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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Yushchenko Travels, Takes Pics, Talks Stabilnist

President Yushchenko: I’ve traveled with a camera, I’ve seen thousands of fantastic scenes, which I shot, and I would like to make some kind of album of the Ukraine that I’ve seen and of the world that I’ve seen.

Flip vertical, make a good perspective.

Photographer 1: One more second.
President Yushchenko: Got one?
Photographer 2: Not bad.
Photographer 1: One more second, one more second.
President Yushchenko: Kolya, you’re our only hope. Flip vertical!

Lately, our President has traveled a lot: Lybia, Egypt, Poland. He hasn’t not failed to “phone home.” Speaking in Warsaw on Tuesday, President Yushchenko rejected the idea of a two-round election, saying this about the upcoming mayoral election in Kyiv:

“The country needs stabilnist, quietude, not PR tricks and electioneering technologies.”

Let’s set the record straight on stabilnist. In Ukraine, stabilnist (стабільність) does not necessarily correspond to the English word stability (e.g. stability in the global financial market, stability in the Middle East, etc).

An analysis of Ukraine’s political context provides the following synonyms for stabilnist: servility, slavery, stupidity, sovok, spin, stagnation, special interests, submissiveness, societal sadomasochism. Regrettably, the S-word — so skillfully spun by the Yanukovych camp — has deeply penetrated Yushchenko’s vocabulary.

What does stabilnist mean in terms of Kyiv mayoral elections? Who stands to benefit from a single-round election?

The answer is Mayor Chernovetsky.

Faced with a dispersed collection of challengers, namely Klychko, Turchynov, Katerynchuk, et al, incumbent Mayor Chernovetsky has a high chance of winning a plurality. He did it in 2006, with 32 percent of the vote; he may do it again.

By supporting stabilnist instead of a two-round election, Yushchenko puts his stamp of approval on Chernovetsky’s stewardship of Kyiv and boosts his re-election chances.

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Anonymous said...

The obvious answer is to go with the strongest candidate since according to polls Turchynov, Katerynchuk have absolutely no chance and not to start fixing the election system to get the result. What are they going to do change all the election systems in each city or weight it up each timne according to the result needed? If Orange can't unit around a single winning candidate then they've got a problem.

Taras said...

Good point! They’ve got a big problem — the same old problem. Which means that the people who voted for them have got it, too.

Unless the Oranges unite around the strongest candidate, Chernovetsky will keep the job, securing a launch pad for Yanukovych’s presidency. The alternative will be a hybrid “Yanushchenko/Yushchenkovych” presidency/shyrka. But no Tymoshenko presidency.

Orange voter apathy will set it. Choosing the lesser evil will become a rare form of post-democratic art.

Still, I hope the Oranges will get their act together and will dispel my doomsayings.

elmer said...

Taras, I think that the most important thing is for the PEOPLE to get their act together.

The PEOPLE have so far allowed, and elected, thugs and crooks into office. As you yourself pointed out, Cherno, the space cadet, increased the corruption of Omelchenko exponentially, several orders of magnitude.

Recently, a contract was approved to finish renovations on the Kyiv stadium where the Euro 2012 football (soccer) finals will be held. A Taiwan firm won the bid.

Where is the contract? Why is it not public? Why are the costs not made public?

Ukrainian News had a story about the Kyiv planning commission, and its chief architect, approving a residential construction project.

How can the massive land grabitization have occurred despite a planning commission?

And why would 30% of people still indicate a willingness to vote for the Martian, Cherno, in spite of the public knowledge of corruption?

It's a very serious question.

I saw a video on Ukrainian Pravda not too long ago. Klychko and Cherno's little sidekick, Dolhy, in the hallway of the government office building.

A woman came up and was seeking help. Klychko did not run away.

Cherno's sidekick was trying to find every way he could to get rid of the woman, and was just about hiding in his office.

Klychko finally ended up telling Dolhy what a small man he was, and some other things.

Klychko is the guy who will not run away from the people, who will try to help them.

Cherno and his little thug sidekick are the guys who will continue the corruption, and hold press conference about running for mayor of "Ukraine."

The people of Kyiv ought to elect him Mayor of MARS, and he can then assume his post on MARS immediately.

elmer said...

Where does Klychko's support for mayor come from?

Is it true that he is being supported for mayor mainly by land developers?

If that's true, then that appears to be a problem.

Taras said...

Elmer, the planning commission probably gets a handsome commission for the plans it approves. No other theory comes to mind.

I call those 30 percent “vermicelli voters.” As pejorative as it sounds, it perfectly portrays the Pavlovian phenomena.

