Monday, November 03, 2014

It's very unwise to deny the message of Novorussian elections

One week ago, I discussed the elections in the bulk of Ukraine and mentioned that the separate polls are accelerating the political divergence of the different parts of Ukraine.

Now we know the results of the elections in Novorussia, too. It's probably hard to quantify the precise turnout because almost a million of people have fled or moved somewhere. Nevertheless, we hear that the turnout was about 60%.

Ostrich. To help the EU to satisfy their gender quotas, I chose a female one. Note that it's a myth coined probably by Pliny the Elder (AD 23–79) that ostriches bury their heads to avoid danger.

The results are much clearer than the results in the rest of Ukraine. Alexander Zakharchenko, so far the prime minister of Donetsk People's Republic and a career electrician in the mining industry, became the president of that region or country with almost 80% of votes. His party got about 65% votes in the Parliament. Analogously, Igor Plotnitsky received about 60% votes to become the president of the Lugansk People's Republic.

About 50 observers were checking the legitimacy of the election procedure. At least two Czechs were invited to join the team. That included a member of the Czech senate, Jaroslav Doubrava (an older guy from the "Party of Northern Bohemians" – a communist just a few years ago), and a 22-year-old student of philosophy (and excited Egyptologist) Ladislav Zemánek from "No to Brussels". We were told that they hadn't seen any defects of those elections.

Obviously, the elections aren't legitimate elections according to the constitution of Ukraine as we knew it as recently as a year ago. But does it matter? I don't think so. That Ukraine simply no longer exists. It was destroyed by the 2014 coup.

Russia respects the outcome of these elections in a similar way as it respects the outcome of the elections in the other, larger part of Ukraine. Various Western countries claim that the elections are illegal and the Kiev government even wants to label the international observers as "persona non grata" in Ukraine.

Whether you call these elections "legal" or "illegal" is really irrelevant. What matters is what is happening to the people who are actually involved and be sure that they are building new countries from the bottom up and they will treat the elections as a political event that is as legitimate as it is in any other country.

Still, we may ask whether it's wise for foreigners to try to deny the overwhelming result of those elections. I think it's extremely stupid. The image of the ostrich with its head buried in sand wasn't embedded by accident. That's what the Western politicians are doing – unlike ostriches that are not used to do this exercise, despite the widespread myth.

Why is it idiotic to deny these results? Simply because the polls, however inaccurate they may be and regardless of the expletives someone directs at these elections, show that the majority of the people in that region – which is at least millions of people – simply prefer the local separatist regimes over the control from the new rulers in Kiev. I would estimate that among those millions of people, something like one-half would endorse the execution of someone like Yatsenyuk if and when he would dare to appear in Novorussia – and tens of thousands of people would be happy to volunteer and perform this execution with their hands.

My wording may have been dramatic and slightly exaggerated (or not) but the broader point I want to convey is surely serious. And the point is that
The Kiev government structures won't be capable of safely dealing with Novorussia as if it were a part of their country in any foreseeable future.
There are simply too many people over there who find such a thing undesirable.

A year ago, the polarization of the Ukrainian political life wasn't this extreme. But a coup whose goal was to eliminate – and sling mud at – one-half of the political forces in Ukraine (and, in fact, the larger one-half, according to the latest parliamentary elections on the whole Ukrainian territory) – made such an increased polarization unavoidable. Who couldn't have predicted a similar outcome is just a breathtaking moron.

So the folks in Kiev – and their foreign supervisors – should work hard on their intelligence and realize what they couldn't have realized for quite some time as soon as possible. I think that not only the regions currently controlled by the Novorussian Armed Forces should be allowed to decide about their fate independently of the wishes in the rest of Ukraine. I think that all the regions where the Opposition Bloc became the strongest party in the elections one week ago should be given the opportunity to join Novorussia, too.

If Ukraine allowed the peaceful divorce with these regions, it would become a much more uniform – and arguably pro-Western in its "dreams about future" – territory. On the other hand, if the rulers in Kiev keep on nurturing their dreams about their control over the whole "old Ukraine" based on the fantasy that the millions of the anti-Maidan people in the Southeast don't even exist, the return to the full-scale war will be very likely and neither Novorussia nor Ukraine will be able to stabilize anytime soon.


  1. Yes, it is known that AE was late in talking. The thing is that not all late talkers are of the level of AE :), but it is a consolation for parents whose kids are late in speaking.

    My son was a late speaker , but no E. :) though smart enough. He was 18 months and communicating with grunts and pointing. Then during my vacation my sister came visiting, who was a great talker non stop. He started talking in complete sentences. My analysis was that because of a working mother and father he had not realized that language was for communication, he just thought it was like exclamations! good boy! etc. . With my sister he realized the two of us were communicating and he had to compete to get some attention!

