The faithful voter – Ukraine

September 18, 2018

Back in April 2018 an entry appeared relating to the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Kyiv Patriarchy.

That entry concluded “That said, it is not often a president puts aside 7 hours for a meeting, the political rhetoric and momentum prima facie appears to be slightly different to the norm associated with presidential rhetoric, so perhaps, just perhaps, a positive decision has been signaled to President Poroshenko by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew (and the Synod).

This appeal is something to watch that will have repercussions across the Ukrainian constituency should it come to pass.  It will also be interesting, should it come to pass prior to Verkhovna Rada elections in October 2019, as to which clergyman a politician will seek to recruit for their reelection campaign (and their Facebook and Instagram accounts will be replete with photographs of politicians with their “chosen” clergy as those elections draw near).”

To be blunt it was clear then that this was not the usual rhetoric from either side – and thus the entry was written.

Matters have progressed.

The Russian Orthodox Church has threatened to spit its dummy far from the orthodox manger should the Ukrainian church be removed from its administrative and social influence.  The usual threats of not recognising the decision of Constantinople, or leaving, suspending, and generally ignoring the Holy See of Constantinople have been made – no surprise when looking at Russian reactions in PACE, the G8 (no G7) and so on.  Entities wherein Russia expects to get its way or for matters to be understood through the Russian interpretation or it will leave/suspend its participation have witnessed Russia act as a petulant child when its desires have been rejected.

As it appears very probable that autocephaly for Ukraine will occur before the year end, and almost certainly well before the presidential elections of March 2019, it is perhaps worth pondering the impact of such an event.

Just how much of an effect will such a genuinely historic and fundamental nation building event actually influence the Ukrainian voter?

There is no doubt the current president would benefit from any electoral bounce relating to autocephaly – but will there be a bounce, and if so how big and for how long?

There is an obvious “other side to the coin” relating to potential voters of a significant leaning toward the Moscow Patriarch who may be swayed against President Poroshenko for delivering such nation building and yet perceived schism creating historic event.

There will also be those of the Kyiv Patriarch that have long been committed to it and for whom this event is simply political and bureaucratic machinations that otherwise do not influence their long-since committed leanings.

Many of the remainder are those that attend church for hatch, match and dispatch (christenings, marriages and funerals) and the occasional “special day” but otherwise are fairly indifferent to the church and its influences.

As such it is somewhat difficult to see any election changing outcomes for the current president as a result of this event in and of itself (despite it cementing his place in Ukrainian history when people look back decades from now).

Perhaps for maximum effect the presidential election team will have to incorporate this event into the other successes during his tenure as some form of multiplier in any claim of nation building.  It is otherwise difficult to see President Poroshenko gathering much electoral momentum from such a genuinely historic event.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: