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1  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Ukraine Crisis on: April 12, 2014, 03:27:19 pm
Regardless of the situation in Ukraine (for the record, Putin is clearly awful and I would strongly oppose any further incursion into Ukraine given that his support even in the heavily Russian areas is somewhat flimsy at best), but the Kuril Islands are unambiguously Russian territory under the San Francisco Treaty and Japan's continued claim on them is a bit worrying given the nationalist trends of its government and populace. At least Russia's claimed responsibility for Stalin's many crimes.

But the question is, are the Northern Territories part of the Kuril Islands or are they littoral islands of Hokkaido?  They never were under Russian/Soviet control before 1945.

And what if the (Ukrainian) population of those islands pronounces for Japan?

This is not a thing that will happen.

Depends on how you ask Smiley))
Aren't the Kurils majority Russian, though?

From 2010 Census: Kuril district (Iturup) - 4637 Russians, 349 Ukrainians (and I doubt that many of them can say a few words in Ukrainian...); South Kuril district (Kunashir, Shikotan, Habomai) - 7043 Russians, 466 Ukrainians. I don't know what people settled there after 1945, but even if most of them were Ukrainians, they assimilated long time ago.
2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Ukraine 2014 on: April 11, 2014, 03:11:01 am
The SPU are just barely reformed Communists (they actually endorsed Simonenko in the last presidential election).
How exactly did they endorse him? Their leader Moroz ran independently of the KPU (and got 0.38% of votes).
3  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Ukraine 2014 on: April 03, 2014, 05:09:43 pm
Why two? If we'll count those who can win, then there is almost certainly only one candidate. If those who can go into second round, then 3 candidates. In the most recent poll (the first after Klitshchko withdrew), Tihipko took second place, so he can go into runoff. By the way, 4th place (after Poroshenko - 38.3%, Tihipko - 17.9 % and Tymoshenko - 11.6 %) unexpectedly goes to Yuriy Boyko (6.9 %). According to the same poll, 60% of those who voted for Yanukovych in the 2010 run-off still undecided, so Tihipko has room to grow, and 65% of those who then supported Tymoshenko now intend to vote for Poroshenko.

Tihipko and Boyko refused to withdrew, so Party of Regions threatens to expel them. It is very possible that PoR will split and what remain of it will become more extreme pro-Eastern party controlled by Rinat Akhmetov (it seems that Dobkin was nominated because he is Akhmetov's protege).
4  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Ukraine 2014 on: March 29, 2014, 12:52:30 pm
Party of Regions surprisingly nominated Dobkin instead of Tihipko. Dobkin called other candidates who are PoR members (Tihipko, Boyko and Tsaryov) to withdraw.

So that's it ? Only two candidates ? Poroshenko and Timoshenko ? Well, talk about a disappointment... This will be dull. So who do you think is perceived as the "Eastern compatible" candidate this time ? I'd say Timoshenko a little bit more than Poroshenko, but I don't know.

Anyway, do you think this will mean very low turnout in the East or what ?

I've seen only one poll that includes information about how different regions will vote: http://www.kiis.com.ua/?lang=rus&cat=reports&id=240&page=1&t=3. According to it, of three main Western candidates (Klichko, Poroshenko, Tymoshenko) Tymoshenko have relatively slightly more support in the East while Klichko in the West. But it is not clear how will be Tihipko, Dobkin and Symonenko voters divided between Poroshenko and Tymoshenko in the runoff (and how many of them will not vote)...

Probably turnout in the East will be low in the first round and even lower in case of Poroshenko - Tymoshenko runoff.
5  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Ukraine 2014 on: March 29, 2014, 12:31:41 pm
Interestingly, none of the major candidates is a proper Westerner. In fact, many are not even born in Ukraine. Timoshenko is from Dnipropetrovsk and is not even ethnically Ukrainian (Timoshenko is her married name). Poroshenko is from the part of the former Bessarabia that is now in Ukraine (born right at the border with Moldova). Tyhipko is from Moldova itself. Klitschko (though not a candidate anymore) is a Soviet military brat, born in Kyrgyzstan. Symonenko is from Donetsk. Lyashko is from Chernihiv, studied in Kharkiv. Only Tyahnibok is from Lviv.

