Saturday, November 27, 2004

Ukraine parliament calls election invalid

Wow.

All of this protest over a vote. Why doesn't this happen in the United States? One reason is that candidates here believe in conceding their campaigns, Al Gore notwithstanding. There's a far more important reason why this is going on than the petulance that drives many Democrats. Ukrainians don't want to live in a vassal state of Russia. They remember what happened the last time such things happened. Or would we like to forget Chernobyl? How about the Cold War? Would we like to forget that? Would we like to forget the corruption that a one-party state engenders, or the divide between Party apparatchiks and Party workers in the former Soviet Union? How about the official stifling of dissent within the Soviet Union? Perhaps we should casually gloss these issues over, and let the Russian-backed candidate win.

The Ukrainians have not forgotten these issues, as they live with the consequences of the Soviet regime. They remember the days of central planning and one-party rule, as do the Poles, the Lithuanians, the Latvians, the Estonians... and they wish to be able to determine their nation's path without Russian interference. Many nations in Western Europe have turned blind eyes to the backing that Viktor Yanukovich received from Russia. The Ukrainian people have not been so blind to it. This is where the protesters come in. The European Union has finally noted that new elections are in order, as Ben Bot, Foreign Minister from Holland has agreed that new elections are in order.

For once the European Union and the United States are in agreement. Ukraine needs new elections. This time, perhaps the nations election commission will get it right. Let's do what we can in the United States to support Viktor Yushchenko's election.

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