By Anne Landman on February 08, 2010

Citizens in the Ukraine are starting to see American-style campaign sloganeering and other tactics in the race between their Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, and her main rival, Viktor Yanukovich, for the office of President. Tymoshenko's banners, billboards and posters bear slogans like "They talk, she works," "They promise, she works," and "They betray, she works." The ad campaign is significant because it is the product of the American political consulting firm AKP&D Message & Media, the company founded by President Obama's chief advisor, David Axelrod. Axelrod's son, Michael, still works for the firm. Mr. Yanukovich is being advised by Paul Manafort, a Republican strategist from the firm Davis, Manafort & Freedman, Inc., which has advised several U.S. presidents. Ukraine's outgoing president, Victor Yushenko, received American-style help and campaign advice from Hillary Clinton's campaign strategist, Mark Penn, who was president of the big American PR firm, Burson-Marsteller. The Ukraine is a gold mine for big American political firms, since it is one of the largest countries in Europe, has obscure and weakly-enforced campaign laws, and the major Ukrainian political parties are backed by big businesses, with money to finance professional campaigns.

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Ukraine: The natural decomposition of the orange revolution.

February 10, 2010 by politicalsnapshots.wordpress.com

Ukraine: The natural decomposition of the orange revolution.

I am witnessing the worst snow storm I have ever seen in my life. I remember, years ago, driving back from Boston after a seminar, I was caught in a snow storm that stranded me for three days. But the blizzard of 2010 has no match in its severity. So, I am at home, reading, watching a lot of news, listening to music, (“if you go away” Julio Iglesias; and most of all Sade’s “Soldier of Love”) and trying to avoid phone calls from area code 310. Calls that would mention warm weather news. Alas, my brother A. just called and reminded me of my dire situation, weather wise, of course.

Meanwhile final results of the run off elections in Ukraine are coming in, 100 percent of the votes counted, Yanukovych has a 3.48 % lead over Tymoshenko.

Candidate Vote Percentage
Victor Yanukovych 12,481,268 48.96%
Yulia Tymoshenko 11,593,340 45.48%
Against All 1,113,51 4.37%
Informal 305,844 1.20%
Total vote 25,493,503

I have been keenly interested in Ukrainian presidential election because, Ukraine has experienced one of those color revolutions that had become the darling of the west, and a model to be followed by others. Five years since the so-called “orange revolution” of Ukraine, Ukrainians have said, enough. Even those, who were caught up in the euphoria of the “uprising” have seen enough of the social and economic devastation it has wrought on their country. According to the BBC, even some are saying,” This Orange nightmare has finally come to an end”.

The leaders of the Orange Revolution and their NGO supporters were successful in seizing power, but became unable to govern and produce any progress. Those who were presented as the icon of democracy actually turned out to be dictatorial. The leader of the Orange Revolution President Yushchenko received only 5.45% of the vote in the first round of the presidential elections.

All the promises for reform were for naught. ”What the orange revolution has to show for the euphoria of 2004 and massive western support is, factory closings, massive job cuts, the reduction of GDP by thirty percent”. Emotional politics: The Orange and the anti-Obama type. Sept.2009 politicalsnapshots.wordpress.com

By the way, GDP shrank by 15% in 2009.

Majority of Ukrainians are angered and embarrassed by the situation their country is in. Ukrainians have become largely disillusioned with the euphoria of 2004.

“Politics ruled by emotions is biased, as it lacks an open mind that can objectively evaluate more than one side on any issue. People who are unable to control their emotions are an easy prey to be exploited by any political force. Be it national or foreign. Not excluding those foreign forces represented by political NGOs. Politics without reason creates people who are hateful, panicky and vicious.” Emotional politics: The Orange and the anti-Obama type. Sept.2009 politicalsnapshots.wordpress.com

It seems intrinsic and extrinsic political forces had joined hands to come to power by force in Ukraine (2004). The intrinsic political forces were only doing the bidding of the extrinsic forces. But, just like the Orange fruit, spoilage was influenced by acid, temperature, anti-microbial compounds, etc. That is how an orange rots.

I am emboldened with the present election result because, it was found to “be free and fair” by international observers. Election monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said the vote had been an “impressive display” of democracy at work. That is good for the democratic process in Ukraine. What is needed is to abide by the election results. Any delay in accepting the outcome by Mrs.

Yulia Tymoshenko will only prolong the misery in Ukraine.

In the United States of America, we are witnessing a new phenomenon in politics. The Tea Party movement. People that support this party claim President Obama to be a “committed socialist ideologue”, a person who has come to “destroy” America, etc.etc. In spite of the lack of logic, millions of Americans support this group.

Stuart Whately, writing on the subject:

“One must concede that the most well known, highly publicized American social/political movement today — the Tea Party movement — is a national embarrassment. At its core, the Tea Party movement is rife with contradiction, incoherence and a willful contempt for facts or reason. It is but a parody of the legitimate movements for which American democracy has historically been held in such high regard. It is, in fact, the latest installment in quite another American tradition: the exploitation of frustrated, desperate, and susceptible people by monied-interests and profiteers”. The Huffington Post

According to Sarah Palin speaking at the first National Tea Party Convention in Nashville, Tennessee,

“This is the future of our country. The tea party movement is the future of politics,”

May be Sarah Palin is America’s Viktor Yushchenko and Yulia Tymoshenko. As the new leader of the tea party movement and future presidential candidate, a tea party revolution could be in America’s future. It might not be an orange revolution; nonetheless, it is a tea party revolution.

Going back to enjoying listening to Sade’s “Soldier of Love”,

Professor Mekonen Haddis

I read that the US Backed campaign got a huge blow and many people were against it, however I can see why US is taking so much interest in the region, Ukraine is closer to Russia and given the past with Russia and Georgia having a war, US might want to prevent Ukraine from that influence and rescue that region from being unstable.

But I think a more important role for Ukraine would be to repair their ties with Russia since it is the country whom they're at fear of being attacked so it's important to be friends with them.

Regards

Veronica Cervera