And Yuschenko, whose main electoral base was Galicia, is from Sumy Oblast. On other hand, although Chernihiv and Sumy are east of Dnieper, they are electorally "Western".
6  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Ukraine 2014 on: March 27, 2014, 05:04:45 pm
Joint poll by SOCIS, KIIS, Rating and Razumkov Center places Poroshenko in 1st place (36.2%; Klichko on a distant 2nd place with 12.9%). Klichko, Tymoshenko and Tihipko are more or less at the same level (10-13%), then Dobkin, Symonenko, Lyashko and Hrytsenko (all about 5%). Dobkin polled better than I would suppose, probably he attracted those Eastern voters for whom Tihipko isn't enough Eastern.

Poroshenko wins second round againt Klichko, Tymoshenko and Tihipko by a huge margins (42.9 to 15.3%, 46.3 to 11.6 % and 50.8 to 14.4 % respectively). So if he will run and if nothing will change dramatically, he will easily win and even have a chance to do this in the first round.

Right Sector received only 2.7% in the parliamentary poll, and its leader Yarosh 1.4% in the presidential poll, even less than Svoboda and Tyahnybok.
7  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Moscow signals concern for Russians in Estonia on: March 21, 2014, 02:52:07 pm
If Russian Maidan happens, Putin's done.
Unlike Ukrainian Maidan, Russian Maidan won't be supported by half of the population and overwhelming majority of capital's inhabitants, and probably that difference will be crucial. 2011-2012 protests led to almost nothing.
8  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: The Russian Annexation of Crimea on: March 20, 2014, 10:22:17 am
It's very difficult to have a fair referendum with Russian troops on your soil. My heart goes out to the Cossacks, who have been drifting back since the early 90's and will soon be 'stateless' yet again.

Cossacks? Maybe you meant Crimean Tatars?
9  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Crimean status referendum: March 16, 2014 on: March 18, 2014, 05:56:43 pm
The total number of voters in Sebastopol exceeds the number of residents - not registered voters, not those of voting age, but of all residents - who had been known to live there.

No, it's not true (obviously, even if results are totally rigged, those who held and rigged referendum aren't totally dumb). Official number is 274 thousands (89.5% of total voters). But one of referendum organizers mistakenly declared that 474 thousands voted (or journalists misheard him - and then spread his statement).
10  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: If you were to organize a G(insert number), which countries would you choose? on: March 15, 2014, 07:56:22 pm
As for the possible organization of largest democratic countries, it would generate endless disputes over who should and who shouldn't be included, because democracy measures are not as objective as measures of economical development.

The only debates I can remember are the ones about Russia.
Among current G8 members - yes. I meant debates around possible new G8 members. For example, Turkey and Indonesia were mentioned in the thread, and many doubt that they are democratic.

What doubt is there that Indonesia is democratic???

OK, I don't remember anyone stated that it is an authoritarian regime, but, for example, Indonesia is "partly free" (not "free") according to Freedom House and "flawed democracy" according to Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy Index.
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Ukraine 2014 on: March 13, 2014, 08:42:09 am
Poll by Social Monitoring Centre (never heard about this pollster, but number don't seem highly dubious):
Tymoshenko 15.5%
Klitschko 14.2%
Poroshenko 13.7%
Tigipko 11.4%
Symonenko 6.4%
Tyahnybok 3.7%
Lyashko 3%
Don't know 16.7%
Wouldn't vote 15.4%

But in the runoff Tymoshenko can beat only Tigipko and would lose to Klitschko and Poroshenko.
12  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: If you were to organize a G(insert number), which countries would you choose? on: March 13, 2014, 08:35:31 am
As for the possible organization of largest democratic countries, it would generate endless disputes over who should and who shouldn't be included, because democracy measures are not as objective as measures of economical development.

The only debates I can remember are the ones about Russia.
Among current G8 members - yes. I meant debates around possible new G8 members. For example, Turkey and Indonesia were mentioned in the thread, and many doubt that they are democratic.
13  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: If you were to organize a G(insert number), which countries would you choose? on: March 13, 2014, 04:54:46 am
It all depends on how we define G(number). For example, Wikipedia article states that "The Group of Eight (G8) is a forum for the governments of a group of eight leading industrialised countries" (but isn't China an industrialized country?), and not a single word about democracy.

