Monday, 3 November 2014

A few things I missed....

Readers, I have been quite busy these past few days, and I need to update on a few things.

First, the Ukrainian Parliamentary election. I did not post the day straight after the election because so many results in this election have been delayed due to ongoing tensions in Ukraine, and the Crimean constituencies (and several constituencies in the Donetsk region)are under rebel control and thus have not held elections at all. (Ukraine, like Germany and Hungary, uses a mixed-member system for its elections.) One constituency which was partly in Crimea and partly in Donetsk had a turnout of 1%-worse than that of by-elections in students' unions in the UK, even my old one!

The overall result proved a decisive victory for pro-European parties in Ukraine, as the Petroshenko Bloc, People's Front, and Self Reliance all came above the main Pro-Russian Ukrainian party, the aptly named Opposition Bloc. It was also a notable disaster for Yulia Tymoshenko's Fatherland Party, which lost more than four-fifths of its seats and only polled 5.7% of the vote, finishing sixth. In the FPTP constituencies of Ukraine, there were 96 independent candidates elected out of the 200 constituencies able to hold elections.

The worst thing about the Ukrainian parliamentary election in my opinion, however, was that the Communist Party of Ukraine, the largest left-wing force in Ukraine by far, lost every single one of its list seats-and polled very poorly in the single-member seats. Its Presidential candidate also in practice pulled out of that election, but the deadline to withdraw had passed when he announced his withdrawal. The two Green Parties of Ukraine did not come anywhere near the 5% threshold for list seats either, with 0.25% and 0.24% of the votes cast. A dark day for progressive politics this was indeed-by the way, pro-Europeanism does not count as progressive when the European Union under Jean-Claude Juncker and co is riding even further up the neoliberal capitalist track.

Separate elections were held in Donetsk and Lugansk, interestingly, but there is little to say apart from the fact that the lame and almost certainly fabricated (by the authorities) excuse of 'making too many errors in its submitted documents' was used to shut out Donetsk's Communist Party completely from elections there. The Donetsk Republic Party had an easy win over the liberal-ish Free Lombass coalition in the (unrecognised) Donetsk Republic's first ever elections.

A similar thing happened in parliamentary elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina two weeks before the Ukrainian elections-no socialists or progressives were elected into the Bosnian and Herzegovina (social democrats are not real progressives but rather soft apologists for neoliberalism). Many Eastern European nations have many right-wing and soft centrist parties, but few if any significant left-wing parties. United Left's entry into the parliament of nearby Slovenia back in July sadly could not prove enough of an inspiration to socialist voters in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as the Socialist Party could only poll 1.15%-well short of the mark needed to gain a seat (there are only 42 seats in Bosnia-Herzegovina's parliament, one of the smallest in Europe).

I would finally like to add that so far the Green Party, still polling well on 7% in national polls, has selected candidates for nearly a quarter of all England and Wales constituencies so far-keep up the good work and let us try and get a full slate of 573 candidates for next year's election! (or as close to a full slate as we can, anyway)


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