Time to peel away the recently applied Odessa veneer and get dirty once moreAugust 26, 2015
Odessa has benefited from some rather rosy/and or glorifying headlines lately – the obvious increased tourism (due to the loss of Crimea), the new Patrol Police taking to the streets to (hopefully) change societal attitudes towards the rule of law, Governor Saakashvili doing numerous populist (and popular) PR stunts – and the first signs of some real structural changes within the Administration of the Oblast are starting to become visible.
Those pleasant and somewhat encouraging headlines attempting to paint a veneer of respectability upon the efforts of Odessa may soon become a somewhat tarnished memory looking at what is simmering away on the political back-burner.
Over the past two weeks there has been a marked increase in black local media (entirely fabricated, or so loosely associated with fact as to be more than a little misleading) for political electioneering reasons. It is nowhere near full swing yet of course, but a notable increase there has been.
Nevertheless the local black political media arts will very soon change up not one, but several gears – no matter how distant from the truth or fact – in preparation for the local elections due in late October. The birth (or in some cases resuscitation) of local trolls is guaranteed.
All to be expected of course – to have begun already with general broadsides prior to any candidates or party lists from any competing parties being chosen, certainly sets the tone for what is about to come – and cometh it shall – imminently.
Next week the parties will start to begin to choose candidates and assemble party lists – allowing the general broadsides to become much more focused, poisonous and further estranged from fact in some cases.
Next week focus will not only on the candidates and party lists, but also focused on real or imagined shenanigans regarding selection processes themselves.
Solidarity holds its party congress on 27th August. Sergie Kivalov’s Morskaya, Mayor Trukhanov’s party, the Opposition Block, Ihor Kolomoisky’s Ukrop et al, are all expected to have selected their candidates and compiled party lists by the month end too – and all associated local media owned by those in, or associated with certain parties and/or competing personalities, know exactly what is expected of them.
Be sure that every competing party, and several anticipated candidates, own local media outlets. The cacophony of BS and libelous statements may yet surpass all previous years.
Having spoken with people in all the aforementioned parties, all are anticipating a particularly venomous campaign period, with a level of black media that would make the Kremlin’s machinery and its association with the truth look somewhat timid and believable in comparison.
Perhaps they are expecting far worse than that which will actually manifest – perhaps not.
Thus the reader is given due notice that between now and the October local election results being known, there will be several Odessa election orientated entries that will perhaps seem to be entirely uninteresting to some – but will be very interesting to other (and in some cases specific) readers and ISPs that visit this blog.
That said, with 31st August seeing an extraordinary Rada session specifically to force through the Constitutional amendments facilitating “decentralisation”, there will soon be more than enough Ukraine-wide issues to keep the attention span of everybody when the next session begins.
However the ever-grubby world of local politics in Odessa does have its place in a blog named as this one is. The results of these local elections are possibly far more important than many may give them credit for too.