Sunday, October 25, 2009

'Minor' presidential candidates put in good performances on TV

Three lesser candidates standing for president in next January's election appeared in an interesting and lengthy 'Shuster Live' TV program last Friday. Representatives and spokesmen from the main condenders' political parties also took part. [You can watch it via the above link.]

The candidates were Anatoliy Hrytsenko, a former minister of defence in both Yanukovych's and Tymoshenko's government; Inna Bohoslovska, who ran her own party a while, was a member of PoR for a couple of years, then quit Regiony to run as an independent candidate earlier this year; and Oleh Tyahnybok, leader of the right-wing 'Freedom' party.

PoR send two of their top mouthpieces - attack dog Nestor Shufrich and Oleksandr Efremov, whilst BYuT sent their deputy Oleh Lyashko. Former president Leonid Kravchuk, whilst not strictly a BYuT party member, spoke in support of 'she who works'.

A couple of political experts pointed out that it was important to remember that the president, according to the consititution, is not primarily responsible for the economy, even though in the coming campaign the current economic crisis this will completely overshadow all other matters.

In LEvko's opinion, the three 'minor' candidates performed most competently with creditable seriousness and eloquence, presenting policies and ideas, whilst the others were more concerned in mutual mud-slinging. Hrytsenko's performance in particular, was impressive and was appreciated by the audience.

At the end of the program the studio audience, which Shuster made great pains to point out was a true cross-section of Ukraine's adult population, were asked: "Which one of the speakers was the most convincing". Top came Hrytsenko - 37%. Second came Tyahnybok - 30%. Bohoslovska 14%. The PoR representatives, perhaps the best they've got, scored 11%

None of the three candidates mentioned have financial resources and backing to match the main candidates, which is a shame. Hrytsenko in particular would give any other candidate a run for their money in any TV debate. I would not be surprised if he came in a creditable third in January, even though he would make an excellent president.

After this show, PoR will have to do some serious thinking about their presentational policy for Yanukovych's campaign. Even though he is favourite, they cannot keep their man wrapped in cotton wool for the entire period. And they may rue the loss of Bohoslovska.

p.s. There may well be more dirty allegations soon. Well known journalist Sonya Koshkina makes mention, in a piece in 'Lyevyi Byeryeg', of shall we say, unnatural and illegal behaviour of a sexual nature, by 'Yanik' during his second prison stretch in the early '70's. The rumblings around this may have caused PoR to 'get their retaliation in first' with 'paedo' allegations against BYuT deputies...

Who knows where the truth lies? Maybe the electorate of sick of the dirt - hence the possibly growing support for the minor presidential candidates.

In another article by the same journalist, entitled 'The recidivist candidate', describing Yanukovych's party nomination conference, the first [untitled] photograph in the article shows the above-mentioned Nestor Shufrich embracing a rather sinster-looking character. This can't be PoR deputy Elbrus Tedeyev, whose brother was allegedly involved in a wild-west-style shoot-out between two criminal gangs in a Kyiv park recently, can it?

After the shooting, several participants were allegedly seen driving away in Elbrus's officially registered Merc 500. But it couldn't possibly be him - 'cos he's also a pal of fellow PoR-deputy, Yanik-junior..


UkrToday said...

At a cost of over 2.5 million, with little to no chances of success in surviving the first round of voting, one has to question the motive and reasons behind minor candidates nomination.

Yes many of the so called minor candidates have a lot to offer in terms of possibly being a better candidate but as the world knows in the election of GW Bush direct election of a head of state is not based on merit or suitability.

How many nominations are technical or strategic based.

Under the two round first-post-the post voting system minor candidates play a negative role in that they take votes away from more serious candidates. The real battle ground is the race for 2nd and 3rd place as only the two highest polling candidates can progress into the all important second round of voting.

Candidates such as Oleh Tyahnybok, Anatoliy Hrytsenko, Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Viktor Yushchenko are all competing against each other for their share of the same slice of cake. They become what is referred to as spoiler candidates.

