Friday, April 06, 2007

At some level, it's all about money right now - finding it for the new election.

Someone anonymous who does this blog type of thing called Ukraine Today - A Political review left a comment on my Global Voices translation, which, among other things, had this claim:

The cost of the election is estimated to be around 150 Million dollars. Money that would be better spent on other issue.

I remembered a different figure mentioned by Davydovych back in March:

In early March, head of the Central Election Committee Yaroslav Davydovych said (RUS) an early election would cost approximately 400 million hryvnias - which is something around $80 million.

Here's the response from the Ukraine Today person(s):

when calculating the cost of elections you need to take into account the direct costs and indicate costs. The true cost of the election is expected to be well over the estimated 150 Million dollars when you take into account impacts on Ukraine’s economic development and cost of running a nation wide campaign.

I do agree that there are many better ways to spend this money.

I went out with a dear friend today, for example, who works at a budget-funded institution that's supposed to represent Ukraine in a completely non-political way. Or, in a predominantly non-political, yet very significant, way. But for all its conspicuousness, this institution has always been struggling to survive financially. And this struggle has always been reflected in my friend's salary: about $200 a month now, four times as much as he had been making some five years ago. My friend is totally brilliant in his field and works really hard - but imagine having to pay $50 out of $200 for utilities, plus there're also food and clothing to buy, public transportation costs, and yes, entertainment, because, you know, my friend isn't some old fart content with soap operas on his old TV. Everyone here, including my friend, has got other sources of income, of course, which sort of explains how people manage to get by, but his official salary is still the ridiculous $200 a month, paid to him by the state. And he's not happy about it, even though he loves his job.

I, of course, think that my friend and the institution he works for would have really benefited from those $80-$150 million that they are going to waste on their posters, rallies and other crap.

But what also bugs me is that all the Yanukovych schmucks are suddenly up in arms about this huge waste of money - as if they were not running this country when my friend was making $50 a month and as if they were not buying all these fancy cars like crazy in the past year or so (and driving them on sidewalks, but that's a different matter, I won't get into this now). As if they've really managed to lure those Rada defectors with their good and charitable deeds, and not with money and property offers - and then got their asses busted for nothing. Please.

I'm sort of undecided with this new election. I do buy the argument that if I voted for a bloc and then its members switched to the other side, they aren't being fair to the people who voted for them. It sort of doesn't concern me personally - because I voted for Pora and they didn't get in, and now Kaskiv is rumored to have been given $2 million or something to keep him quiet, but that's irrelevant. What I don't believe is that the election's gonna change anything. Even Moroz would manage to squeeze himself back in, as part of some new Party of the Regions/Socialists/Communists bloc.

And I really wish there was some way to make it all work decently regardless of the politicians' political affiliations - you are up there, you are responsible for cleaning up the big mess down here (like, raising my friend's salary) - and we are responsible for cleaning our own, comparatively small, mess (like, not driving on sidewalks and not peeing in the elevators). But - sigh - you probably need to be a German or something to make it work so smoothly...


  1. Good news about Kaskiv - if true. Let him invest that $ in the future generation as the system is completely sown up with political egoists and scammers. From little acorns great oaks grow.
    (Of course, I hope he is smart enough to take the $ and do a double cross :)))

  2. I love Ukraine.
    Just as PORA sells out - here comes OPORA!
    "ОПОРА" влаштувала акцію "Чистий четвер без політики!"

  3. Veronica, just think about how much money Ukriane is losing with the government like Yanukovich one. Believe me, 150 millions is nothing in comparison with billions of damage due to this government actions. Just think about what they already did with grain traders.
    Hope new governmet will be better.

  4. Marina's argument was also stated by a UA businessman - "Тарута: Дострокові вибори дешевші за неефективну діяльність влади
    Фінансування дочасних виборів для України - не проблема, більше того - такі перегони не нанесуть збитків українській економіці. Заявив бізнесмен Сергій Тарута."
    Snap elections cheaper than the ineffective dealings of govt. (or..) damages to the Ukrainian economy.

    Which is true - UA pravda article regarding the Battle for the Banks

  5. Yes, this is interesting, thanks. And, as Mishah says, this money will stay in Ukraine, in one way or another, which is also cool.

    But how is it possible to hope for a better government? Is there much basis for optimism?

  6. The only constant is change.

    Hang in there - no one thought that the USSR would end without a single shot being fired.

    What is today, has already been written, it is up to the youth and the next generation/s.

  7. Monday, April 09, 2007
    PACE: Ukrainian president had not enough legal grounds to dissolve the parliament

    Renate Wohlwend Parliamentary Assembly Council of Europe (PACE) monitoring committee co-reporter Renate Wohlwend believes that the Ukrainian president had not enough legal grounds to dissolve the parliament

    Source: RegNum Also Ukrayinska Pravda

    The announcement by PACE is a serious blow to Yulia Tymoshenko and the President's campaign for fresh Parliamentary Elections. PACE had no alternative but to express its concerns over the constitutionality of the President's decree dismissing Ukraine's democratically elected Parliament.

    The dismissal of a Parliament by a head of state sets a very dangerous precedence that effects not just Ukraine but also Western democracy.

    Most Western parliamentary democracies have very strict limitations on the right of a head of state to dismiss a parliament.

    Yulia Tymoshenko had hoped that Europe would back the oppositions call for fresh elections. It has not.

    PACE has made the correct call.

    The actions of the President is a last gasp of a failed Presidency. The consequences of his actions seriously undermines Ukraine's democratic development and rule of law.

    Media reports over the weekend have indicated that the President had met (in secrete) with members of the Constitutional Court on Friday in an attempt to influence the determination of the Court.

    Yushchenko wants the Court to defer its consideration and determination no the governments appeal.

    The President is of the false belief that if the Court delays its decision long enough the elections process will be secured and the President if need be will declare a state of emergency if protests continue.

    There are also reports that the President is ordering the Military to take control of the Parliament should the conflict continue and elections are not held.

    The Constitutional Court must not bow to pressure from the Office of the President.

    It must rule on the validity of the President's actions according to rule of law. Any different or delay in it's decision would results in ongoing conflict and division.

    -- Extract Copy of News article published on regnum ---

    “The main cause of the presidential decision [to dissolve the parliament] was his attempt to cease MPs changing their factions. I am afraid, legally, it is not enough to dissolve the parliament,” Renate Wohlwend said.

    The PACE co-reporter expressed hope that Ukraine’s Constitutional Court would speed up its consideration of the question whether Yushchenko’s decree was constitutional.

    “I am afraid, if it takes months for the Constitutional Court to rule whether the president was right or wrong, clashes in the streets can start between those, who support the opposition, and those, who support Yanukovich,” Renate Wohlwend believes.

    According to her, early elections will not help in settling the problem.

    “If the Constitutional Court decides to support the elections, they must be conducted. After the elections, Ukraine will be brought back to 2-3 years backwards in development of its democratic institutions and establishment of the rule of law,” Ms. Wohlwend said.

    “If the decree is pronounced unconstitutional, President Yushchenko will have to resign,” the PACE co-reporter believes.

    On April 2, the power crisis in Ukraine developed into a new stage. President Viktor Yushchenko signed a decree to dissolve the Supreme Rada and appointed a date for the early elections, May 27. The parliament and the government agreed to obey the decree, only if the Constitutional Court decides the decree does not breach the constitution. On April 5, Ukraine’s Constitutional Court confirmed that it opened the case on determining whether President Viktor Yushchenko’s decree to dissolve the Supreme Rada was constitutional and pronounced the case urgent.