Instant Run-off – Preferential voting made easy.

September 29, 2007

Ukraine needs to look beyond the USA for its guidence in electoral reform.

Instant Run-off Preferential voting means voters have a real choice. One ballot less costs 100’s of Millions of dollars of public funding saved. Democracy as simple as 1,2,3,4

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Instant Run-off – Preferential voting made easy.

September 29, 2007

Ukraine needs to look beyond the USA for its guidence in electoral reform.

Instant Run-off Preferential voting means voters have a real choice. One ballot less costs 100’s of Millions of dollars of public funding saved. Democracy as simple as 1,2,3,4

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqblOq8BmgM”>


The outcome of Sunday’s poll – Party of Regions fortune will depend on the performance of minor parties

September 29, 2007

It is minor parties that will determine the outcome of the poll and who will form government if the new parliament is able to function.

Without the success of minor parties, vsuch as Lytyn, Communist Patry of Ukraine and the Socialists Party of Ukraine all who are supportive of the government then Party of Regions chances of retaining office are limited to legal challenges. Given the extent of interference in the legal process by Ukraine’s president “democratic rule of law” in Ukraine has been pushed aside, with suggestions that the Ukraine’s President will once again sooner after the poll act to prevent the courts from considering any challenge.

Ukraine’s voting system and the 3% threshold barrier could see Yulia Tymoshchenko (25%), win by default, with support from Our Ukraine (12%) out-poll Party of Regions (33-34%)

Public opinion polling prior to the election had shown Lytvyn,. Former Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament under President Kuchma hold the balance of power.

The Socialist party has been the main point of attack by the opposition parties have targeted the Socialist vote which is strongest around the Poltava region. The Socialist movement in Ukraine is bitterly divided with various flavours (Including Yulia Tymoshenko) claiming to be socialist parties.

The other issue weighing against the Party of Regions is Party KUCHMA” a groups who has registered themselves under the name of Party of Regions and former Ukraine’s president, Leonard Kuchma. Every vote for party KUCHMA is one less vote for the government.

Similarly is a party who head the ballot list, Communist Party of Ukraine (Revised) This party is designed to create confusion in the voting list in order to reduce the voter support offered to the Communist Party of Ukraine who are governing coalition members.

The Polls are predicting a high participation of 80% which is surprising considering the level of voter disillusionment and loss of confidence in the political process in Ukraine. A loss of confidence could work in the oppositions favour.

The government failed to capitalise in the campaign on the attack on Ukraine’s parliamentary democracy and avoided criticism of the president’s anti-democratic unconstitutional decree dismissing Ukraine’s previous parliament and as such the false claim by the President and opposition forces that they are the only “democratic” political parties standing for office. The policies of Our Ukraine and Yulia Tymoshenko bloc are most certainly not democratic and not supportive of European Standards.

It is labels and branding like “Democratic” pro west” that can persuade undecided voters and most certainly the western media who are looking for simple catch phrases to fill in their 1 minute grabs on Ukraine.

The government should have tackled these issues head-on but instead opted to avoid these issues in fear that they would draw attention of the focus points of the opposition campaign, but in doing so they also killed off opportunity for their coalition partners

Participation Rate

A 2.5% rating in the polls divided by a 80% participation rate translates into 3.1% of the vote. So a low participation rate is to the minor players advantage.

The Socialist Party

The Socialist party should not be ruled our but all indications are that they will fall below the 3% barrier and as such it becomes a self full-filling prophecy. To a large extent the media in and outside Ukraine have written the Socialist Party of Ukraine off and as a result their voice was overshadowed by the opposition and Party of Regions. But the Socialist party’s support is not that simple and not as populist orientated as the other players some of the previous polls had placed them above the 3% mark but it will be an uphill struggle.

Lytvn Party

The Lytvn Party is the main benefactor in the minor party race. Lytvn fell short of winning represe3ntation in the 2006 parliamentary election and all indications is that he may very well succeed in obtaining 4% of the vote. Much of his success will depend on the voter turnout and participation rate.

Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine

The other party that might succeed is Natalyia Vitrenko and the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine

The Vitrenko juggernaut whilst showing a presence was hardly seen during this campaign. Unlike in 2006 NATO did not rise to the forefront in the political debate and unlike 2006 Natalyia Vitrenko was not afforded every opportunity to be seen to be tackling the issues head on allowing economy and fortune to rule the agenda

Yulia Tymoshenko

Overall Tymoshenko, although not very truthful and decisive, had run the better of the campaigns. She tapped into the psychic of Ukraine and even tried the Joan of Arch approach by claiming she was the white maiden coming to save Ukraine.

Yulia had out-spent all other parties and came close to matching Party of Regions in their campaign costs estimated to have spent around 2-300 million dollars in the process.

Yulia’s campaign has been focused and targeted. She started off attacking her coalition partners in order to ensure that she would receive the highest support and as such the right to become prime-minister if the opposition orange coalition win a majority of seats.

All indications is that she has succeeded to out poll her coalition partner Our Ukraine.

Our Ukraine

Our Ukraine’s campaign had not tapped into the hearts and minds of Ukraine. Their campaign was reliant mainly on the presence of Victor Yushchenko who constantly campaigned for the opposition from the umpires seat. The problem they face was that the president’s campaign was a blunt sword in that it advocated support for the broader opposition coalition.

The much trumpeted merger (It was in reality a takeover) with the newly created People’s Self Defence Party has failed to attract popular support. All indications and polls are showing Our Ukraine will at best retain their 14% support shown in the 2006 election or may even lose out with a shift in support going to the Yulia Tymoshenko bloc.

The election by no means is a forgone conclusion but with up to 25% of voters supporting minor parties or “none of the above” the level of support of minor parties is crucial in the determining the final outcome.

Should the opposition not rise to power pressure will be on the president to resign as many Ukrainians still believe that the election was uncalled for and unconstitutional and will most certainly not resolve Ukraine’s political tension and division.


The outcome of Sunday’s poll – Party of Regions fortune will depend on the performance of minor parties

September 29, 2007

It is minor parties that will determine the outcome of the poll and who will form government if the new parliament is able to function.

Without the success of minor parties, vsuch as Lytyn, Communist Patry of Ukraine and the Socialists Party of Ukraine all who are supportive of the government then Party of Regions chances of retaining office are limited to legal challenges. Given the extent of interference in the legal process by Ukraine’s president “democratic rule of law” in Ukraine has been pushed aside, with suggestions that the Ukraine’s President will once again sooner after the poll act to prevent the courts from considering any challenge.

Ukraine’s voting system and the 3% threshold barrier could see Yulia Tymoshchenko (25%), win by default, with support from Our Ukraine (12%) out-poll Party of Regions (33-34%)

Public opinion polling prior to the election had shown Lytvyn,. Former Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament under President Kuchma hold the balance of power.

The Socialist party has been the main point of attack by the opposition parties have targeted the Socialist vote which is strongest around the Poltava region. The Socialist movement in Ukraine is bitterly divided with various flavours (Including Yulia Tymoshenko) claiming to be socialist parties.

The other issue weighing against the Party of Regions is Party KUCHMA” a groups who has registered themselves under the name of Party of Regions and former Ukraine’s president, Leonard Kuchma. Every vote for party KUCHMA is one less vote for the government.

Similarly is a party who head the ballot list, Communist Party of Ukraine (Revised) This party is designed to create confusion in the voting list in order to reduce the voter support offered to the Communist Party of Ukraine who are governing coalition members.

The Polls are predicting a high participation of 80% which is surprising considering the level of voter disillusionment and loss of confidence in the political process in Ukraine. A loss of confidence could work in the oppositions favour.

