Oleksandr Klymenko Official website
Articles | 1543 | 10.03.2016

Parliament: reboot for the sake of future

Aleksandr Klimenko about re-election of Verkhovna Rada in Ukraine

Current “military-oligarchic” parliament – is the most inefficient in the history of Ukrainian parliamentarism. It is used exclusively for PR and propaganda. Nowadays, key questions, namely, peace in Donbas, stabilization of national currency, strategic grounds of the country’s development remain unresolved.

The effectiveness of current Ukrainian Parliament as an institution is the lowest in the history of Ukrainian parliamentarism. There were registered 2700 draft laws. Only 17% of it were adopted.

At the same time, two out of five draft law came into force. In total, the overall efficiency of Ukrainian parliament – is 7%. The Constitutional Court will recognize that more than two-thirds of the laws do not comply with the Basic Law.

In fact, the Rada does not generate new laws. 76% out of registered, and 56% out of adopted projects – are amendments. Meanwhile, 83% of draft laws are collecting dust in committees.

Absence of a unified strategy leads to the fact that drafts are included on the agenda chaotically. It comes about either populist or lobbying, or irrelevant legislative initiatives. Plethora does not have budget funding. It means that it is initially can not be carried out.

Instead of really important issues, the Parliament is full of PR and propaganda that have nothing common with resolving of the most acute issues. For instance, decommunization.

Key questions, namely, peace in Donbas, stabilization of national currency, strategic grounds of the country’s development remain unresolved.

At the same time, this idle and inefficient structure is incredibly expensive for the country. In 2016, the cost of the apparatus of the Verkhovna Rada will amount UAH 933.2 million. Maintaining of one MP costs nearly UAH 790 thousand.

Our western partners also noted inoperability of legislative branch in Ukraine. They are definitely dissatisfied due to the fact that initiative, which were discussed together, are always being emasculated and slowed down in the walls of Ukrainian Parliament. Last week, the Ukrainian parliament representatives were called for review in the European Parliament in order to report on “improving” the efficiency of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Ukrainian government states that the main reason for ineffectiveness of the Verkhovna Rada is “soviet spirit” and the lack of responsibility of deputies and factions for their decisions.

They offered the following methods: exclusion MP from the list after the election, deprivation individuals of legislative initiative and the vote by a simple majority, in particular, by half of those, who are present in the hall, not by a majority of the constitutional composition.

They are talking about rather soviet methods of fighting against “soviet spirit.”  It is easier to forbid operation rather than to teach how to do it.

In fact, there is much more reasons for ineffectiveness. It requires not imitating, but real institutional reforms.

The first problem – is electoral system itself. The dependence of parties on business and closed lists lead obedient crowds to the Parliament, who are interested only in lobbying the interests of their sponsors.

Hence, here is the second problem: low level of legal literacy of MPs and domination of conjuncture instead of a single national development strategy.

All these facts lead to third problem. It comes about the absence of mechanisms of direct participation of citizens in decision-making. MPs, who represent exclusively the interests of the oligarchy, not the interest of Ukrainian citizens, just do not need such mechanisms. Thus, there is no law on the referendum, which has direct effect of legislative initiative. In addition, transcripts of meetings and committee meetings are still closed. Ukrainians know nothing about decisions of MPs. As a result, they can not change it.

Results of abovementioned phenomena are perfectly illustrated by sociology: according to the Razumkov Center data, only 2.2% trust the parliament and is consider operation of the Rada to be effective.

What should we do?

The first step. We have to change electoral legislation. Current form of elections in Ukraine – is legalized corruption. Party are buying votes on the money of big business for buckwheat (in such form or similar one) in order to include MPs in closed lists. As a result, a deputy has no stimulus to work in the district and to communicate with his voters. Independent monitoring has confirmed that many of the “people’s representatives” even do not open public reception.

The second one. We have to change the bill drafting system. We should strengthen the role of committees and the apparatus of the Verkhovna Rada (not only serving institutions). It should consist not only of personal cook and drivers of MPs, but experts, who can indicate on compliance of the draft with the Constitution and adopted laws even before voting during the discussion stage. They must predict the consequences of the adoption of the bill in all fields: legal, social, economic.

The third step is control over the executive power. Nowadays, there is a paradoxical situation: Parliament recognized the unsatisfactory functioning of the Cabinet, but failed the vote for its resignation. “We do not like you, but we will not fire you”. In the end, the Rada is not responsible for the work of ministers, while members of government are not responsible for anything at all.  Joint objectives, single strategy and joint responsibility for its implementation – are the ways out of this deadlock.

Finally, the main thing – is the re-election of current Verkhovna Rada. The updated parliamentary system must include new people. People, who are able to fill the legislative process in Ukraine with new meaning. They should be professional and patriotic. They should have an understanding of the state development strategy. Not for the sake of interests of Europe, the United States or anyone else. On behalf of our own Ukrainian interests.