    I had a classmate in college who spoke at age of 4 for the first time. She was intelligent , but no E either. She remembered her first words/sentence. Her parents had left her with a babysitter and told the baby sitter not to be upset as the child did not talk. The babysitter almost had a heart attack when a little voice unexpectedly asked "why do the Venitian blinds go up and down?" . I ased her why did she not talk, and she thought it was a kind of power game with her parents, the more they wanted her to talk the more resistant she was.

  2. OT but related.

    I suppose both legitimate and legal ultimately derive from lex/legis, the Latin for law. But that's all they have in common.

    In particular, a thing can be perfectly legal yet wholly illegitimate. For example, double taxation rates for taxpayers over six foot four, or suppression of dissenting voices by means of blasphemy laws. Of course it cuts the other way too.

    But it's my view that politicians and other low-life scum love to confuse the two concepts in the minds of the general public. Often enough the intention behind claiming something to be illegal is to suggest that the matter is settled and that there is nothing further to discuss — opposition is simply 'wrong' — worse, illegal. The hope here is that they can get away with it since presumably in the minds of the naive (and their are billions of them) this automatically places whatever it is as being completely beyond the pale. End of discussion.

    I do wish people would call them on this sort of thing. And when they're done, shoot them.

    Illegitimate laws are a very real problem. Adolf and Uncle Joe were by no means alone in fostering these. Currently the front runner is the EU. May it be exterminated soon.

    P.S. At first I was confused, thinking those glands on that ostrich were a pair of misplaced bollocks. On reading the caption all became clear: they were indeed bollocks — 'top bollocks', as they're known in some circles. Antipodean circles originally, I think. Goodonya, Cobber! :)

  3. The stupidity of the US/EU Ruling Class cannot be overlooked. They are still trying to force the Kurds back into Iraq and won't let them sell their own oil on the world market. Meanwhile, ISIS has not problem selling the oil it has captured from the Iraqi government, such as it is.

  4. It's sad, indeed! Are you sure that this harmful combination of policies isn't deliberate?

  5. I doubt AE's first word was what the book says. It is just a retrofitted myth. It seems like the author mixes up AE with Kurt Godel because he was known as Herr Warum. I have sources who say "poopy" was Schrodinger's first word.

  6. Indeed. The "war" against ISIS has Sitzkrieg written all over it. Compare the current light sprinkling of bombs to the pummelings delivered in 2003 and 1991. Somehow I don't think the U.S. military suddenly forgot how to blow things up.

  7. I heard a story about this many years ago:
    AE's parents were very concerned about the fact that he did not speak as soon as most other children.
    One day, when he was four or five, they sat down to dinner.
    The first course was soup.
    AE tried it and quickly put down his spoon and said 'This soup is cold.'.
    His mother was ecstatic and exclaimed 'Albert, you can speak - how wonderful!.
    His father then asked him 'Why haven't you said anything before?'.
    Albert replied 'Until now everything was fine.'.

  8. Nice. But it's fiction, isn't it?

  9. It saddens me to admit it, but yes.

  10. When Putin marches in with tanks it is certainly unwise to to deny the "elections".

    With a weakling in the WH this is inevitable.
    But it is not defensible in any way. Putin is a brute & bully who takes what he wants, especially if the opponent is weak.

  11. Sometimes, small numbers tell big stories.
    From the link in your post:

    Donbass general elections, 2014
    Total: 1,012,682
    Invalid/blank votes: 43,038
    Valid votes = 1,012,682 - 43,038 = 969,644
    Zakharchenko: 765,340 / 969,644 = 0.789299991 ~= 78.93%
    Kofman: 111,024 / 969,644 = 0.1144998 ~= 11.45%
    Sivokonenko: 93,280 / 969,644 = 0.0962003 ~= 9.62%

    If you saw such remarkable "accuracies" in a scientific paper, wouldn't you dismiss it as a fraud outright?
    How is politics different from science in that regard?
    Do you still endorse "the people of Novorussia have spoken"?

  12. Yes, I do. Could you please explain what is your problem?

  13. The calculations clearly show that all votes were computed from percentages, not the other way around (pray tell if that is not at all clear).
    May be it's not "idiotic to deny these results" after all. I might even say the opposite is true, but I don't have a degree in psychiatry either.

  14. Well, right, the precise ballots were computed from the percentages, but it could have been computed by someone who only received the percentages.

  15. Hmm, that was exactly my point from the start: the votes were calculated (not counted) by someone who only received the percentages. Somehow you present it as an excuse.
    Now I'm curious and I'm going to ask a question, which initially I posed as merely rhetorical, again: would you reject a scientific paper with, say, experimental data that exhibited similar "accuracy" as fraudulent or come up with some explanations why the data might still be legitimate if the cause was good?