Сергей Лебеденко

Time of change

“Where annual elections end, there slavery begins”.
John Adams (2nd US President)

This statement is about three hundred years. These words belong to a famous politician, the second US President John Adams. Recently, this phrase has become even more congenial to me. Generally I am not a politician, but practitioner, and the decision to participate in off-year parliamentary elections I have taken just recently. The reason is the desire to make people’s lives stable and secure. I am aware that the renewed Parliament will be assigned a lot of tasks to. The country needs reforms and changes. But in order to implement them, we need to know exactly what to do, to have an accurate mechanism and idea of how it will happen.

First of all, we should take one simple truth that the power in Ukraine should belong to the people. This right is attached in the Constitution. It was the same in the days of the Cossacks, when Council of Officers was elected by voting (from the clerks and judges to Cossack chieftain). All decisions taken on Rada (legislative body in Ukraine) were obligatory for each Cossack. And being the Cossack descendant this idea is close to me.

More than twenty years Ukrainian people are living with promises from the authorities and hopes for a better future. Nevertheless, the situation only becomes more complicated. All this time the country is run by oligarchs, exerting pressure on the government, they are promoting their own interests and obtaining leading positions. With world known schemes, budget money gradually go into the pockets of frauds. As a result, corruption thrives in a country, power is transmitted, and the officials keep aloof from the people. And people are still talking about dishonest politicians and their problems such as: small pensions, low salaries, high utility rates, inaccessible health care and many other things.

Every five years Ukrainians come again to polling stations, hoping that their vote will affect the situation in the country. But everything is repeated again. This happens for several reasons: some people vote for a fee, others choose politicians who have already made not the best showing.

The solution is easily explained – they say, he had already stolen enough, and thus wouldn’t do it again. Having come to power in the next five years and having received the status of inviolability, deputies soon forget the promises given to voters. And still continue to work for the sake of personal interests. So the inability to evoke a response from the government has become the reason of the barricades, burning of Molotov cocktails and flaming tires.

But rallies and protests will not solve the problem. We need to change the established during the decades stereotypes and the relationship between the population and the state. Relations should be based on equal conditions.

The world community has come to this conclusion many years ago. A famous scientist Ronald Harry Coase formulated the principle of successful cooperation between the state and the people, for which he received the Nobel Prize, and proved that the state is not able to resolve questions of externalities (external effects) optimally. It cannot correctly estimate the size of the external expenses (for example, the construction of the railway, environmental pollution), it cannot compare the expenses and benefits, reconcile the interests of the parties. Its participation in such processes is very expensive. Therefore, the problem can be solved only by an agreement between the parties concerned. In the case of the whole country it is between the government and the people. The people, as it should be, act as the customers, and deputies and officials are the executors. To achieve such cooperation, it is necessary to change the current state system.

For this we need to carry out reforms, not only form the top-down, but from the bottom-up. Then, the dialogue between the government and the people will be established. And to make it look evidential, I developed a simple but effective mechanism. Its essence is about annual election. All the executives at all levels (district, city, region, and then the country) should be elected.

“Politicians are like diapers. They should be changed regularly and for the same reasons.”
Folk French proverb

The idea of annual elections seems to be utopian and fantastic without explaining the main question: Where can we get money for the election? For the ANNUAL election! During 20 years of Ukrainian “democracy” we were persistently imposed a stereotype that the election is very expensive! And the less they take place, the more money we can save... But they forgot to say the main thing: it’s expensive for a candidate who buys votes. Yes, it’s really expensive for him: he has to bribe the “key people in the district”, to repair something demonstratively, to cut a couple of bands, to give “presents” and to organize a concert and fireworks...

 

In fact we see that the budget has not become richer from the elections taking place every five years, and also the “elected representatives of the people” have not become poorer...

It is just “brainwashing” and the manipulation of consciousness!

A year is the most optimal period. It is a sufficient period of time to analyze the work, identify problems and begin to solve them. At the end of the term all the officials will be required to report back to the people.  After all, they are elected to work for the benefit of people. Such a system would allow people to control every official personally and participate directly in the life of the whole country and their district or region.

 

 

Annual elections: simple, but dangerous! It is dangerous for the current “democrats” – they don’t need annual elections! Because the whole system of irresponsibility and carve-up, having been built for many years, will break!
If the elections are every year, the voters will clearly remember promises and pre-election slogans of the candidate, and populism is no longer to take place ... Voters will wait for the report on the work done, rather than a few kilos of buckwheat and 100 meters of repaired pavement as a fee for the vote.
And here lies the worst thing for the deputy and functionary: the voter will recollect that during elections he doesn’t elect a king for himself, but hires a manager who should have some knowledge and experience and do his job.
A simple example: if we need to make repairs in the house, whom will we hire? A team of builders. And we choose in terms of maximum efficiency: we want them to be experienced and be able to advise materials, and perform their work in time, and be honest... We do not choose the most beautiful builders or those who sing well.
So why do we forget about it, choosing the deputies?
The main work of the Parliament is lawmaking. Development and adoption of working, competent laws aimed at protecting of the interests of the ELECTORATE!
If a deputy doesn’t do his job, he needs to be changed! If all that he is capable of is a good organization of the concert, maybe it’s better for him to work as a club manager?! And let the laws write to those who know how???
Here we should also mention another myth, lovingly cherished by the establishment: those who have been at the “washing tub” (had nothing), have stolen enough and will never do it again.
That’s not true! They will! They will do it even more having realized their impunity!
Everyone knows the proverb: Appetite comes with eating!
And if today he wants a “Mercedes” and a 300 sq m house, tomorrow he is going to have business in Europe for his children, a 600 sq m house and a “golden toilet bowl”. We all know the example of this.

