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Monday, January 11, 2010

Voter ‘Bribery,’ Tymoshenko-Style

If Chernovetsky can do it, why can’t she?

Here you go: 1 kilo of rice+1 kilo of vermicelli+1 bottle of sunflower oil+1 can of condensed milk. Drink responsibly! Courtesy of MP Oleksandr Dubovy (BYuT).

When interviewed, they say it’s from Tymoshenko. They say it’s bribery. They say it’s basically their own money. And they take it.

In Greece, they would have torched the whole place. In Ukraine, they complain and let the slave mentality take over.

In rural Ukraine, they take those hard-to-get certificates of land ownership — a pork barrel cause championed by Tymoshenko and frowned upon by the OSCE.

How many of those who take Tymoshenko handouts will vote for her? I don’t know.

All I know is Chernovetsky scored 32% of the vote — twice — with his handout campaign in Kyiv.

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elmer said...

I hope you don't mind, Taras, if I post an article about the "land certificates" situation.

It is not much of a choice in the Ukrainian presidential election - but I cannot believe, as the Financial Times said, that Yanukovych has not been hounded out of politics by now for falsifying the elections in 2004 - among other things.

I cannot believe that anyone would vote for that stupid moronic thug. Високий як тополя, дурний як фасоля

Tymoshenko campaigns in a mink coat - she ought to have better sense than that.,profile-tymoshenkos-oratory-falls-flat-with-jaded-ukrainian-voters.html

Vasilkiv, Ukraine - Yulia Tymoshenko has changed little over the years: Her outfits remain designer originals, her speeches are still the best in Ukrainian politics and her trademark blond peasant braid is as neatly plaited as ever. But Prime Minister Tymoshenko's message - that she is the only honest politician in a highly-corrupt country - is falling increasingly flat with voters, whose support she desperately needs to win the former Soviet republic's January 17 presidential contest.

Five years ago, during Ukraine's pro-democracy Orange Revolution, the then-unknown Tymoshenko was a sensation. Her fiery oratory inspired hundreds of thousands of peaceful demonstrators to stand fast against election fraud and police intimidation.

But at a recent stump speech during a campaign swing through the central Ukrainian town of Vasilkiv, some listeners were less than impressed.

"All she does is talk; she tells us over and over how wonderful she is, but nothing gets better," said Ruslan Fomenko, looking on as Tymoshenko harangued a crowd of some 800 gathered in the town square of Vasilkiv, which has some 38,000 inhabitants.

Tymoshenko's motorcade, comprising police outriders and her trademark black Mercedes, swept into Vasilkiv past numerous police checkpoints, over pitted roads, and well in excess of speed limits.

Police barred pedestrians from approaching too closely as Tymoshenko tore by in a limousine with darkened windows, and trailed by a security detail, staff vehicles and a medical van.

Her first stop was the Vasilkiv House of Culture, a late Soviet-era auditorium normally used for professional meetings and local theatre productions. Gathered inside, were several hundred Vasilkiv residents - almost 100 of whom were scheduled to receive land deeds from the prime minister personally.

Land is still mostly government-owned in Ukraine, and according to most observers, Tymoshenko included, the state bureaucracy responsible for transferring land titles to private ownership is shockingly corrupt.

Taras said...

Thank you for this Earth Times article, Elmer!

It’s an introduction to how Tymoshenko plays “bureaucracy/bribery buster” to buy whatever rural votes she can.

Fighting bureaucracy and bribery should have been her job from day one. But was it?

No, not really. She funnels millions of tax hryvnias into on-the-job-campaigning (and so does Yushchenko). She views her voyages to rural Ukraine as pre-election favors, not as full-time job functions. That’s the real she as opposed to all those “she’s working” ads.

And it’s no coincidence given her Chernovetsky-friendly handout techniques and her friendly land barons.

All of which makes her part of the problem, not the solution.

elmer said...

You are absolutely right, Taras, that should have been her job from day one.

A cynical view would hold that she, and the others in power, continue to foster the bureaucracy and corruption up until just before elections in order to magically swoop down from the heavens and grant land certificates to 100 lucky people. What about the rest?

And as for the handouts - it's a vicious circle, a Catch 22.

Oligarchs have a stranglehold on the economy. Bureaucracy prevents people from forming new businesses easily, and when they do - thugs show up to rob them.

So the vast majority of people are kept in a relatively low economic status - waiting for handouts just before elections.

If there is one thing that this presidential election highlights, it's that in Ukraine, there has been no leadership, no concern for the country or its people, no vision, no plan, no strategy for making Ukraine the great country that it can be - only grabitization and borrowing from the IMF.

And even the few reforms that the IMF demanded - have not been implemented.

Plus - there's almost nothing left to rob anymore.

I still can't believe that she campaigns in a mink coat!

As far as Yanuk - well, he's just a product of the Kuchma political machine, a sovok relic with no brain.

It is a piss poor choice in Ukraine.

I still say that Hrytsenko and Tyahnybok are the 2 best candidates. But too many people in Ukraine still suffer from the big sovok hangover.

They can't think, or they think bass ackwards.

They still believe that because Kuchma, or for that matter, Pinchuk or Yanukovych, has a charity fund for children (благодійний фонд для дітей) that he's a "good man." They don't have any idea that those funds don't do anything, except funnel money to a favored few politicians.

The big sovok hangover is a big problem in Ukraine.

Taras said...

We only have about 20% of ungrabitized public property left in Ukraine, and it's quite enough for those who have the skills.

Besides, the winner may want to reslice the already grabitized part of the pie.

I'll either vote for Hrytsenko or against all in the first round.