And we had about the same. We talked about what should change in the country: about taxes, about the relationship of the government and the people freedoms and rights.
But at least you got a lot of experience.
the Conduct of Federal campaigns is always interesting. How many then people who are “turnkey” made such a campaign? So I became one of them. These 300 thousand dollars or more was actually spent on training me as an analyst.
in addition, it was fun.
Yes, it was fun. For example, we sent Yeltsin a case of beer with a proposal to switch from vodka to beer. I Once said that we have decided to spend all the money on an invitation of Michael Jackson, who will speak after the party Congress. But it turned out very funny. NTV reported. After some time, Michael Jackson fell off the stage and broke his leg, and I had made a new statement: unfortunately, due to health problems, the singer will not be able to come to Russia.
we had a campaign, during which we rolled a beer barrel in the direction of the State Duma.
Just rolled a barrel of doom!
Yes, the whole trick is that you then have more freedom, and for all these shares no pre-applications are not required. We believed that we needed to create a reason literally every day. I think we eventually tired of the journalists, but by that time, for number of appearances in the media, we were among the leaders, we were off Japanese TV, Korean TV…
I didn’t hesitate to improvise. Remember, came to me Italian channel Rai 1 is the first channel of Italian television, and I told them a sad romantic story that I, as a Soviet teacher, watched the TV program “international panorama”, our only window to the world, and saw the woman of his dreams — Alessandra Mussolini, Deputy of the Italian Parliament the granddaughter Benito Mussolini. Said that, I said, “Cara MIA! Ti AMO! I love you! I also go to the Parliament, his party will create, succeed, go to Italy and offer you my hand and heart!” Then he called me Italian friends said that the whole week Italy uhohatyvalsya over the crazy Russian.
It was the endless happiness.
Yes, real rock-n-roll!
Now would such an atmosphere.
We, in fact, including the atmosphere and destroyed. The then government decided to bet on the leaching of the protest electorate and released on 43 elections political organizations, which was no less exotic names than we do. By the way, I negotiated with Yakubovich, offering to take the lead in our lists. In the end, he entered into a three movement “Kedr”. Another thing is that in people’s memory for some reason we left, and the rest forgotten.
Your money, by the way, spent a lot?
so I remained without money, that when I was invited to the Presidential Advisory Council, I had no money for the metro. I had to ask for money from passers-by. After the campaign had yet to pay small debts.
What then? You supported Yeltsin the election in 1996.
When was the election of the President, the Chairman of the party Shestakov thought we caused damage to Boris Nikolayevich in his time, and it is necessary to compensate. We had hoped that our offer of support will be appreciated, but not appreciated. Then I said that we have another option: a nomination for the presidency. And after that I said, “No, let’s keep Boris”. They did not want to continue a line of beer lovers and vodka lovers.
do you Yeltsin caused some damage and could cause it again?
Small, but we got nipped. Then I felt because of this a certain regret. Anyway, I am a supporter of democratic change, and I realized that things could get worse without Yeltsin. It is now accepted blame and kick, and in ‘ 96 there was hope that, at least, will not be worse.
Then, if you remember, every vote was important, and even those half a million people who voted for the Party of beer lovers, was a no electoral power. So what we got from Yeltsin’s team, which has helped to close some of the problems.
That is, given the budget?
Yes, some budget. With it and shut down our debts. Well, I bought a ticket. Everyone who supported Yeltsin, did not just. All I wanted from it to get something anyway. I thought all go — and I go, well I am a fool, or what? Our message of support for Yeltsin since almost nowhere left in the media, and we closed the party.
How do you evaluate those events from the perspective of the analyst?
From the point of view of political history of Russia, this is one of her little episodes that can ever be repeated. There is a demand for an alternative, audacity, drive, courage, irony and self-irony. I assure you, now, put in a line of parties the name of the Party of beer lovers in the poll “Levada-center” or polls and you will get a 1.5-2 percent. There is a request for something else — human, opposed to the traditional parties. Maybe our party just came prematurely. We had two Newspapers — “True beer lovers” and “Foam”, and now there are Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and now it is the fateful question, the historical choice between Communists Democrats.
And the mood of the people has changed a bit — less was this dark gloom, the standard of living rose.
When politics and elections were more honest then or now?
If to speak about elections, a lot of it was manipulative, but the vote count was honest, of course. Registration was quite simple and total control of everything was not.
by the Way, you know, when I first got in the media?
In 1993, when I ran for the state Duma, gave me money for the campaign — just a little bit. Moreover, such a dirty, greasy dollar bills that I couldn’t even exchange for rubles. I spent it in the supermarket — bought alcohol and alcohol paying with your agitators. Part of the paper I could still be exchanged and bought with the money flowers. So I held the action “instead of Flowers leaflets”, handed them out to women in his district. Now could it be perceived as bribery. And then people were talking about me on the radio.
Then, in the 90s, could be some kind of surprise and coincidence, and the election result was not always predictable. Can’t say whether the policy is then honest, but it was interesting.