The government failed to capitalise in the campaign on the attack on Ukraine’s parliamentary democracy and avoided criticism of the president’s anti-democratic unconstitutional decree dismissing Ukraine’s previous parliament and as such the false claim by the President and opposition forces that they are the only “democratic” political parties standing for office. The policies of Our Ukraine and Yulia Tymoshenko bloc are most certainly not democratic and not supportive of European Standards.

It is labels and branding like “Democratic” pro west” that can persuade undecided voters and most certainly the western media who are looking for simple catch phrases to fill in their 1 minute grabs on Ukraine.

The government should have tackled these issues head-on but instead opted to avoid these issues in fear that they would draw attention of the focus points of the opposition campaign, but in doing so they also killed off opportunity for their coalition partners

Participation Rate

A 2.5% rating in the polls divided by a 80% participation rate translates into 3.1% of the vote. So a low participation rate is to the minor players advantage.

The Socialist Party

The Socialist party should not be ruled our but all indications are that they will fall below the 3% barrier and as such it becomes a self full-filling prophecy. To a large extent the media in and outside Ukraine have written the Socialist Party of Ukraine off and as a result their voice was overshadowed by the opposition and Party of Regions. But the Socialist party’s support is not that simple and not as populist orientated as the other players some of the previous polls had placed them above the 3% mark but it will be an uphill struggle.

Lytvn Party

The Lytvn Party is the main benefactor in the minor party race. Lytvn fell short of winning represe3ntation in the 2006 parliamentary election and all indications is that he may very well succeed in obtaining 4% of the vote. Much of his success will depend on the voter turnout and participation rate.

Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine

The other party that might succeed is Natalyia Vitrenko and the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine

The Vitrenko juggernaut whilst showing a presence was hardly seen during this campaign. Unlike in 2006 NATO did not rise to the forefront in the political debate and unlike 2006 Natalyia Vitrenko was not afforded every opportunity to be seen to be tackling the issues head on allowing economy and fortune to rule the agenda

Yulia Tymoshenko

Overall Tymoshenko, although not very truthful and decisive, had run the better of the campaigns. She tapped into the psychic of Ukraine and even tried the Joan of Arch approach by claiming she was the white maiden coming to save Ukraine.

Yulia had out-spent all other parties and came close to matching Party of Regions in their campaign costs estimated to have spent around 2-300 million dollars in the process.

Yulia’s campaign has been focused and targeted. She started off attacking her coalition partners in order to ensure that she would receive the highest support and as such the right to become prime-minister if the opposition orange coalition win a majority of seats.

All indications is that she has succeeded to out poll her coalition partner Our Ukraine.

Our Ukraine

Our Ukraine’s campaign had not tapped into the hearts and minds of Ukraine. Their campaign was reliant mainly on the presence of Victor Yushchenko who constantly campaigned for the opposition from the umpires seat. The problem they face was that the president’s campaign was a blunt sword in that it advocated support for the broader opposition coalition.

The much trumpeted merger (It was in reality a takeover) with the newly created People’s Self Defence Party has failed to attract popular support. All indications and polls are showing Our Ukraine will at best retain their 14% support shown in the 2006 election or may even lose out with a shift in support going to the Yulia Tymoshenko bloc.

The election by no means is a forgone conclusion but with up to 25% of voters supporting minor parties or “none of the above” the level of support of minor parties is crucial in the determining the final outcome.

Should the opposition not rise to power pressure will be on the president to resign as many Ukrainians still believe that the election was uncalled for and unconstitutional and will most certainly not resolve Ukraine’s political tension and division.


The outcome of Sunday’s poll – Party of Regions fortune will depend on the performance of minor parties

September 29, 2007

It is minor parties that will determine the outcome of the poll in Ukraine and who will form government if the new parliament is able to function.

Without the success of minor parties, such as Lytyn, Communist Party of Ukraine and the Socialists Party of Ukraine, all who are supportive of the government, then Party of Regions chances of retaining office are limited to legal challenges. Given the extent of interference in the legal process by Ukraine’s president “democratic rule of law” in Ukraine has been pushed aside, with suggestions that the Ukraine’s President will once again sooner after the poll act to prevent the courts from considering any challenge.

