Tuesday, March 31, 2009

“After this speech, I’ll pass to Speaker Lytvyn my project of a new Constitution ”. Viktor Yushchenko addressed the Parliament of Ukraine.

The President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko has addressed the Parliament today with his annual speech. Mr. Yushchenko failed to appear in Verkhovna Rada with his speech last year - the parliamentary tribune was blocked - but this time he has fully made up for lost opportunity.

The ordinary presidential speech with the expected call for all the political leaders to stop fighting and unite all the forces for saving Ukrainian economy in crisis times was finished with a surprise. President informed that he's going to introduce to Parliament of Ukraine a new project of the Constitution of Ukraine - right now.

Viktor Yushchenko proposes a dramatic change of the very system of powers in Ukraine. First of all, he wants Ukraine to have the two-chamber Parliament, and to reduce a number of MPs.

According to President, the Lower Chamber of the Parliament of Ukraine shall be elected by proportional voting system (like today) with open political party lists. The Lower Chamber will form the Government and control its work. "The inability to form the Government will lead to the dismissal of the Lower Chamber, but not all the Parliament. In this case the work of the Parliament will not stop," Viktor Yushchenko noticed.

The Upper Chamber should be elected among the representatives of regions of the country - using the majority voting system. It will work in lose connection with the President of Ukraine, in particular, dealing with the security issues. Every district of Ukraine will have 3 Senators elected.

"The political turbulence will be left in the Lower Chamber of Parliament", Viktor Yushchenko thinks. "President, together with the Upper Chamber, will secure stability of the state".

The President of Ukraine called for an urgent examination of his project of the Constitution of Ukraine in Parliament.


UkrToday said...
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UkrToday said...
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UkrToday said...

The proposal advocated by Viktor Yuschenko is undemocratic and has a number of major few major flaws.

Under Yuschenko's proposal would each electorate/region have the same number of constituents? Plus or Minus 10%?

Assuming that Yuschenko is proposing using Oblasts as the basis for Regions then his proposal would create a distinct imbalance in the representation model. Most of the population resides in the East.

Yuschenko's has proposed three candidates per region. Does that mean you would have three Candidates representing say Terinopil with around 600,000 voters and three Donetsk region with 1,800,000 voters?

Clearly there is a major undemocratic imbalance here.

Majority Vote DistortionThe other issue is the Majority voting system (first past the post) Where the three highest polling candidates would be elected

Take Terinopil again based on the 2007 Parliamentary vote The three highest polling Candidates were..

BYuT 342930
OU-PSD 233843
PoR 20069

Each of the three parties above would secure one representative

or as in the case of the US Senate System BYuT would get all three.

The same applies to Donetsk Region

PoR 1,720,073
CPU 144,543
BYut 93,762
OU-PSD 39,047

PoR, CPU and BYUT would get one each or PoR all three.

Kharkiv Region

PoR 659,324
BYuT 217,426
CPU 110,061
OU-PSD 107,745

What will be the Swinging States/Regions? Charkasy, Poltva?

Which ever way you look at it the Majority voting system produces an gerrymander imbalance of sorts. Certainly NOT DEMOCRATIC

You could adopt a Preferential voting system but again it also will provide its own bias and distortion in representation. The Upper-house most certainly would not represent Ukraine and would give more weight to some regions above others.

Principles of a good modelWhen considering creating electorates the following principles MUST be met

Each electorate must contain equal number of constituents (+/- 10% from the average mean)

Each Electorate must elect the same number of representatives

Each Electorate should be represented by an odd number of representatives (3,5,7,9 or 11) they must not differ in number.

Each electorate must be elected by a system of preferential proportional representation

Alternative options
50 nine member electorates with a quota of 10% would produce a good outcome.

You could also have 50 x 7 or 55 x 7 or 41 x 11 It is important that each electorate is the same in numerical strength and that the number of representatives are the same for each electorate in order to provide equal rights of representation without distortion.

Ensuring everyone has equal sayPreferential voting would allow those voter who support minor candidates to have a say in who should represent them as their next choice.

With a 10% quota, and preferential proprtional voting, 97.25% of the electorate would be represented by a candidate of their choosing.

Under the majority system over 50% will denied the right of direct representation.

Tetyana Vysotska said...

Dear UkrToday, please, do not copy-paste your previous comments here. All the duplicates shall be deleted.