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Insuring failure – Ukrainian opposition

May 23, 2013

Now if you happen to be the opposition – ergo the minority – in any parliament, it goes without saying that getting the laws you support passed – or those you are against to fail – requires party discipline to insure the maximum turnout at any such vote, as well as erosive lobbying of those within the majority to gain support that goes against their party line.

Very difficult in any parliament and it is certainly not easy in a corrupt and self-serving cesspit  such as the Ukrainian RADA.

I have written previously of the critical and headline votes that the opposition could have won had they the discipline to insure their party members turned up to work as they are paid to do.  However snatching defeat from the jaws of victory is becoming something of an unofficial policy for the “United Opposition”.

After such public leadership and party disciplinary failures that caused the opposition to lose all 4 headline votes in the above link, you would think that thereafter the mandatory attendance of all opposition MPs would have been required by parties when bills they sponsor or support are up for vote.

After all what harm could the occasional victory over the government do for their image and the public perception of their effectiveness – let alone display weakness within the majority coalition occasionally?

And yet, Anatoliy Grychenko, a leader within the United Opposition on the Batkivshchyna Party list, now almost daily decries the fact that party discipline is non-existent, together with party leadership being noticeable by its absence.

Анатолій Гриценко
Опозиція має відрізнятися від влади!

Сьогодні Рада провалила два проекти опозиції. Опозиція допомогла їх провалити.

1) проект 2126 – про зарахування екологічного податку до бюджетів місцевих Рад. Логічний і правильний. Внесла Свобода, Сех. Опозиція активно агітує за підтримку. Голосування: Батьківщина – мінус 30 голосів, УДАР – мінус 15, Свобода – мінус 5 голосів. Разом – мінус 50 голосів!

2) проект 2503 – про охорону тварин і рослин від винищення браконьєрами. Логічний і правильний. Внесла Батьківщина, Томенко. Опозиція активно агітує за підтримку. Голосування: Батьківщина – мінус 42 голоси, УДАР – мінус 16, Свобода – мінус 4 голоси. Разом – мінус 62 голоси.

3) проект 2149 – зараз розглядається. Про адміністративні послуги, теж від опозиції, УДАР, Продан – результат буде аналогічним, а то ще й гіршим, бо в секторі опозиції все більше пустих крісел.

Не може бути виправдання такій недисциплінованості й безвідповідальності депутатів. Сектор влади теж напівпустий, але влада мене менше турбує. Турбує те, що опозиція – діє так само, а мала би задати інший стандарт поведінки. Говорю про це вождям і депутатам майже щодня. По барабану. Біда…

To save you translating, an environmental taxation bill (566) aimed at funneling environmental taxes to local government rather than central government, and vigorously supported by the opposition, failed because 30 Batkivshchyna MPs did not turn up to vote, neither did 15 from UDAR and another 5 from Svoboda.  A total of 50 opposition votes missing from a bill the opposition wanted to pass.

Bill 2503, drawn up by Mikola Tomenko relating to the protection of flora and fauna.  Tomenko is a man who sits amongst the elite of the elite in the Batkivshchyna Party and his bill faired even worse.  Despite his position in the party hierarchy, 40 of his fellow Batkivshchyna MPs, almost all of which his junior in both parliamentary longevity, party position and most importantly political ability, were absent.  Add to this another 16 missing from UDAR and 4 missing from Svoboda and that is a total of 62 opposition votes AWOL for one of their own pieces of legislature up for the vote!

Grychenko rightly summarises that there can be no excuse for such indiscipline and irresponsibility that the United Opposition is consistently displaying – quite rightly.  As he states, complaints about opposition leadership and deputies within are now an almost daily occurrence from within its own ranks.

Fair play to him for stating the obvious- not that the disunity within the opposition is a closely guarded secret.  It is obvious to anybody who cares to look amongst either the leadership, the rank and file, or both.

Leadership-less, discipline-less, rudderless and feckless – As far as the Ukrainian public and EU are concerned, this coalition will once again turn out to be hopeless – whether it regains power or remains in opposition.

So terribly sad that they cannot even muster being an effective opposition, as that would at least assist giving some credibility to any opposition presidential candidate – and whilst Ukraine is no doubt capable of suffering another Yanukovych term, one has to hope it won’t have to.

– And before I am asked who I would prefer to see as the next president of Ukraine – whilst it may read like anybody other than the present incumbent or Yulia Tymoshenko – it’s not – at least not quite.  In no particular order:

Klitschko (UDAR leader) – likely to run and likely to reach the second round if there is one according to current opinion polls

Tomenko (Batkivshchyna) – very unlikely to run which is a shame as he is a very competent politician

Poroshenko (Independent) – may run but will not get the votes his experience deserves

Grychenko (Batkivshchyna) – very unlikely to run as not enough support at the ballot box despite TV popularity in debates

In the unlikely event of an internal Party Regions competitor:

Serhey Tigipko

You see, if I had listed those who I would not want to see as the next president, the likes Yanukovych, Tymoshenko, Tyahnybok, Yatseniuk and the vast majority of each of the parties hierarchy, it would have been a very long list indeed!

One comment

  1. And yet, Ukraine wonders why they are so far behind Europe. The answer is easy, (RADA…for those of you who actually need an answer), and would be damn funny if it wasn’t so tragically sad. Shakespeare could not have penned a better play.



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