Quick Impressions On Ukraine Elections 2012

AP asks:

No article about the Ukrainian parliamentary elections?

Unfortunately, no, as I’m very busy this week. But some quick impressions:

(1) My initial predictions for the elections. We’ll see how I do relative to about 70 other people soon enough.

(2) As the results came in, with PoR getting 37% of the vote after a count of 30% of the ballots, I began to strongly suspect widespread fraud, as it is 7% above the exit poll average (and 5% above the highest, 32%). However, with 75% of the ballots now counted, and PoR down to 33%, I am likely to have been premature with these assessments.

(3) That said, I agree with AP’s assessment that a first past the post system in the regions was an artificial trick to keep PoR in power (as Hungary’s reforms in the past year have done something similar for Fidesz… and failed to do it for Georgia’s UNM). I would not however go quite as far as to say that “first-past-the-post in a multiparty situation without runoffs does not reflect the people’s will.” If so then this can be said all the more so of the UK’s elections, which are dominated by three main parties and have no proportional element at all – making the weakest of them, the Lib Dems, permanently disadvantaged.

(4) AP also writes:

The communists and Party of Regions together got only 16% support in Kiev. I think the myth of Kiev (and central Ukraine in general) being some sort of “Little Russia” more tied to Russia’s orbit than to the West can be laid to rest.

To the extent I view it as a “Little Russia” it’s as a region that is similar to Russia but with its own sense of independent agency (after all 80% of the conversations in the streets are in Russian… or to take a less salutary example, it’s not like Kiev is any less corrupt than Moscow). All in all, a bit like, say, Germany and Austria.

(5) Map of election results abroad. No-one familiar with the US and Canadian Ukrainian diaspora should be surprised at Svoboda’s victory there.

(6) Two differences from Russian elections. First, Russia has no majoritarian element (if it did, then UR would now have a Constitutional majority too). Second, Ukraine unlike Russia doesn’t seem to be releasing station-level data, which makes analysis of any electoral fraud much more difficult. The data for individual stations has appeared.

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