Archive for April 9th, 2013


Schizophrenia, Dissociative Identity Disorder or pragmatism? Ukrainian opposition

April 9, 2013

What to make of an opposition leadership that submits official resolutions of “No Confidence” in the current Cabinet of Ministers on 22nd March 2013 – and by 3rd April 2013, some 13 days later, post a joint  statement on the Batkivshchyna Party website stating:

“We supported and will support all EU integration laws that were properly prepared and considered, in accordance with the parliamentary procedure, including those submitted by the government, as it was, for example, during the ratification of amendments to the visa facilitation agreement.”

Well, what to think?

That must surely infer that they have some confidence in the Cabinet of Ministers they submitted an official resolution of “No Confidence” against – How can the leaders of opposition parties encourage their parties MPs to vote for government legislation otherwise?

Perhaps it is a less than simple matter of schizophrenia or dissocative identity disorder?

Does the “no confidence” exist only with legislation aimed at solely domestic issues – “confidence” obviously existing in legislation aimed at synchronising with the EU normative as far as the capabilities of the Cabinet of Ministers is concerned?

Of course they are being pragmatic.

They can hardly go against their own joint statement with the ruling PoR, in which they all stated their intention to drag Ukraine towards the EU.  As such they had already committed themselves to support EU normalising legislation from a Cabinet of Ministers they later had “No Confidence” in – but now reaffirm they have confidence in – as far as the EU legislation goes.

However, as I wrote on 24th March relating to the particularly ill-timed submission of the “No Confidence” resolution – “Possibly worse, should this vote of “no confidence” fail – which seems likely – how will the public psyche be affected when it comes to confidence in Yatseniuk and the opposition? To continually indulge in political grandstanding or showboating with few, if any results, eventually will erode further public confidence in the ability of the opposition.”

Since then a few Batkivshchanya MPs have left the party, two of which claimed they were not prepared to support Yatseniuk’s “one-man show”.  Whether that reasoning is true or not is irrelevant.  That is what they have said publicly and will further give the perception of failed political grandstanding and showboating to the point at which MPs are leaving the party – and it is the public perception that counts in politics.

It also seems Yatseniuk is expecting an internal leadership coup within the Batkivshchnya Party.

Further, it is somewhat strange to see a very muted reception on opposition MPs twitter an Facebook accounts relating to the releasing of Lutsenko (as I predicted in February) and Filipchuk.  One could think there there are those within the opposition who are not exactly overjoyed at their release – at least that is the perception their social media accounts infer simply by complete lack of, or little reference to, such a major event for the opposition and EU/Ukrainian relations.

Can voters have confidence in those who demand votes of no confidence, who then less than 2 weeks later, display confidence enough in those they have no confidence in, to state they will vote with them over EU legislation – thus displaying a degree of confidence they apparently do not have in those drafting the legislation?

Especially so after not voting for what would be EU normative legislation only a few days ago?

Is anybody advising the leaders of the opposition – or are they simply jumping from one grandstanding position to another – with few results, and even less consistency?

Perhaps, given the differences between Svoboda, UDAR and Batkivshchyna parties, we should expect nothing less than such a populist, ill-thought out and schizophrenic output.  As Klitschko said only yesterday “UDAR, Batkivshchnya and Svoboda have different ideologies.  However we have one thing in common:  We want to live in a democratic country” – Is one thing in common enough, when inevitably there will be a need to convince the voting public that they are capable of ruling and creating policies they all agree on despite different ideologies that will prevent good policy making?

If there is one lesson to be learned from the Yushenko/Tymoshenko period, it is that democracy requires hard work and hard choices after it puts you in power to cement both veritical and horizontal democratic principle into all walks of government, governmental agencies and society – something that they collectively simply did not do in any shape, form or manner.

I do so wish the opposition would start to form and articulate solid policy that will benefit society and that voters can understand and rally around, instead of consistently showboating which is a policy that is destined to fail more often than not.

However just how possible it would be to align Svoboda social policy with that of UDAR, or Batkivshchnya economic policy with Svoboda or UDAR etc., remains to be seen.  I suspect these issues are deliberately being passed over as they will no doubt become divisive – leaving us with more failing grandstanding to come for the foreseeable future –  in lieu of real policy.

Sooner or later however, they are going to need to convince people they can govern collectively and effectively – and that means agreed policies which they can take to the public.   A return to such dysfunctional governance – or alternatively Yanukovych-lite – is not what Ukraine needs.

Maybe Lutsenko, now he’s been released will provide something like a policy rudder?  We’ll see.

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