Some are not serious in their endeavor and are just flying the flag or colors in order to ensure they have some recognition in future parliamentary elections SPU, CPU and Lytvyn fall in that category and they also play a negative spoiler role)

Others like Oleh Ryabokon appear to be technical candidates in order to stack the CEC committees with like minded voices who can hopefully add to chorus and the occasional solo to make a point known and to attack additional allocated media time.

In Yushchenko, Yatsenyuk and Hrytsenko's case they will be clinging on to each other as they all struggle to stay afloat, unless their is already a planed strategy of alliance and sacrifice that has not become yet apparent. Our Ukraine and the presidential forces appear very much divided, lacking unity and direction.

Under the first-past-the-post voting system a vote for a minor candidate is a wasted vote.

As the election progresses and Ukraine becomes focused on the campaign it will not be so much as issues that will determine voters intention but the need to consolidate and get behind the two main players. Voters will soon realize that placing a bet on a lame or losing horse will not produce any benefit. It will become a choice of the better of two evils. Whilst the real talent is overlooked.

A democracy can live without a president but without a parliament is is a autocratic dictatorship.

No matter the outcome of the election Ukraine will continue to face ongoing political instability and division. Another reason why Ukraine should abandon the Presidential system and the direct election of head of state and embrace a democratic parliamentary system.

elmer said...

Well, to my great chagrin - I did it again. I'm watching the talk-fest.

I'm somewhere half-way through, and Tyahnybok looks pretty darn good, but Hrytsenko wins the prize for being direct and to the point - he has said virtually nothing, but made his point - крапка.

But there is something quite SHOCKING - with about an hour and 20 minutes left, the discussion was about minimum wage, and pensions, and Shufrych is mouthing off. The camera switches to 3 men, and a female reporter. The men are involved in small business, and are giving their reactions to proposed minimum wage hikes.

Here is the absolutely SHOCKING thing - Shufrych, sovok style, launches into an extremely hostile ATTACK against these citizens and voters of Ukraine - he SHOUTS at them. It's a really vicious attack.

In any true Western democracy, such an attack would be unthinkable for any presidential candidate - or that candidate's spokesperson.

Former President Kravchuk actually steps in and gives Shufrych a well-deserved trip to the wood shed.

Kravchuk tells Shufrych that he ought to apologize to these 3 men, who after all are citizens, and the lifeblood of Ukraine, and that he is not in Parliament, where he otherwise might feel free to attack and insult other members of Parliament.

Kravchuk is absolutely right on this, and Shufrych is just a putrid punk who deserves more than just a tongue-lashing from Kravchuk.

What Shufrych did is unbelievable - apparently, he still thinks he is living in sovok mafia times.

elmer said...

Well, a few days ago, I finally slogged through the program - and Hrytsenko was truly impressive, as was Tyahnybok.

They were concise and to the point, unlike all the sovok-style reps from the Party of Regions, etc.

While almost everyone else was moaning about how the Prez really is not empowered to do anything, Hrytsenko laid out exactly and analytically what the Prez CAN do. And exactly what steps the Prez could indeed take to solve specific problems, which Hrytsenko delineated very nicely.

He also mentioned his moral right to talk about the Holodomor, since his family suffered and fell victim to it. He is absolutely right about that, but his campaign is not based on it.

In the meantime, Tyahnybok was very good at pointing out the self-contradictions and hypocrisy of the incumbent parties. And bringing up "lustration."

Lustration, meaning eliminating all commies and former commies from government, has been done in other countries, to great and good effect.

But Tyahnybok's version of lustration is not limited to just commies - it would cover current incumbents as well.

The problem with all of this talk (балакання) is that the system in Ukraine, including the system of elections, is designed to preserve and protect the oligarchs - the "political elite."

So that while many candidates talk about how they would truly represent the people, it's really an empty promise until changes are made in Ukraine's system.

Savik deserves credit for devoting so much air time to these matters.