Ukraine’s voting system and the 3% threshold barrier could see Yulia Tymoshchenko (25%), win by default, with support from Our Ukraine (12%) out-poll Party of Regions (33-34%)

Public opinion polling prior to the election had shown Lytvyn,. Former Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament under President Kuchma hold the balance of power.
The Socialist party has been the main point of attack by the opposition parties have targeted the Socialist vote which is strongest around the Poltava region. The Socialist movement in Ukraine is bitterly divided with various flavours (Including Yulia Tymoshenko) claiming to be socialist parties.The other issue weighing against the Party of Regions is Party KUCHMA” a groups who has registered themselves under the name of Party of Regions and former Ukraine’s president, Leonard Kuchma. Every vote for party KUCHMA is one less vote for the government.

Similarly is a party who head the ballot list, Communist Party of Ukraine (Revised) This party is designed to create confusion in the voting list in order to reduce the voter support offered to the Communist Party of Ukraine who are governing coalition members.

The Polls are predicting a high participation of 80% which is surprising considering the level of voter disillusionment and loss of confidence in the political process in Ukraine. A loss of confidence could work in the oppositions favour.

The government failed to capitalise in the campaign on the attack on Ukraine’s parliamentary democracy and avoided criticism of the president’s anti-democratic unconstitutional decree dismissing Ukraine’s previous parliament and as such the false claim by the President and opposition forces that they are the only “democratic” political parties standing for office. The policies of Our Ukraine and Yulia Tymoshenko bloc are most certainly not democratic and not supportive of European Standards.

It is labels and branding like “Democratic” pro west” that can persuade undecided voters and most certainly the western media who are looking for simple catch phrases to fill in their 1 minute grabs on Ukraine.

The government should have tackled these issues head-on but instead opted to avoid these issues in fear that they would draw attention of the focus points of the opposition campaign, but in doing so they also killed off opportunity for their coalition partners

Participation Rate

A 2.5% rating in the polls divided by a 80% participation rate translates into 3.1% of the vote. So a low participation rate is to the minor players advantage.

The Socialist Party

The Socialist party should not be ruled our but all indications are that they will fall below the 3% barrier and as such it becomes a self full-filling prophecy. To a large extent the media in and outside Ukraine have written the Socialist Party of Ukraine off and as a result their voice was overshadowed by the opposition and Party of Regions. But the Socialist party’s support is not that simple and not as populist orientated as the other players some of the previous polls had placed them above the 3% mark but it will be an uphill struggle.

Lytvn Party

The Lytvn Party is the main benefactor in the minor party race. Lytvn fell short of winning represe3ntation in the 2006 parliamentary election and all indications is that he may very well succeed in obtaining 4% of the vote. Much of his success will depend on the voter turnout and participation rate.

Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine

The other party that might succeed is Natalyia Vitrenko and the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine

The Vitrenko juggernaut whilst showing a presence was hardly seen during this campaign. Unlike in 2006 NATO did not rise to the forefront in the political debate and unlike 2006 Natalyia Vitrenko was not afforded every opportunity to be seen to be tackling the issues head on allowing economy and fortune to rule the agenda

Yulia Tymoshenko

Overall Tymoshenko, although not very truthful and decisive, had run the better of the campaigns. She tapped into the psychic of Ukraine and even tried the Joan of Arch approach by claiming she was the white maiden coming to save Ukraine.

Yulia had out-spent all other parties and came close to matching Party of Regions in their campaign costs estimated to have spent around 2-300 million dollars in the process.

Yulia’s campaign has been focused and targeted. She started off attacking her coalition partners in order to ensure that she would receive the highest support and as such the right to become prime-minister if the opposition orange coalition win a majority of seats.

All indications is that she has succeeded to out poll her coalition partner Our Ukraine.

