After the elections, how many will regularly turn up to work?October 22, 2015
With the local elections on Sunday, soon this blog will be entering a state of voluntary pre-election purdah with regard to Odessa in order to avoid stating anything that can be inferred as advantageous for any particular candidate within the 48 hours prior to polling – national politics and policy remain fair game throughout the weekend of course.
Thus prior to dropping the veil of purdah over local election commentary, a few words about some hopes – rather than expectations – in the aftermath.
The first hope is that Sunday 25th is not the end of the elections – the hope has to be that the current Mayor, Gennady Trukhanov, is forced into a second round of voting on 15th November against Sasha Borovik (rather than Eduard Gurvitz).
It would present voters with a stark choice in the second round, rather than a choice between “old and nefarious hands” from the entrenched local political scene.
The second hope is that some long term friends and acquaintances are reelected in both city and oblast Radas. Likewise there is a hope that other long term friends and acquaintances are not reelected (for they have no public service mentality in their entire beings, and their time at the public trough and within the local exclusive and nefarious politico-business clubs has to end).
A third hope is that the elections return a vibrant (and law abiding) local legislature both for the city and the oblast. Whoever the winners may be, there is a requirement in democracy to have an active and vocal opposition – lest those in control lose their policy (and ethical) compass and connection with those that didn’t vote for them.
By extension, a vocal and competitive local legislature will hopefully curtail the amount of nefarious activities, blowing whistles publicly as frequently as is required to put parameters upon the cancerous and odious goings-on.
A final hope is that those who are elected – and this applies especially to City Hall – will actually bother turning up to work for which the public (albeit meagerly) pays them. It is perhaps too much to expect them to have read the laws, regulations, directives and decisions upon which they may vote, or indeed submit anything worthwhile regarding society during their elected terms, but it is surely not too much to expect them to actually turn up to work at the place they are elected to work for most, if not all, the time they are expected to be there.
According to Article 37, Law of Ukraine “On Status of Local Council”, it is possible to strip any elected member of their mandate should they fail to turn up for at least 50% of sessions or meetings. Despite this, there are innumerable elected representatives in local government who simply don’t manage/can’t be bothered to turn up for even half the time.
In Odessa, this would apply numerous candidates running in these local elections when looking at their historical attendances. In fact it would apply to quite a few local governance officials past, present, and from their point of view, future:
A last hope therefore would be that any and all new local governance deputies are actually subjected to Article 37 when they don’t turn up for work – after all, if they don’t bother turning up to their democratically elected roles, they may as well not be deputies from the point of view of the public – even if from their point of view being a local deputy is necessary simply to be part of the local and nefarious elite business club that passes as democratic local governance.
The local elections may or may not return anything approaching quality local governance, but it should surely be expected to return local governance, non matter how incompetent, that actually turns up to work.
Sadly, hopes have a terrible habit of being dashed.
As an aside, once the local political landscape has been set for the next 2 years, with Governor Saakashvili having his man as police chief, his man as prosecutor, his woman as the new Customs Chief, and the likely insertion of Maria Gaidar as Oblast Rada Chair, the natural progression is to go after Sergei Kivalov and his control over the judges and courts.
Something that can probably be expected to happen almost immediately after the elections are over. (If Trukhanov remains mayor, it would be very difficult to go after a newly elected Mayor – so Kivalov has to be the target when a big scalp is required.)