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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Parliamentary Campaign Gains Momentum

In the close race of the 2007 campaign, the main contenders claim credit and assign blame as they see fit.

The Party of Regions touts economic growth (but not the underlying income distribution) and exploits its self-styled notion of stabilnist, or political stability, as the vote-getter. On closer examination, one can detect paternalistic, if not cronyist, undercurrents in that value proposition.

PM Yanukovych will strive to atone for the broken promise of “better living today” with modest last-minute wage increases. Fearing a damning referendum on its "regionomic" policies, the Blue camp will frame the Orange camp for “putting spokes in its wheels.”

Note the extensive use of fear appeals early in the PRU campaign — a defection prevention program targeted at its core electorate. Later on, however, tub-thumping and attack advertising was phased out in favor of soft-sell and contrast techniques that appeal to undecideds, the most coveted prize.

BYuT and NUNS are vying for a bigger slice of the Orange pie, boastful of their Promethean role in bringing about the elections.

NUNS markets the image of a born-again, gutsy President Yushchenko and the movement to lift parliamentary immunity to end the practice of sheltering lawbreakers. In a me-too manner, the PRU has rolled out its own beggar-thy-MP program to slash the MPs’ overblown salaries and perks.

But experts caution that procedural intricacies and the expected makeup of the next Verkhovna Rada make this noble cause appear more inspirational than operational.

BYuT, energized by its victory in the Constitutional Court that restores public employee benefits, will expand on its leader’s feminine mystique.

Nothing works better for her than the charismatic notion of girlpower: the heart-in-hand icon of a justice-seeking amazon that Tymoshenko has cultivated over the years. It perfectly sets her apart from the rest of the Orange camp, largely a boys’ club.

And by the way, her emotionally charged Joan of Arc ethos has found a new creative outlet. Few have failed to notice cryptic ads featuring handpicked “endorsements” from Michelle Nostradamus, the 16th-century French apothecary whose writings are widely interpreted as prophetic. Many viewers might be intrigued by the idea that this source, well-known in Ukraine, has something important to say about her.

Even more politically provocative were some of her other ads. Ukrainian television channels unanimously refused to air an ad that lumped together Yushchenko, Moroz, and Kuchma until it was edited for “political correctness.” The publicity this story generated on the Web more than offset any losses due to censorship. The Ukrainian Breakthrough, Tymoshenko’s can-do white paper, caused a commotion in cognoscenti circles.

The campaign will climax in September, as vacation season draws to a close and people pour back into their daily lives.


Anonymous said...

Wow- you have a way stronger stomach than I do because I am having a very difficult time with the 'virtual politics' (yuck.) Esp. as there is complete disregard for anything but vote-getting.

"The price of happiness"

I know, I know this vote is crucial and yes, it will impact who will be the next Pres. and the PoR are out for 300 votes but nonetheless cheap theatrics and one-shot deals is not the solution to Ukraine's economic woes.


Taras said...

“We have what we have,” as former President Kravchuk put it:)

The article offers an issue-based summary of who’s who on depopulation prevention in this campaign.

Election campaigns mark the often short-lived honeymoon between the Ukrainian people — steadily decreasing in number — and their politically promiscuous representatives.

With the election over, the politicians file for divorce and revert to their old ways, but the people still retain some of their “wedding gifts.”

It’s high time the Ukrainian people redesigned this seasonal social contract.

Anonymous said...

Another disaster (major fire in Kherson oblast) and again the people in charge (Tsushko) is being singled out for special attention for allowing the blaze to go way out of control.

I know - Ukraine has what it has. It is, what it is. And it could be way better but it could be way worse.

"and the orange revolution in Ukraine will never happen in Zimbabwe because of the brutality of the uniformed forces among other factors."
'Zimbabwe: Challenges of a democratic transition'
Aug. 21, 2007

But I want better for Ukraine and Ukrainians.


Anonymous said...

Ukrainians are among the unhappiest people in the world.

"World's happiest nations, according to a survey of 95 countries:
Denmark, with a rating of 8.2, is No. 1, followed by Switzerland, Austria, Iceland and Finland.

At the other end of the scale:
Tanzania rated 3.2, behind Zimbabwe, Moldova, Ukraine and Armenia."

"Wealth counts, but most studies of individuals show income disparities count more. Surprisingly, however, citizens are no happier in welfare states, which strive to mitigate the distortions of capitalism than in purer free-market economies."

full info. on World Database of Happiness


Anonymous said...

Getting the Pres. of the country involved should not be necessary to bring attention to a burning forest.

"Як роздратований Ющенко з Шуфричем пожежу гасив (ФОТО)"


Anonymous said...

for everyone who loves opinion polls - this wiki page has them collected on their UA parliamentary election 2007 page


Anonymous said...

Useless looking for meat priced 12 hv for kilo (which according to PoR is the price). But what really gets me about this story is the look of joy on the old woman's face after she was given the food purchased by Lutsenko.

"Юрій Луценко марно шукав на базарі в Харкові м’ясо по 12 гривень за кілограм. Фото"


Anonymous said...

In contrast read the Business Week article (which does not point out senior citizens relying on begging to survive.) "Ukraine: What Crisis?"


Taras said...

Happy Independence Day!

What can I say? Thankfully, Ukraine is not Zimbabwe. Regrettably, Ukraine is not Poland either.

Chinese expansion into Africa smacks of neo-colonialism. Despite increased investment, improvements in living standards have been marginal. Even Western companies and governments sometimes lack “best practices.” (Ditto the USSR, whose communist experiments left Africa with a legacy of tyranny, poverty, and AK-47 heraldry.)

I wish Africa well, and hope our country will repair the Orange Revolution — a beacon of change to guide African nations in their human development.

President Yushchenko and Emergency Management Minister Shufrych made such a nice fire brigade, didn’t they?;)

Now how can the President even think about firing a “fellow firefighter” — after all they’ve been through together?:)))

More pics from the scene:

The BusinessWeek article rightfully points out that Ukraine’s political crisis, contrary to the siren calls of Yanukovych, has not resulted in civil strife and economic havoc. Not a single Western company has pulled out, and more are coming through.

In other respects, however, BW projects an overly bullish attitude in that it highlights Kyiv’s display of wealth while downplaying Ukraine’s sub-European living conditions. Despite a growing middle class, taking Kyiv — Ukraine’s richest city — as the benchmark hurts the objectivity of this report. A more balanced account should have included a trip to a public HMO outside Kyiv.

And finally, BW should have teased U.S. developers by reveling in Kyiv’s “still-strong” housing market:)

Thank you so much for your regular contributions, Luida:) Without you, I would have missed quite a few good stories;)!

Z Dnem Nezalezhnosti!

David said...

Ukraine is still my favorite procrastination read.


Taras said...

How about edification;)? Good to hear you again, David:)!