Our Ukraine

Our Ukraine’s campaign had not tapped into the hearts and minds of Ukraine. Their campaign was reliant mainly on the presence of Victor Yushchenko who constantly campaigned for the opposition from the umpires seat. The problem they face was that the president’s campaign was a blunt sword in that it advocated support for the broader opposition coalition.

The much trumpeted merger (It was in reality a takeover) with the newly created People’s Self Defence Party has failed to attract popular support. All indications and polls are showing Our Ukraine will at best retain their 14% support shown in the 2006 election or may even lose out with a shift in support going to the Yulia Tymoshenko bloc.

The election by no means is a forgone conclusion but with up to 25% of voters supporting minor parties or “none of the above” the level of support of minor parties is crucial in the determining the final outcome.

Should the opposition not rise to power pressure will be on the president to resign as many Ukrainians still believe that the election was uncalled for and unconstitutional and will most certainly not resolve Ukraine’s political tension and division.


Ukraine elections: fresh start or back to square one?

September 27, 2007

Ukraine is preparing to go to the polls for the fourth time in three years. Independence Square is adorned with multi-coloured flags once again. Will the early election mark a fresh start for the country or is it just another opportunity for yet another political battle? In this documentary you have got a chance to get ready for the election along with the Ukrainians.

Watch this story
Video


Here We Go Again.. AN ISSUE-FREE CAMPAIGN

September 26, 2007

“Whatever happens on 30 September will not resolve the ongoing struggle for power between the Party of Regions and Yushchenko. A “grand coalition” between these two antagonists looks likely to be short-lived and the same goes for a Tymoshenko government. One result looks certain: people will soon start talking about yet another election.”

Source: TOL

by Ivan Lozowy
26 September 2007

Ukraine’s political problems run deeper than another set of elections can possibly fix.

Also see: ELECTORAL TIMELINE

KYIV, Ukraine Ukraine is in the final stretch of yet another election campaign notable for the lack of substantive debate on political challenges and marred by the deep-seated personal animosities that have dominated Ukrainian politics since the Orange Revolution three years ago.

The 30 September vote is being presented to the public as the solution to the ongoing political crisis brought about by feuding between President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych. This expectation is bound to be disappointed.

Circling the two antagonists is Yulia Tymoshenko, the firebrand opposition politician who hopes for another chance to sit in the prime minister’s seat.

AN ISSUE-FREE CAMPAIGN

President Yushchenko

The root cause of the friction between the president and the prime minister is a struggle for power and authority in Ukraine’s political system. During this election campaign the political struggles have been conducted almost entirely on a personal level. The platforms of the three main competing blocs hardly get a mention in the media. Attention is focused intensely on one question: who will form a post-election government coalition?

Political sources indicate that the presidential secretariat began preparing for new elections at least as far back as January this year, when a tight circle of consultants gathered to discuss the feasibility of dissolving parliament. But it took three presidential decrees and an eventual political compromise in May to set a firm election date.

Twenty parties and coalitions have registered their candidates’ lists with the Central Election Commission. These include the usual smattering of temporary, minor business alliances, as well as a “Kuchma Bloc.” In an indication of how low expectations have sunk in the wake of a Orange Revolution run aground, a Kyiv graffito urges former President Leonid Kuchma, “Danylich – Come Back!”

Two established parties are unlikely to do well in the voting. The Socialists may not even top the 3-percent cutoff to enter parliament, and the Communists, currently rejoicing at the woes of their former adherent, now Socialist leader Oleksandr Moroz, may not do much better.

The real battle will take place between the Party of Regions, headed by Yanukovych, the Our Ukraine – National Self-Defense coalition supported by Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko’s eponymous bloc.

CONFIDENT REGIONS, LACKLUSTER YUSHCHENKO

The Party of Regions is feeling confident, and for good reason. They are polling at 36–38 percent, a marked improvement over their 32 percent result in the 2006 election. The party is pushing its main theme of dependability in the retro style of the former “red” directors from the Soviet period who are key supporters.