 

Annual change of power is the best prevention of corruption!

Now the leaders of various administrations, departments and offices are not elected but appointed by the higher authorities. That is why the most important thing for them is to establish a reputation for government offices and not for people. And people’s control will not admit frauds to the government. Thus it will be able to save and fill the state budget. Money will not go away from the treasury into another’s pockets. All this will lead to the creation of new jobs, the development of medicine, education, culture, sports and other fields. With such a simple and reliable mechanism people will have confidence in future, and the real experts in their field will have a chance to become leaders due to their experience and professionalism. This system will be a good stimulus for young people – to acquire knowledge not for pro-forma, but for future career growth and prosperity of Ukraine.

This mechanism will allow the people to solve many problems in the field. For example, for the inhabitants of rural areas to have an opportunity to develop their land, we must introduce additional agreements to lease the units at the legislative level. The decision on the amount of rent and charges that will be used for the improvement of schools, hospitals, kindergartens, etc. people will take by themselves at general meetings. Annual election can solve the problem of trade-union organizations, which are almost working in favor of the head of a company now, rather than stand in the defense of workers.

The annual election of all functionaries should be carried out by candidates’ contributions. If we divide the total amount required for the organization of the electoral process among all of the participants, we see quite reasonable contributions.

“The only source of law is general consciousness of the entire people, the general spirit of it.”
Lassalle, philosopher

Let’s count, digits are stubborn things!
Budget CALCULATION of elections of
government officials and local government
Initial data:
1. Administrative-territorial units of highest level – 27 (24 regions, cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol, Autonomous Republic of Crimea)
2. The number of cities – 460
3. The number of districts in the cities – 111
4. The number of rural and township councils – 10,278
5. The number of deputies of the rural,
township, city and regional councils – 233 493
6. The number of general local courts (courts of first instance) – 663; the number of  courts of appeal of general jurisdiction – 27
7. The number of economic courts of first instance – 27, the number of economic courts of appeal – 8.
8. Number of district administrative courts – 27, the number of administrative courts of appeal – 9.
Approximate number of candidates for elective office at the rate of  3 contenders for a place:
1. Mayors of the cities – 1380 people.
2. Chairmen of rural and township councils – 30,834 people.
3. Deputies of rural, township, city and regional councils – 700,494 people.
4. Prosecutors of cities, regions,
Kyiv and Sevastopol – 1461 people.
5. Chairmen of the district courts, regional courts of appeal of general jurisdiction; economic courts, economic courts of appeal, district administrative courts, administrative courts of appeal – 2 283 people.
6. Heads of the regional and city traffic police administrations – 1461 people.
7. Heads of the regional and city Emergencies Ministry administrations – 1461 people.
8. Heads of the regional and city departments of Health Inspection Services – 1461 people.
9. Heads of the regional and city departments of education – 1461 people.
10. Heads of the regional and city healthcare departments – 1461 people.
11. Heads of the regional and city administrations of fiscal service – 1461 people.
12. Heads of the regional and city transport administrations – 1461 people
13. Heads of regional and city administrations of Ministry of Internal Affairs – 1461 people.
14. Directors of the regional and city water utilities – 1461 people.
15. Heads of the regional offices of the Agency of roads in Ukraine – 81 people.
16. Heads of the regional and city administrations of housing and operational economy – 1461 people.
17. Heads of the regional and city administrations of land resources – 1461 people.
The total number of candidates for elective office: 752 604 people.
Planned expenditure budget for the elections to local authorities according to Central Election Committee for 2015 is 1 210 000 000 UAH.
The budget of CEC for 2015 is 1 210 000 000 UAH: 752,604 candidates = 1607, 75 UAH from each candidate.

 

Another important principle is that all candidates should be put on equal footing. The main thing in the electoral process is not the amount of money invested in the campaign and not the circulation of printed agitational leaflets, but professionalism, acquired experience of the candidate and the desire to develop his country.

To make the reforms of Petro Poroshenko work not only from the top-down but from the bottom-up, and thus the people are able to establish a dialogue with the government, I have created a public organization “Public reforms”. Its goal is to implement and make reforms work in the field. We can achieve these goals; we just need to join forces.

Together with a team of like-minded people we intend to defend the interests of the people!
Glory to Ukraine!

Date: 13 October 2014

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