Saturday, September 22, 2012
Big money pulls all the strings
Olha Rudenko, in her excellent 'KyivPost' article, highlights what everyone already knows - Ukraine's major political forces are to a large extent a sham - they are generously sponsored by a tiny number of country's mega-rich oligarchs for their own self-interest.
These oligarch's aim is to 'hedge their bets', Whatever the electorate decide, they can be reasonably sure their business empires will remain intact and their massive wealth unassailable.
Valeriy Portnikov points out in a recent article, any sanctions by Western countries against Ukrainian politicians and highly-placed officials in punishment for the roll-back of democracy in the country will not cause much distress for Yanukovych himself, his closest circle, or these oligarchs. Their assets and interests will remain largely untouched.
..Ukrainian society [is a] a society of collaborators who lose their heads at the mere sight of the illegally enriched 'nouveaux-riches'.
While the opposition looks to the oligarchs for funding, while Ukrainian intellectuals run to them for funds for grants and other handouts, while Ukrainian universities take money from them, and even brag about this, while Ukrainian voters delight in observing giant objects constructed with money earned by unclear- or rather clear means, Yanukovych invincible!
..the people who love to talk about the democracy in the West then sell themselves for pennies, and even justify this all... deserve nothing better.
This is the question - are great swathes of Ukraine really ready for western-style democracy? Do they want this style of government at all?
p.s. So many candidates, particularly in the simple majority constituencies, are handing out food parcels, children's gifts and trinkets that this means of bribing electors is frequently not very productive. Votes simply forget who gave what and when..