The party’s campaign chief, Boris Kolesnikov, has said that Regions would seek a national referendum on Ukraine’s possible entry into NATO and on elevating Russian to a state language, on a par with Ukrainian. These initiatives are aimed against the pro-Western Yushchenko and designed to consolidate support from Ukraine’s eastern, Russian-speaking regions.

Prime Minister Yanukovych

Yanukovych’s personal slogan – “What Yanukovych says, he does” – harks back to Kuchma’s main theme in his race for the presidency in 1994, when serving President Leonid Kravchuk was lampooned as “all words,” while Kuchma was the “man of action.”

As in the Kuchma-Kravchuk race, which Kuchma unexpectedly won, Yanukovych is playing on voters’ disenchantment with the serving president. In 2004, just before the Orange Revolution, Yushchenko ran for the office proclaiming “Not with words, but with action.” But two years of Yushchenko’s presidency and his passivity, detachment, and inefficacy have turned away voters.

Yushchenko’s supporters have gathered in a coalition which largely repeats the format in which they ran in March 2006. Now, however, their bloc is dominated by Yuriy Lutsenko, Number 1 on the bloc electoral list and a politician who has built his political career largely on his animosity, amply returned, towards the Party of Regions.

Lutsenko’s anti-Regions strategy has allowed him to fill a political niche thus far dominated by Tymoshenko. However, his personal poll ratings, currently hovering at 6–8 percent, may not be enough to lift the Our Ukraine coalition much higher than their dismal result of 14 percent last year. Nor has the way he meekly entered Yanukovych’s government just weeks after publicly declaring he would never do so boosted his reputation as scourge of the Party of Regions.

TYMOSHENKO – ETERNAL OPPOSITIONIST?

Tymoshenko, however, remains Ukraine’s premier opposition politician.

Yulia Tymoshenko greeting her supporters at an election rally.

In March 2006 the Tymoshenko Bloc won 22 percent of the vote and this time around her results are likely to improve slightly, but based on the numbers of people who dislike her hard-headed style – her negative ratings have consistently been the highest among Ukraine’s national politicians – Tymoshenko may have reached the upper limit of supporters she can win over.

Tymoshenko’s message is simple: give me another shot at running the country from the prime minister’s office. The problem with this scenario, however, is that most people were not very impressed with her first time around, when a meat crisis was followed by a gasoline crisis and privatized enterprises were slated for nationalization.

Tymoshenko’s main problem, however, is not so much the election as the intentions of Yushchenko and his closest allies. The role that will be played in post-election coalition talks by Viktor Baloha, the powerful head of the presidential secretariat, will be crucial. Rumors abound that Baloha himself is interested in the post of prime minister. Though such an eventuality is somewhat far-fetched, Baloha will be very reluctant to see in the job given her track record as a solo rather than team player.

READING TEA LEAVES

Some analysts are whispering about the possibility of a worst-case scenario – the Party of Regions garnering more than half the seats in parliament together with the communists, allowing them to form a government on their own. The two parties have worked as solid coalition partners in the Yanukovych-led government.

Others mutter that fraud may cloud the outcome of the voting. The Committee of Voters of Ukraine, a non-partisan, Western-funded monitoring group, has issued regular reports listing its concerns about such issues as the use of central government resources to influence voting, irregularities in voter registration lists, and inadequate regulation of home voting for disabled people.

Following the March 2006 elections, independent journalists uncovered evidence of serious and massive voting falsifications in the Donetsk region, the home base of the Party of Regions.

Over the past decade, local election commissions have become adept at election fraud. Since election commission members are dominated by representatives of local government, manipulation of voting results is commonplace.

Whatever happens on 30 September will not resolve the ongoing struggle for power between the Party of Regions and Yushchenko. A “grand coalition” between these two antagonists looks likely to be short-lived and the same goes for a Tymoshenko government. One result looks certain: people will soon start talking about yet another election.