Failing to plan or planning to fail? United Opposition

April 18, 2013

I seem to be consistently critical of the “United Opposition” recently – not because I don’t like them, but because I despair at their lack of policy, lack of planning and lack of strategy.  Not to mention the whitewash over ideological differences that whilst in opposition may make little difference, but when in power will become significant and provide yet another dysfunctional government focused on internal division rather than governance in all probability.

All of these things need to be tackled robustly, quickly and without default to the lowest common denominator between the 3 major “United Opposition” parties.  Failure to do so now, well in advance of a presidential election, will not lead to the confidence needed to bring about a change in president – no matter how bad the incumbent is.

Personally I do not care which political party arrives at sound policy with effective implementation – all that matters is good policy is forthcoming and effectively implemented.

A few days ago I wrote about the “United Opposition” allowing the normal running of the RADA this week as four opposition motions were to be debated:

“The setting of an election date for the position of Kyiv Mayor.

A vote of “No Confidence” in the current government.

The abolition the new pension reforms.

The removal of the Articles of law under which Ms Tymoshenko is currently jailed.”

So far, two days ago, as expected they failed with the setting of a date for the mayoral elections of Kyiv – and with the Constitutional Court still considering the legalities of any delay or not, maybe that is no bad thing.  The court’s answer due no later than July as per the legal time frame allowed .

Nevertheless an unnecessary failure for the “United Opposition” with a Constitutional Court decision pending.  Far better to have tackled the matter once a court decision was known.

Next, when it comes to the vote of “No Confidence” in the current government, UDAR wanted the vote on 17th April (yesterday) and Batkivshchyna on the 19th April (tomorrow) – A sorry state of affairs when two of the three “United Opposition” parties cannot even agree a preferred date on a vote as potentially important as a vote of “No Confidence” in the current government.

However, perhaps the most damning display of failed “United Opposition” planning and strategy was laid bare in the vote relating to pension reform on 17th April (yesterday).  If there is one issue they were most likely to get any kind of result from per their list, pension reform was likely to be it.  It is not that popular amongst the ruling coalition either – though it is necessary.

Thus, whilst I firmly believe the reforms are necessary as the current pension system is simply unsustainable, this was also a matter that the “United Opposition” could have realistically won and come away from the week with a significant result – and significant result they need!

So how did they do?

They managed to garner 223 votes in favour of scrapping the planned pensions reforms.  To have scrapped the planned reforms they needed 226 votes (a RADA majority of one).

Now we may sit back and say it was a valiant effort and they came very close – but that is until we consider the fact that absent from the RADA for this vote were 7 Batkivshchyna MPs, 7 UDAR MPs, 1 Svoboda MP and 4 independent MPs who favour the “United Opposition” in most votes.

Ergo a total of 19 votes likely to have been cast in favour of the “United Opposition” motion to scrap the pension reforms were not cast because the MPs were absent.  Had they been present and voted as anticipated, the “United Opposition” would have scrapped the pension reforms by a fairly comfortable margin.

Having made the RADA unworkable for months in an effort to get these four motions tabled for a RADA vote, you have to ask why were there 19 “United Opposition” absentees from a vote that would have displayed to the public the fact the “United Opposition” are more than ineffective, feckless, window dressing had they won?

How did they not manage to rally all their MPs to be in the RADA for a week when their demands are being voted on?  Especially so on the day a vote on pension reforms occurs that they realistically could have won?

Where is the party discipline?  Where is the “united” discipline?  What sort of leadership allows that many MPs to be absent in a key “United Opposition” parliamentary week?

How do they explain to their supporters (plus the larger public and media) that they failed to scrap the pension reforms because 19 of their own MPs failed to turn up to vote?

Suffice to say, it is nothing short of a political disaster.  A distinct underlining of ineffective leadership and party discipline is laid bare for all to see.

What could have been a golden result for the “United Opposition” has turned out to be an absolute debacle of a magnitude it is difficult to overstate.

The chances of this feckless group getting 0/4 results from their demands must now be considerable – a result now proven to be delivered by their own ineptitude!

Planning and preparation prevents piss-poor performance – the “Rule of P”.

This is certainly an epic illustration of piss-poor performance, thus one can only presume there was either no planning or preparation, or it was ignored – raising serious doubts about the credibility and ability of the three leaders involved, even amongst their own troops.

Very disappointing that a chance of gaining real credibility was so easily squandered!

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