Switch headers Switch to TIGweb.org

Are you an TIG Member?
Click here to switch to TIGweb.org

HomeHomeExpress YourselfPanoramaUkrainian Elections - manikin battles , played out in the virtual realm
a TakingITGlobal online publication

(Advanced Search)

Panorama Home
Issue Archive
Current Issue
Next Issue
Featured Writer
TIG Magazine
Short Story
My Content
Ukrainian Elections - manikin battles , played out in the virtual realm Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Olexi, Ukraine Oct 18, 2004
Human Rights   Opinions
 1 2   Next page »


Ukrainian Elections - manikin battles, played out in the virtual realm

Leading World's political scientists specializing in Ukrainian studies, gathered in Ottawa University this weekend, 15-16 of October to "understand the transformations of Ukraine". On the eve of Presidential Elections experts agree "we see manikin battles being played out in the virtual realm in both transitional and full consolidated democracies that may produce general distortion in democratic practices."

Apparently, Andrew Wilson whose report on Ukrainian political regime opened the conference is a major academic and analytical voice speaking about Ukraine, and in Ukrainian language. He is a senior lecturer in Ukrainian studies at the school of Slavonic and east European studies at the university college London. His work focused on ethno national identity and party politics. He is the author of Ukrainian Nationalism in the 1990's, the Ukrainians: an unexpected nation Ukrainian translation due 2004, and the forthcoming Virtual Politics: Faking Democracy in the Post-Soviet World. We addressed Andrew to clarify what exactly the run of elections reminds of, from a Western Perspective....

"Everything or nothing" the stake is highest ever...
- What suppresses you in the run of presidential elections in Ukraine?
That is the sheer level of participant’s ambition. Every piece on the board. Post-soviet political technology is not only about controlling the victory but even who's in the competition, - Andrew Wilson, -One can't understand Ukrainian politics without understanding the attempt to import political technology, nor should one assume that it is omni potent.
Neither black-mail no dirty trick are unique for the ongoing Presidential elections in Ukraine, you can see them in many consolidated democracies of the world as well. What is different, not only about Ukraine, but generally about the former Soviet Union as a whole, some countries excepted, is the POLITICAL TECHNOLOGY. This is the tool, which oligarchs use. Crudely put, traditional form of electoral corruption are about falsifying the results whereas political technology is about falsifying the process.

- Definitely political technologies imported from Russia, are necessarily amended to Ukrainian electoral realities. What are those in your opinion?

Using the same political technologies in Ukraine is harder, say there is an independent TV channel and a couple of majors controlled by oligarchs, but their influence can hardly be compared to that of Russian TV channels. The export of Russian political technology is to Ukraine; still Russian projects need to be adapted to Ukrainian conditions that also stimulate Ukrainian domestic political technology.
All the successful parties in the Duma election were in some way manipulated by the technologists. And it was even more so in the Presidential elections in Russia, the only candidate that briefly upset the rules of the game, briefly step out of the rules - Glaziev, was destroyed for the same thing. In Ukraine however, there is a real contest. One can not understand Ukrainian politics without understanding the attempt to import political technology, nor should one assume that it is omnipotent. There are various complex reasons why it has only been semi-successful in Ukraine. It has certainly not been a failure, and it can provide victory to one of the candidates in the next stage. Ukrainian political culture is different, and you can not sell ruling political party as a primary virtue the way you can in Russia.
Interestingly Yanukovich's ads on TV are conservative. One showing prosperous collective farm woman, in am implausibly prosperous surrounding: ya za stabilnu Ukraine, a vy za scho? In Russian this is not a good way to sell ruling party. Apparently there is that nationalist scarecrow made of Yuschenko in Ukrainian elections, but no "reputable" "third force", no apparently independent candidate, like Lebied in Russia in 1996

It is a myth spread by Russian political technologists, that Yuschenko and Yanukovich are the same.
- What do you think of electoral clones among candidates for Ukrainian presidency?
. Practice of supporting candidates that are not really candidates is common in very consolidated democracies, Say, every Russian thinks that Jacque Cheiraque used Lepen in exactly that way -to ensure victory in the French Elections, which in fact was a mere coincidence. Unlike in the western democracies, in The Former USSR this is an industry. It is deliberate it is planned, and ... not always successful.
What some westerners mistranslate as managed democracy is in fact, directed democracy. It is not about setting limits it's about controlling every piece of adjustment. That is the sheer totality of the attempt not only to control who wins, but - who is in the competition. Every piece on the board.

Do you think that use of administrative resource and means of informal persuasion can guarantee stay in power to current Elite?

 1 2   Next page »   


You must be logged in to add tags.

Writer Profile

Ukrainian student, journalist and a planetary citizen. I invite you to take a look at Central's Europe largest state- Ukraine through Olexi-tinted spectacles. Somewhat approaching unbiased subjectivity :)
You must be a TakingITGlobal member to post a comment. Sign up for free or login.