Marx said: “The last capitalist we hang shall be the one who sold us the rope.” Well, in Ukraine it’s communist propaganda that has given crony capitalists the rope.

Brainfucked by poverty and propaganda out of their wits, “vermicelli voters” gladly put their necks in a rope made of vermicelli, a staple of election handouts. That’s the deal.

They don’t know any better. They don’t care. There are slaves for stabilnist: money>power>money, or poverty>votes>poverty.

Unfortunately, their behavior makes thing worse for people who are looking for alternative social contracts. And there aren’t too many. One can find reports of Klychko packing his team with land barons like Partskhaladze and Andriyevsky. (Watch the Dovhy-Klychko faceoff.)

Today I will do another post on the Kyiv mayoral campaign.

elmer said...

Taras, Ukrainians are not the first ones to have invented crony capitalism.

One of the worst example of city government - Boss Tweed, in New York City, who ran Tammany Hall.

Giving out jobs was part of the technique. Handing out construction contracts was another.

Secret government, and no financial accounting was another.

Short introduction -

The Teapot Dome scandal was another.

In some states, judges actually had price lists based on the results that one wanted to purchase.

In Washington, D.C., Marion Barry, then mayor, was caught on camera snorting cocaine. He was black. the population of D.C. is predominantly black. He was re-elected despite the cocaine conviction. Didn't do the city much good.

He was eventually voted out. But at what cost to the citizens of D.C.?

There were plenty of scandals - one simply can't rely on the good will of individuals. It doesn't work.

I understand what you're saying.

But the only thing that happens if people elect Chernovetsky in return for a little vermicelli - is that they have to wait until the next election to get a little more vermicelli, while cherno and his thugs line their pockets even more.

I'm not telling you anything new - you already know this.

It takes people like you, who try to explain the "alternate social contract" and its benefits, to citizens of Kyiv.

One of the techniques to avoid corruption - civil service laws.

That means that government jobs are not handed out by the political victors. That means that government employees, other than elected officials, must pass exams for their jobs, and be hired on merit, rather than as a political favor.

It means that they are evaluated, and that they get fired only based on certain criteria, and not based on who won the election.

The civil service system in the US was implemented as a result of quite a few scandals.

The press helped a lot, by exposing a lot of the corruption, and suggesting what to do about it.

But the VOTERS are the only ones who can break the system.

Tymoshenko said - "давайте, збудуємо найліпшу державу в світі"

"let's build the best government in the world"

Ukrainians have a chance to do that.

Taras said...

Thank you for those gripping corruption classics, Elmer!

They put Ukraine a whole century behind America in corruption fighting efforts. So far, we haven’t had a single success story of bringing corrupt officials to justice. What’s more, adjusted for inflation, our “financials” still come out bigger!

We really need to bridge this gap and move on into 21st century governance.

Power corrupts even more when powered by pessimism.

elmer said...

"vote for Mr. Nobody"

OK, Taras, here's a story from Albania about a munitions dismantling plant - complete with corruption. Does any of this sound familiar, including the former Stalinist dictator of Albania? There are 3 web pages.

Second - has Vekselberg paid the victims of the gas exlosions in Donetsk yet, who were blown out of their apartment buildings?

Third - I propose that you institute an "Akhmetov charity watch." After all, he is in his "third life" or "third phase" of charity, according to his own press announcement.

So I propose that the "Akhmetov charity watch" keep track of all of the mountains of charitable works that Akhmetov has performed, starting from the day of his "third phase" pronouncement.

Taras said...

I haven’t heard of Vekselberg’s performance. In this context, I believe the idea of a regularly updated “promise watch” would help Ukraine build its civil society.

Unless we match the promise against the progress, there won’t be much progress. Instead, we’ll end up with a stockpile of unfulfilled commitments.

Albania’s tragedy echoes Ukraine’s experience. Similar accidents have occurred in Novobohdanivka, Zaporizhzhya oblast, due to our military’s mishandling of its surplus inventory.

Almost everyday, WW II munitions pop up across the country. If you add those abandoned at test ranges in economically depressed areas, where people supply them to salvage shops or harvest them for explosives, you get the picture.

elmer said...

So - this is day ____ of the Akhmetov third life charity promise watch.

Here's the list of charitable works and deeds:________________

If you are so inclined, Taras, may I suggest putting this just below your GeoCounter?

Taras said...

That’s a great idea, Elmer:)!

Let’s call it ChangeCounter ™. If you can come up with the Java code for this thing (feeds from the NSDC would be desirable), you can count on prominent display!

We really need to keep track of all the change in this country:)!