Archive for April 8th, 2013

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Anti-hate bill fails to pass through the RADA due to lack of opposition support

April 8, 2013

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!

The latest attempt to get an anti-hate bill passed through the RADA has failed – and not because of the actions of the ruling majority – but those of the opposition parties.

It can do nothing but cast doubt on the opposition wanting to meet the EU normative where human rights and human dignity are supposed to be a core and uncompromisable overarching principle.

Whilst 169 Party of Regions present voted for the bill – I suppose rather unsurprisingly the Svoboda Party en masse voted against it.  After all, what self-respecting far-right nationalist party would vote for an anti-hate bill that would restrict its ability to promote hate at the expense of human dignity?  (Rhetorical question!)

Most surprisingly – or perhaps not given the potential voter gains made by UDAR in the East of Ukraine – almost every single UDAR MP abstained from the vote.  Pontius Pilate would be proud even if I hang my head.

Possibly worse still, 58 Batkivshchyna Party members voted against the draft legislation in chorus with Svoboda.

Strictly pragmatically, for the sake of opposition unity and keeping Svoboda “on board”, it is possibly understandable that the other opposition parties effectively prevented a draft law that may have stopped Svoboda Party members such as Ihor Miroshnichenko openly calling well known Ukrainian actresses like Mila Kunis a “Jewess” on his Facebook page – a statement that generated this reaction from the Simon Wiesenthal Centre “insidious slur invoked by the Nazis and their collaborators as they rounded up the Jews to murder them at Babi Yar and in the death camps“, and this from the Ukrainian Jewish Committee “The last time this term was used in an official way was during the Nazi occupation“.

It was certainly a draft law that would have made it far more difficult for those without political immunity from engaging in anti-hate propaganda – even if Ihor Miroshnichenko could continue to act with impunity due to being an MP.

One can only assume that this will be seen by the EU in particular (and numerous other international observers) – as going robustly against a core EU principle and nothing short of “disappointing” in diplo-speak – In short, none of the opposition parties will come out of this particular vote very well, and it will further paint a picture of an opposition whose only interest is to regain power at any cost, rather than create a nation based on EU ideology with legislation and policy to match their declared aspirations of EU parity and integration.

There are issues when principles and ideology need to trump political alliances – Svoboda seem to be the only opposition party to have stuck to their ideology – a major ideological and ethical FAIL for Batkivshchnya and UDAR is the only way I can view what has happened here, and it also raises doubts over the leadership qualities of the leaders concerned.

I have to say I am bitterly disappointed that one of the few truly human dignity based ideological policies to be raised in the RADA of late – anti-hate legislation – where you would hope for broad cross-party support, has been sacrificed at the alter of opposition “political unity”.

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