I always thought of G8 as a group of largest and most powerful developed (or, in another words, First World) countries (whether a nation developed or developing can be determined by HDI or GDP per capita). If so, then Russia should be replaced with South Korea and G7 stay the same as now.

It probably makes more sense to group largest world economies regardless of whether they developed or not, democratic or not, but such group already exists (G20).

As for the possible organization of largest democratic countries, it would generate endless disputes over who should and who shouldn't be included, because democracy measures are not as objective as measures of economical development.

BTW interesting that G8 composition nearly matches composition of pre-WW1 great powers club (minus Austria-Hungary since it ceased to exist; plus Canada).
14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Ukraine 2014 on: March 07, 2014, 04:10:49 pm
So who's winning in the east?
Tihipko clearly winning with 16.7%. And in the South he is winning too, though by a very slim majority. If he'll mobilize enough undecided and "against all" voters in the South-East, he'll go into the second round.
15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Crimean status referendum: March 16, 2014 on: March 07, 2014, 04:03:04 pm
It went 99.08% in Germany, 99.75% in Austria. I guess it won't be so high here, nearly everybody worldwide has stopped getting such results, they know it doesn't look too good.

Referendums are a different case, sometimes 99% results are possible, for example, in South Sudan 98.83% voted for independence and turnout was 97.58%.

Though in Crimea such thing can't happen (providing that results aren't rigged, of course) - not because it is impossible in principle, but because of large share of ethnic Tatar and Ukrainian population.
16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: India 2014 on: March 07, 2014, 03:48:17 pm
3) In AP TRS seems to have  ruled out merging with INC but still could from an alliance with it. INC CM of AP Kiran Kumar Reddy who opposed INC in forming Telengana most likely will start his own party and run in Seemandhra.  This will hurt YSRCP

Why can't he ally with YSRCP since both parties are Congress splits and both are anti-Telangana?
17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Ukraine 2014 on: March 07, 2014, 02:19:57 am
Here is that KIIS poll on KIIS site: http://www.kiis.com.ua/?lang=rus&cat=reports&id=240&page=1&t=3, and it includes regional stats.

Intention to vote against all is even higher now (compared to the poll mentioned in previous post) in the East (36.0%) and lower in the West (3.1%), that isn't surprising, though also somewhat lower in the South (21.1%). In Central Ukraine it is nearly unchanged (11.8% down from 12.4%).

What surprises me is that according to this poll Tymoshenko voting base is the least Western of 3 major Western candidates, and that of Klitschko is the most Western. Though even Tymoshenko and Poroshenko poll lower in the East than Symonenko, not to say about Tihipko. Other voting patterns are more or less predictable.
18  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Ukraine 2014 on: March 07, 2014, 01:46:42 am
Interestingly, that poll appears to have been mostly directed towards Russian-speakers.
No, it seems that sample wasn't biased in favor of Russian-speakers. 33.6% stated they voted for Yanukovych in the 2nd round of 2010 elections, while 35.7% for Tymoshenko.

Though I don't remember exact linguistic statistics for Ukraine.

Quote
If my (fairly limited) reading of Cyrillic does not deceive me, the linguistic breakdown of respondents has been:

Russian-only        43.3%
Ukrainian-only     38.3%
Both languages    17.9%
Something else      0.5% (words I don't understand that probably mean "other/ not stated")
It was a question about the language mostly spoken at home. 17.9% answered they speak Russian and Ukrainian at home equally. Overall share of those who can speak both languages most probably is much higher than 17.9%.

0.2% stated "other language" and 0.3% refused to say.

Quote
Could you, Zuza, or anybody else with a reasonable command of Russian/ Ukrainian, give some more information, also as concerns further demographic background information and the supplementary questions that have been asked?
Gender: 45.3% males, 54.7% females.
Age: 20.9% 18-29, 26.5% 30-44, 26.8% 45-59, 25.7% 60+.
Occupation: 11.3% manufacturing and agriculture, 7.7% service and trade, 8.7% tertiary sector emplioyees w/o higher education, 13.3% specialists with higher education, 4.0% individual entrepreneurs, 2.2% entrepreneurs and farmers, 0.9% army and police, 30.1% pensioners (retired or disabled), 3.8% students, 8.8% unemployed, 7.4% housewives and on maternity leave.
10.0% - don't have enough money for food, 40.7% - enough money for food, not enough for clothing, 41.6% - enough money for food and clothing, not enough for expensive things (such as fridge or TV), 6.2% - enough for expensive things, 0.3% - "we can purchase anything we want".

