Archive for March 16th, 2012


Major local decisions by referendum – How generally un-European – How democratic!

March 16, 2012

Well what can you say about this?

Major local decisions to be made by referendum as a standard practice.

How very Swiss!

How very encouraging!

If it actually happens it is probably the most democratic friendly move when it comes to local governance in the history of Ukraine – ever!

Let’s hope it happens and let’s hope there is a very big local take-up so that it can be rolled out nationwide.

I am actually flabbergasted.

It’s unlikely to endear Ukraine to the EU however.  If there is one word that the leadership if the EU cringe at every time they hear it, that word is “referendum”.  In fact “referendum” is a positively distasteful word within the EU hierarchy, the mere mention of which is likely to have you removed from such circles either temporarily or permanently.

I once went to a meeting in 2009 where this concept was muted with the then Mayor of Odessa, amongst several other concepts for the development of Odessa.  The democratic concept of a referendum choosing amongst the priority projects was pooh-poohed (partially on a fiscal cost basis of the administration involved of said referendum) whilst other more business orientated concepts also suggested were forwarded for further examination.

Nevertheless, a good idea will always get trialled eventually even if not where I had hoped it would be (namely Odessa)!

Let’s hope the citizens of Kyiv seize the opportunity being offered and bring the major local decisions back to the local people they affect.

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