Archive for September 13th, 2013

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Kyrylenko calls on SBU to deal with Communist anti-EU adverts – A democratic failure

September 13, 2013

If ever there was need of a reminder of just how naive, politically immature and/or limp certain parties within the “United Opposition” are – a recent anti-EU campaign by The Communist Party of Ukraine has highlighted it in excruciating detail.

Yes these political advertisements are anti-EU and express a very different political opinion from all other political parties within the RADA – but so what?

The nature of politics necessarily publicly airs differing political views and policies within the boundaries of the law and decency, in the hope of framing public opinion and government policy alike.  Is it not right that all constituencies within the public sphere have a voice that is heard?  That is what parliaments are for is it not?  Would it not be worrisome if nobody voiced an alternative opinion within a RADA that supposedly represents the numerous and vastly different views of the public?

That being the case, one has to wonder just why the “United Opposition” via the consistently incapable Vyacheslav Kyrylenko and his “For Ukraine” political party have made this statement referring these advertisements to the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), plastering the fact they have done so on the party website, and via Mr Kryylenko on twitter:

“Vyacheslav Kyrylenko @KyrylenkoVyach

Текст нашого звернення до СБУ щодо маніпулятивних антиєвропейських роликів компартії на http://www.zaukrainu.org/articles/1732″

To save you the translation, Mr Kyrylenko has complained to the SBU because, “In our opinion , advertisements of the CPU are clearly aimed at undermining the foundations of domestic and foreign policy and national security of Ukraine . Article 6 of the Law of Ukraine “On the basis of domestic and foreign policy” makes it clear that one of the main tasks of the state in the field of national security and defense is early detection , prevention and neutralization of threats. For this reason , we require the Security Service of Ukraine prohibit broadcast manipulative and biased commercials on TV channels , as such, misleading the citizens of Ukraine and undermine the statutory rate of Ukraine’s European integration, causing harm to the national security of Ukraine “

For a man and a party (within a bigger collective) all of which claim to be democratic, whatever happened to the right to freedom of speech and expression – especially so when the originators are a party democratically elected to the parliament?

Where is the threat to national security when expressing the political opinion that the EU deal is the wrong deal for Ukraine and that the Customs Union deal is better?  A lot of Ukrainians think that way too.  Is that not representation of a sizeable constituency and therefore to be expected?

Would Mr Kyrylenko have all those millions of Ukrainians who think the Russian deal is better for Ukraine arrested as threats to National Security?

Is not democracy the continual friction between competing ideology and policy held within the cradle of integrity, decency and rule of law, oiled by that most necessary of ingredients – tolerance?  Is not tolerance, democracy, freedom of speech and expression worthy of defending rigorously rather than sacrificing at the alter of an ill-fitting claim of national security so easily?

I will refer Mr Kyrylenko to the European Court of Human Rights:

“………tolerance and respect for the equal dignity of all human beings constitute the foundations of a democratic, pluralistic society. That being so, as a matter of principle it may be considered necessary in certain democratic societies to sanction or even prevent all forms of expression which spread, incite, promote or justify hatred based on intolerance…”

 ”…………the Court is also careful to make a distinction in its findings between, on the one hand, genuine and serious incitement to extremism and, on the other hand, the right of individuals (including journalists and politicians) to express their views freely and to “offend, shock or disturb” others.”

 (Chamber judgment Erbakan v. Turkey, no. 59405/00, § 56, 6.07.2006) European Court for Human Rights

As there is no genuine and serious incitement to extremism, nor is there any expression of direct hatred or intolerance or any other direct threat to national security, then Mr Kyrylenko, like anybody else, must respect the Communist Party’s ability to “”offend, shock or disturb” others.”

Instead of referring these Communist Party advertisements to the Security Services of Ukraine, which appear to be both lawful and within the bounds of decency when it comes to a reasonably presented political statement, why does Mr Kyrylenko not do what is expected in a democracy and of a politician, and take the issue on robustly in the political theatre by way of public debate?

Which part of “European ideology” by way of political and basic democratic rights is Mr Kyrylenko trying to mirror?

What will the “watchers” from the EU think of his – and by association – the “United Opposition” democratic credentials after this most undemocratic step?

What will they think of the ability of any future United Opposition government in which Mr Kyrylenko would undoubtedly be given a fairly significant role in order to keep him and his party within that alliance – and thus that alliance in power?

Whilst many within Ukraine will know Mr Kyrylenko to be little more than an intellectually challenged political clown, this remains an epic “fail” when it comes to either internal discipline within the “United Opposition” or their understanding of what is acceptable within EU political battlegrounds and democratic debate.  Perhaps it is both.

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