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PORTNIKOV: POLLING FOR THE SAKE OF POLLING

Ukrainian political analyst, journalist and writer Vitaliy Portnikov wrote for espreso.tv, “Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that some sort of national polling will be held during the local elections on October 25. This is one of the strangest ‘polling’ of the population that one has ever heard of. The head of state announced a poll, but he doesn’t say what questions Ukrainian citizens will be asked to answer. It seems we are talking about polling entirely for the sake of polling, that Zelenskyy and his circle are creating an illusion of democracy in conditions of domination by populists and corrupt officials. And the President’s team isn’t even capable of explaining to citizens what they’ll be ‘voting’ on. To them, this is entirely…

Oct 13, 2020

 

Ukrainian political analyst, journalist and writer Vitaliy Portnikov wrote for espreso.tv,  “Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced that some sort of national polling will be held during the local elections on October 25. This is one of the strangest ‘polling’ of the population that one has ever heard of.

 

The head of state announced a poll, but he doesn’t say what questions Ukrainian citizens will be asked to answer. It seems we are talking about polling entirely for the sake of polling, that Zelenskyy and his circle are creating an illusion of democracy in conditions of domination by populists and corrupt officials. And the President’s team isn’t even capable of explaining to citizens what they’ll be ‘voting’ on. To them, this is entirely unimportant. What’s important is the creation of the illusion. That is, to continue the same tactics that helped Volodymyr Zelenskyy win the presidential election and then the parliamentary election in 2019, and become a real ‘verdict’ for the Ukrainian state.

 

Why does he need a ‘poll’ of the population? This question is easy to answer. Zelenskyy’s term isn’t over yet, but we can already talk about the complete collapse of the former television comic, who, even after a year of being in power, it’s difficult to call a politician. Ukraine is on the precipice of a serious economic crisis. The authorities have failed to meet the epidemiological challenge. Nothing can be done to end the war. Ukraine has in practice abandoned the tactic of taking the fight to the aggressor, while attempts by Volodymyr Zelenskyy to appease Vladimir Putin only irritate the Kremlin.

 

This result wasn’t hard to predict in 2019, but the coronavirus has been added to the predictable catastrophe resulting from the triumph of populists and oligarchs. Public support for the President and his party continue to drop. And local elections could become a real referendum on non-confidence in incompetent populist governance. After the local elections, it will be possible to speak about early parliamentary and early presidential elections. After the local elections, it may become obvious that every new month of populism will cost Ukraine lives, money and opportunities.

 

Zelenskyy is doing everything possible to stay in power, to prolong the oligarchic governance of the country. But there’s nothing left up his sleeve other than illusions. And that’s why he’s chosen to add to the local elections polling about who knows what.

 

And this is more evidence of the lack of understanding by the head of state and his circle of the basic tendencies in the development of the country. Zelenskyy can win this ‘poll’ – and what of it? It will not reduce the number of illnesses, will not increase the amount of money in the budget, will not create a possibility to end the war. Polling and referendums only have meaning when their results can be put into practice. Otherwise they simply remain in history as evidence of the inadequacies of those who initiated them and of the naivete of those who support the authorities during such ‘polling.’ Nothing more.”