Saturday, June 17, 2006

NSNU and PR tango

It looks like it's going to be NSNU and PR. At least all the signs point that way. The heads of NSNU and PR have been ensconced away in negotiations today and there appears to be some movement on the NATO thing, at least if one senior member of PR can be believed. ("Our people will probably forget NATO, but they won't forget wages and pensions...")

I don't know how Our Ukraine is figuring this. Any uniting with PR will be seen as a complete abandonment of Maidan--maybe even a repudiation. "They spit in the faces of teh people who stood on the Maidan" would be the feeling. And they will suffer politically from it. That seems clear. But five years is a long time in politics and maybe they feel the people will forget that little side trip and who knows? If things shape up, maybe people will. The problem is that it will take a lot of will for things to shape up because that means reform and taking on corruption. It is hard for me to see that that is a part of the PR platform and it is looking like it is not on the agenda of some parties in Our Ukraine either.

Or do they think they can remain in power other ways? If that is true, the Orange Revolution will have purchased nothing. It will have been a brief interlude on the way to getting back to business as usual. I hope this isn't the case. Kuchma is beginning to look pretty good, though.

The real irony is that a NSNU/PR coalition will make Ukraine look more stable to the outside, that is, to investors and others. That can be a good thing but only if there is the kind of reform I don't think this crowd is seriously considering. I hope I'm wrong, but it would mean a guy like Yanukovych and his crowd suddenly seeing that the way they have done business in the past is either wrong, morally, or that it doesn't get them what they want. I don't see them finding religion on that issue at all and doing business the way they do it always gets them what they want.

The one problem it does solve is to enfranchise one half of the country. It will bring east Ukraine into the government. And that isn't a bad idea. The problem is at what cost and will there be any effective bridging of the divide? On the second, I don't think this is on anyone's agenda either. And the cost looks like it might be too high.

By the way, this might be one reason why Yuschenko is distancing himself from NSNU. Do they believe he is the head of the party? I don't believe they think they owe him anything. As a matter of fact, he might have been a drag on the party in the elections from their point of view. So are they really listening to him anyway? He preserves some credibility by distancing himself.

It is interesting that someone paint-bombed NSNU's headquarters today. The color of the paint? Blue. That is political speech, no?

1 comment:

DLW said...

For me what has been most conspicuously absent in these recent months is the spirit of the Orange Revolution.

Where have been the people? Why haven't they been calling on the ORC to work things out?

We shd never think that the Orange Revolution was mainly about the politicians, but rather the Ukrainian people standing up for themselves. So why haven't they been standing up for themselves again? These sorts of things are hardly ever a once-for-all sort of thing.