Are Ukrainians prepared to waive their rights and freedoms?


A sociological survey from the Horshenin Institute just published reports that half of the Ukrainians asked would be against any restrictions on their rights and freedoms for the sake of stability in the country.

At the same time more than half said that the President should take on the responsibility and establish order in the country. Only one in ten believes that a group of politicians and the enforcement ministries should take this task upon themselves.

The Institute found that nearly half the respondents are in favour of a strengthening of democratic institutions in the country. Support for this was not dependent on political party preferences.

However, a third of the supporters of Yury Lutsenko’s “People’s Self-Defence” party would like to first introduce order via law and order methods, and then include mechanisms for the economic development of society on the basis of free competition. At the same time, a third of the supporters of the Socialist Party and nearly half the Communist Party supporters were solely in favour of using enforcement methods to impose order in the country, as well as of eradicating property and other inequalities and a return to public ownership of means of production.

One interesting question and the answers it elicited was the following: “Would you comply with the demand of a member of the enforcement structures (the police, the prosecutor’s office, the court) if it was unlawful?”  The responses were roughly divided into three equal groups. One third said that they would comply; a third would comply but would seek justice and a third said that they would not obey the order. The survey organizers note that the willingness to comply with such demands was directly dependent on a person’s material position. The better off a person was, the less inclined they would be to obey the demand of a “person in a uniform”.

 According to Volodymyr Zastava from the Institute, the results showed “that the mentality of Ukrainians is similar to that of people from Ecuador or Honduras, and that Ukraine is presently following the path of development of Latin American countries.  On the other hand, there is no expectation in Ukraine of dictatorship. Ukrainians are not prepared to hand over power to a Hunta, and do not want order to be imposed at the cost of restrictions to their rights and freedoms”.

The Horshenin Institute carried out the survey from 4 to 18 June 2007 in 129 populated areas of Ukraine. The margin for error did not exceed +/- 2,2%

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