Dissolution (or is it dissoluteness?) has arrived in Ukraine once more. Viktor Yushchenko has now taken the lead in this latest political race by dissolving parliament for the second time during his tenure as Ukraine’s president. One can only imagine the intensity of the MPs’ dislike for the president after he launched the process of forcing their bodies (which are now even bulkier) out of their parliamentary seats, straight into the fight for the right to return to these same seats.
Although they are very reluctant to do this, the political forces must now bestir themselves to convince voters that they are worthy of their trust and priceless votes. In his latest witticism Viktor Yanukovych declared that the “Orange” MPs desire seats so much that a furniture factory would not be able to sate their appetites. Who knows, perhaps some voters will appreciate the Donbas wit’s subtle humor, and his party will grab a few more votes than last time.
Yulia Tymoshenko’s comrades in arms want to file an appeal to the courts to have the president’s edict repealed. This will cause a lot of whoop-de-do, putting the BYuT in the spotlight, which is what it wants because the party is trying to become even more powerful in order to thwart any attempts at dislodging its leader from the prime minister’s seat.
Naturally, Our Ukraine will follow suit and try to put a better spin on its drastically waning popularity ratings. Oleksandr Moroz’s socialists and Natalia Vitrenko’s progressive socialists do not even need to be mentioned here-they have been itching to lean back against the soft seats in the Verkhovna Rada, so they will be bending over backwards, nearly to the point of risking their good health, to return to parliament.
In short, we could go on and on enumerating the various political groupings, but ordinary voters have nothing to do with them, nor the parties with the voters. Even so, whether you like it or not, politicians will have to promise something to the people for whose votes they are competing. Of course, they would rather give voters a lot of baloney and later forget all their promises.
However, practice shows that this kind of approach does not always end well. To add fuel to the fire, Ukraine’s politicians have uncomfortable memories (not pricks of conscience) of the recent elections in Kyiv. Initiating that ballot, Tymoshenko probably figured that one word from her would be enough for Kyivites to dutifully cast their votes for her favorite candidate.
Similarly, other candidates talked sheer nonsense, which could take in only a naive Ukrainian from the romantic period of independent Ukraine. The voters decided to keep Mayor Liona Chernovetsky, nicknamed “Outer Space,” in office. An enraged Tymoshenko later declared that she was ashamed of Kyivites.
But shame will not help here. We may assume that in the next elections politicians will have to report on their past promises and then offer us something real and believable. In our turn, we, the rank-and-file voters, need to think about what else we can wheedle out of them. For example, we could demand that politicians adopt measures to curb the greed of development companies by forcing them to slash real estate prices. We could also insist on the implementation of programs that would legalize our under-the-table salaries by bringing them, percentage-wise, to the level of European countries. In doing so, we need to assert firmly that we will be demanding a report on this in the next elections.
That’s all very well, but who will make these demands on behalf of the electorate? We still don’t have a civil society, so these same politicians are most likely the ones who will be speaking on our behalf. They will tell us what we want. We will only have to wait and see if their words match our real wishes. If they don’t correspond, we should vote like we did during the Kyiv mayoral elections and let the enraged politicians complain about themselves.