Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Excellent Commentary: Lessons of Germany's Grand Coalition for Ukrainian Process

If you get it, the most recent e-poshta (for May 31, 2006; you can join by writing to

this week has an excellent commentary on the lessons that the recent Grand Coalition building process in Germany has for Ukraine. Many commentators, including from Our Ukraine and Yushchenko, have been making this comparison.

The major points of the commentary were thus (which are points I and others have been making in the Ukrainain blogosphere, in our various ways):

On the German model, Our Ukraine must accept that they lost the right to name the PM within a reform-oriented, pro-democracy coalition and must accept Tymoshenko's demand for the PM post. Merkel demanded the SPD's acceptance of her as PM before beginning talks on a guiding government program/policy, and the SPD, which like Our Ukraine was stunned by its defeat, initially resisted but eventually gave in. Our Ukraine should accept Tymoshenko's premiership, THEN talk about a specific program.

Second, Tymoshenko and her cadre then must proceed to divide posts reflecting relative states of electoral preference, agree to respect the president and his party, and work hard to compromise on a specific program and, once that program is in place, they MUST stick to it.

Now the following is my point, though it was hinted at in the piece: Though I share some doubt over whether Tymoshenko is a principled politician and populist or people's politician--i.e., whether she is not just an overly ambitious and glamorous loudmouth and de facto crony capitalist--she must be given a chance to demonstrate her sincerity once again. She will, as I have said in many other places, have to check her ambition and her stubbornness and will have to give-in on a variety of matters. And there are those who would argue that she has indeed attempted to strike a much more conciliatory tone toward Ukraine's free-market liberals and even, to some extent, the oligarchs.

The final issue hinted at in the piece: what was not done in the German case and what can not be repeated in the Ukrainian one is creation of a government with more than one center of power. I still blame Yushchenko squarely for the failure of his first government because of this, and his pal Poroshenko next.

I could not cut and paste the e-poshta article, as I am writing from an internet club in Vienna and the computer here, for some reason, is not letting me cut and paste.

My cousin, born and raised in Germany and grandson of Lev Rebet, the social-democratic oriented ideologue of the OUN, is getting married here in a famous Uniate Cathedral that is symbolic, for Ukrainian Uniates, of Maria Theresa's patronage of things Ruthenian.

1 comment:

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Best regards