20.02.2008 | Halya Coynash

A Political Sandpit


Undoubtedly novel for an author to hope her readers will understand nothing, but the circumstances are distinctly specific.  Not, regrettably, unusual, but specific. 

Ukrainian voters did it again in September 2007 and the world congratulated them on their democratic choice.  After two painful months, a democratic coalition was formed uniting the two “orange” parties. 

Happy ever after it was not.  Since January the opposition has been blocking parliament.  Last week, they chose to do it in friendly style, with balloons.  On other occasions, the fistfights indicate less peaceable sentiments from those National Deputies elected by the Ukrainian people and empowered to represent their (the people’s, not their own) interests.

We sincerely hope that you have never seen anything like this in your own country!  You might like to inform our National Deputies of as much.

A Political Sandpit

  You think that there are no rules hanging above a kindergarten sandpit because the kiddies can’t read?  Not at all. Children are very different. Take Vadik, for example, he reads quite fluently.  It’s just that when he feels like a go on the scooter, and Vitka stubbornly refuses to understand how much he feels like it, forget the rules.  A quick bash on the head, and the scooter is his.

  Rules appear in school and then at work. You don’t feel like getting up, damn the boss. Only there is somebody standing over you, and however grubby and trivial it may sound, there is your pay which you can forget if you yet again don’t turn up.  So up you get.

Until that longed-for day arrives when Vadik, sorry I mean, Vadim Oleksandrovych, lands in the Verkhovna Rada. Boundless joy!  Now he can punch people’s head in, give them what for.  OK, for propriety’s sake you can only pull some deputies’ plaits, but that’s no big deal. Answering for your actions - that’s for nerds, not for us!

I’ll be honest – I got totally lost in all the clever hypothesizing about who benefits from a political sandpit in the place where parliament should stand and function. That’s also not a big deal, after all nobody’s inviting me to play, I’ve long grown out of balloons, and I don’t really feel like jumping into a fight (or even pulling a pigtail or two).

It’s something else that worries me. You’re all discussing the likelihood of early elections, although according to the Constitution, no way.  Much too early for that, esteemed Deputies! You should work more, mouth off less.

A lot is also being said about the urgent need for a new Constitution. It probably is needed. However that’s a long haul, and judging by the makeup of the newly created National Constitutional Council, we shouldn’t expect much.

However there’s not much point for quite another reason. There is a constitution, after all, which states that “The people are the bearers of sovereignty and the only source of power in Ukraine. The people exercise power directly and through bodies of state power and bodies of local self-government “.

And if they don’t give a monkey’s about the will of the people, then what? I can continue to quote the Constitution. I’ll be told they just ignore it, and that’s it. And we’re supposed to believe they won’t ignore the new one?  They won’t fly balloons instead of getting on with business?

How long are you going to put up with it? At work can you do your job or play cards, as the mood takes you? Can you openly tell the bosses where to go when they dare to demand that you carry out your duties? And according to the Constitution, who is in charge?!

I’m not saying that it’s easy. But when we’re offered one thing and get something else, we are totally within our rights to be annoyed. We go back to the shop, take them to court. When we don’t work, we don’t get paid, and sooner or later we get fired.

How long will we let them prance about with balloons in breach of their contract with their voters (forget their wheeling and dealing among themselves!)

You elected them and they answer to you.

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