Quote
Does the poll & supplementary text give any indication on the regional distribution of presidential/ party/ "against all" / undecided preferences?
No indication. But it seems that share of "against all" voters always was high. http://www.kiis.com.ua/?lang=ukr&cat=reports&id=173&page=1 - another KIIS poll, 18.1% (!)  answered thay would vote against all, of them 25.2% in the South and 25.7% in the East compared to only 10.0% in the West.
19  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Ukraine 2014 on: March 06, 2014, 05:46:56 pm
Another survey indicates similar results: http://glavcom.ua/news/190130.html. It was conducted by Kyivan International Institute of Sociology by request of Party of Regions. It includes 11 different presidential polls (each one shows one of possible PoR candidates against a set of candidates from other parties) and also a parliamentary poll. Tihipko is a clear winner among these 11, no one of other 10 candidates managed to beat even Symonenko or Hrytsenko (Dobkin showed second best result with 3.6%, Akhmetov third best with 3.4%).

If Tihipko would be PoR nominee (and most probably he would, especially after this poll), the results would be as follows:
Poroshenko - 19.8%
Klitschko - 12.1%
Tymoshenko - 8.4%
Tihipko - 8.0%
Symonenko - 5.0%
Hrytsenko - 4.6% (surprisingly high, he wasn't even mentioned in the SOCIS poll)
Tyahnybok - 1.7%
Medvedchuk - 0.7%
Against all - 17.6%
Undecided - 17.7%
Wouldn't vote - 3.2%

Parliamentary poll:
UDAR - 16.0%
Fatherland - 15.1%
PoR - 10.2%
KPU - 6.8%
Freedom - 4.5%
Radical Party - 3.4%
Solidarity - 2.9%
Our Ukraine - 1.6%
SPU - 0.9%
Ukrainian Choice - 0.6%
Others - 1.1%
Undecided - 26.7%
Wouldn't vote - 8.6%
20  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Ukraine 2014 on: February 28, 2014, 04:45:34 pm
Yulia Tymoshenko (All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland"): Viewed as a corrupt by many in the opposition. What hurts her even more than that though was the sweet gas deal she gave Russia. The same gas deal, however, might allow to her gain significant support in the East, although the current political climate won't allow her to campaign that way. I still say there's a good chance she becomes explicitly pro-Russian once Klitschko inevitably becomes unpopular.

It could give her Kremlin's support but hardly could raise her rating anywhere in the Ukraine (Eastern or Western). I don't know if she will become pro-Russian in the future, but I doubt that her main electoral base will ever be on the East. East has (and will have) its own candidates.

Presidential candidates have switched their base of support between elections in the past; at least, Kuchma did it.

Yes, but then configuration of Ukrainian political forces was less stable than now. Since the border between "orange" North-West and "blue" South-East was fully established (in 2002-2004), it didn't changed significantly. And usually candidates switched from East to West, not from West to East.

Though probably there exists chance that sometimes somebody from "orange" political camp will occupy niche of Eastern candidate. For example, if no one from the East will manage to go to the runoff (it can happen in 2014 elections), then South and East will vote for the less undesirable of two Western candidates (just like Western regions voted for Kravchuk in 1994 and Kuchma in 1999). But I think that most probably that candidate won't be Tymoshenko.
21  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Viktor Yanukovych on: February 24, 2014, 11:51:47 pm
I can understand why someone can consider Yanukovych less horrible than his opponents, but who and why voted FF? Those who support his policies can find much less corrupt and much more coherent and decisive proponent of these policies...
22  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Ukraine 2014 on: February 24, 2014, 11:25:39 pm
Leftist is probably too harsh a word. Tihipko is centre-left. He's definitely more ideologically committed than Yanukovych though, who was basically just pro-corruption. Like I said, Tihipko headed a party called Labour Ukraine, which obviously from its name was an explicitly social democratic group. Also, when Labour Ukraine merged with the Party of Regions after the 2010 elections, originally there was going to be a third party involved, a pro-business party called United Centre (previously The Party of Private Property). Tihipko told Yanukovych he wouldn't be involed if United Centre was and Yank obviously picked Labour Ukraine since it was way bigger. After that, Tihipko was basically in charge of designing the party's ideology. He was the main person responsible for pushing them from an ambiguous party of power into having some links with the PES.

