In my previous post on the Guardian article about Ukrainian elections, I stated that it was entirely possible that Yanukovich could win in a fair election. Let me clarify that statement here, as I did in the comments.
Has the campaign itself been conducted fairly? Absolutely not. No impartial observor could say that. My point was that in the course of actual voting, if there are no irregularities, if everyone that is allowed to vote can vote, and if all votes are counted equally and fairly, it's still entirely possible that Yaukovich could win.
I'd love to be able to sit here and shame the Ukrainian establishment regarding the way the campaign has been conducted over the past couple of months. But in reality, the only thing I can say is absolutely appalling is the poisoning that Yanukovich is alleging that he suffered and the alleged physical intimidation of opposition supporters. Do members of opposition supporting student groups deserve to be arrested
? Probably not. Then again, I don't know exactly what they were planning or doing, I can really only offer conjecture based on my own opinion and the previous actions of the administration here. Sorry, I'm not going to do that.
Look, in the U.S., which is supposed to be a paradigm of democracy and fairness, you've got establishment media figures admitting that they want Kerry-Edwards to win, and that their support is worth "maybe 15 points
," you've got national television networks releasing and publicizing obviously fake documents
in an attempt to discredit the president during an election, and the premier newspaper of the country trying to hype up a complete non-story
regarding the war in Iraq in the days before the election in an bald-faced attempt to influence it. Christ, you've got people SHOOTING
at local party operations! If all that is going on in my home country, what position am I in to honestly critiscize what's going on here?
I'm not Ukrainian and I don't have a horse in this race. I'm not backing anyone. I admittedly think that the country could have better long term prospects and it would be better for the development of democracy here if Yushenko wins. I do sincerely hope that whatever happens today and after today things are peaceful here and no one gets hurt. But all I'm doing is writing about what I see going on here, election or not. If you like it, great. If not, stick around and I'll probably post more pictures of people with Chickens.