Response to R. Romanovs note ‘Will Kuchma become the Big Brother?
R. Romanovs article was published in the February issue.
I support the negative attitude of R. Romanov to the all-Ukrainian referendum. At the same time I would like to comment on the misunderstanding, which appeared, in my opinion, because of the deficit of information possessed by Mr. Romanov, who wrote that ‘in Lugansk the supporters of Ukrainian Rukh began to collect signatures for including to the referendum one more question: making Leonid Kuchma the President for life.
The Ukrainian Peoples Rukh never supported the mentioned referendum because of several reasons.
First, the Rukh considers unreasonable the introduction of changes to the Constitution of Ukraine for a few next years. Maybe, the current Constitution is imperfect, but we must permit the Constitution to function for some sizeable term, for example, for 5 – 10 years. For this period the Ukrainian people will elect two times both the Supreme Rada and the President. Only then we shall be able to objectively assess negative and positive sides of our Constitution.
Secondly, it is absolutely inadmissible to introduce the changes to the Constitution ad hoc, under the concrete situation in the society (when the President is ‘good and the Supreme Rada is ‘bad). That will lead to the situation when the Constitution will have to be changed after each election, either of the President, or of the Supreme Rada.
Thirdly, it is illogical to include into the referendum the question about the present composition of the Supreme Rada, since the majority that took the responsibility on the state of things in the country has been already shaped. Besides, nobody can guarantee that the new composition of the Parliament will be better than the present one.
Fourthly, it is absolutely illogical to include into the referendum the question about the two-chamber Parliament, which is typical for federal states, whereas, as is known, Ukraine is a unitary state.
Besides, governors in Ukraine, in contrast to Russia, are appointed by the President and are not elected by the population of the region.
This will lead to the situation when one of the chambers will be actually appointed by the President, which is a step behind from democracy to the authoritarianism.
It is inadmissible to adopt the Constitution at a referendum. It is impossible technically to include into a referendum the entire text of the Constitution, and then a citizen who disagrees only with one statement of the Constitution will have to vote against the entire text.
Taking into account that every (or almost every) citizen can dislike several statements of the Constitution, the situation will appear when the state will not be able to adopt any Constitution.
What concerns the organization of gathering signatures in Lugansk for giving L. Kuchma the status of the life-long President, it was a political joke. This action was aimed at showing that in our society it is possible to bring to the common discussion any nonsense, and people will be found to support this nonsense. The sense of this action of the Rukh in Lugansk was to show people that they must think before suggesting the society this or that idea. Because the absurdity of the suggested ideas is not always seen at a first glance (as in the case of the referendum), and the absurd idea can be well camouflaged by the professional agitators who cloud the mind of the Ukrainian people.