Party name can matter very little, especially in countries without developed political culture (including post-Soviet countries, remember LDPR or Democratic Party of Turkmenistan, for example), but I didn't know about other facts you listed. Well, maybe he is to the left of an average Ukrainian politician, but it hardly will influence his results significantly.
23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Ukraine 2014 on: February 24, 2014, 10:50:56 pm
Yulia Tymoshenko (All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland"): Viewed as a corrupt by many in the opposition. What hurts her even more than that though was the sweet gas deal she gave Russia. The same gas deal, however, might allow to her gain significant support in the East, although the current political climate won't allow her to campaign that way. I still say there's a good chance she becomes explicitly pro-Russian once Klitschko inevitably becomes unpopular.

It could give her Kremlin's support but hardly could raise her rating anywhere in the Ukraine (Eastern or Western). I don't know if she will become pro-Russian in the future, but I doubt that her main electoral base will ever be on the East. East has (and will have) its own candidates.

Anyway it seems that she will not run this time.

Quote
Serhiy Tihipko (Independent, ex-Party of Regions, ex-Labor Ukraine): Leftist

Do you mean that he is economically left-wing? Why?

Quote
Oleh Tyahnybok (All-Ukrainian Union "Freedom")

There is a chance that during the Euromaidan events large share (maybe even majority) of "Freedom" supporters switched to the Right Sector, more radical nationalist group (it is not known yet whether Right Sector will nominate its own candidate, support somebody from other political groups or abstain from participating in the elections, but almost certainly it won't back Tyahnybok). I will not be surprised if now he will poll lower than previously.

Quote
In the event of the run-off, Tyahnybok seems to personally favor Tymoshenko but he is ideologically closer to Klitschko.

How he is ideologically closer to Klitschko? Economically liberal? From what I know "Freedom" poses itself as a "social nationalist" party and economically is far to the left of Klitschko or even Tymoshenko.

Quote
Natalia Korolevska (Forward Ukraine previously known as the Ukrainian Social Democratic Party): Probably not going to matter but might become a serious candidate in the East if Tihipko doesn't run. Korolevska was a centre-left member of the Tymoshenko bloc who left to support the Yanukovych government. She was previously considered a rising star but suffered when her party just barely missed getting into parliament. Despite not having any seats, she was appointed Minister of Welfare, a position she held right up until the revolution (still holds?)
Wikipedia states that she was dismissed (as well as other ministers). It seems that she is absent in the most polls, and, when included, polls less than 1%. I can't imagine her becoming a major candidate.

Unmentioned in your post, but still possible participants: Poroshenko, an oligarch and one of the Euromaidan leaders, currently polls quite high (about 10%, only several percents behind Klitschko and Tymoshenko); somebody from "Fatherland" aside from Tymoshenko (Yatsenyuk? Turchynov?); somebody from the Right Sector (Dmytro Yarosh?); Yuschenko, Hrytshenko, Lytvin, Lyashko (neither of them have any chance to receive more than a few percents); some radical pro-Russian candidate (Ihor Markov? he is currently imprisoned but can be freed soon).

Dobkin announced his candidacy. I doubt that he can win the PoR nomination. Maybe PoR will split over the issue to who will be nominated and eventually desintegrate? If Tihipko and Dobkin (both Eastern candidates) will run separately than Dobkin will be more Eastern and more pro-Russian and will get much less votes.

I put my bet on Klitschko vs Tihipko run-off (in which Klitschko will win by a notable margin), though, of course, other outcomes are possible.
24  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Viktor Yanukovych on: February 24, 2014, 09:43:06 pm
A puppet of Vladimir Putin
No, he wasn't. He made steps towards EU integration (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukraine–European_Union_relations#Viktor_Yanukovych_presidency), trying to sit on two chairs, and totally changed course only after some Russian pressure and $15 billion deal.
25  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Pro-EU demonstrations in Ukraine on: February 22, 2014, 04:31:30 pm
I support whichever side is pro-civil unions ftr.

So in the Ukraine your candidate will be "againt all"...

(Though if any of the currently prominent Ukrainian politicians would ever support civil unions, most likely it would be Klichko, I suppose)
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