Monday, March 27, 2006

The exit polls and the will of the people

Exit polls are notoriously inaccurate but that innaccuracy is in the percentage they give the candidates. If they show the wide disparity that they show here, they are probably right. So here's what they say:

The exit polls gave Yanukovich's Regions Party 27-31 percent, the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc 22-24 percent and President Viktor Yushchenko's Our Ukraine party about 15 percent. Preliminary results were not expected for two to three days.

This article suggests that Yulia will be PM. Vox populi, vox dei.

Let me just say that foreign investment in Russia was over $200 billion last year and incomes there are twice to three times and more what they are here. Foreign investment in Ukraine was at a record approaching $8 billion, but that record number comes from just two sales, Kryvorizhstal and Bank Avaal. But that is 4% of the investment Russia got last year.

I have said this here many times: If Ukraine is going to reach the economic potential which is hers by right, there is a need for foreign investment and lots of it. I will tell you that Tymoshenko does not instill the confidence in investors needed to attract that investment. In fact, they would probably have more confidence in a Party of the Regions PM. But then, capital isn't moral.

So now what do we get? Increases in pensions and salaries of government workers? (Not a bad thing in and of itself, but what if there is no increase in production?) Orders to regional governors to bring in meat--chicken and pork-- at projected prices or government stepping in to buy it and sell it from state stores? Re-privatization of how many businesses? Price controls on things like sugar, pork, gasoline and natural gas? Government investment in petroleum refining facilities? (More government employees with more salaries to raise and more government bureacracy. Can we say drinks for drunks? And how are they going to pay for it?) A wholesale undercutting of legitimate businesses, businesses that employ people, with charges of price gouging? That kind of climate will be business-friendly? Is that what we are in store for?

What will be the result? Inflation and shortages. Except this time around, Yuschenko will be far enough from the scene to not be blamable for it. (Maybe the Russians?) There may be some vindication in that somewhere. In other words, this time, when Tymoshenko sneezes, maybe she will have caught the cold.


Anonymous said...

Why not give Tymo a little more credit as a pragmatic politician?

She'll need to move more to the center towards Yusch's positions to ensure a stable coalition and consolidate power.


Anonymous said...

Ms Tymoshenko is far more pragmatic than you give her credit for. But let's not forget, in a country where far too many people live in grnding poverty, the "markets" and inward investment are the least of their worries. Yulia has bigger priorities to see to than keeping business happy.