Victor Tkachuk on Democracy, Ukraine & the EU

On February 6 another program article of the Russian leader V.Putin – “Democracy and quality of the state” – was published. The article is devoted to democracy and state building. It appeared after another wave of protests in Russia.

The role of the newest information technologies grows rapidly in the world. They compel the Russian authorities to take them into consideration. Internet democracy starts to emerge in Russia as well. Perfectly understanding this, the prime minister of Russia mentioned the necessity of introducing legislative mechanisms for its realization. He has suggested to legalize the consideration of public initiatives in the parliament provided that they collect 100 thousand signatures and more on the Internet. He recognized the necessity of realization of citizens’ rights. He has suggested that citizens express themselves on topical issues at local referenda, offer ways of their solution and control this process.

Nowadays realities in Russia demand new forms of participation of citizens and society in the life of the state. The desire to influence the authorities and participate in the decision-making has been heard by the Russian prime minister. Although the indicated article is only a program one now and has pre-election campaign elements in it — the recognition of necessity of Internet democracy by the authorities has become a fact.

Vladimir Putin has become perhaps the first high-ranking Russian politician who has started to support direct democracy institutions.

Weird, but these are the realities.

What can the Ukrainian authorities offer in turn? Are they going to hear citizens and build a feedback system?

The presence of the Ukrainian high-ranking officials in social networks is only declarative. As a rule it looks like a “washing machine” for their reputation. The Ukrainian authorities continue to obstinately ignore possibilities of the network in terms of self-organization of its users. And maybe, it’s good. The territory of information freedom extends. The authorities are ready only to forbid their criticism in the network at the legislative level. For example, the decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine concerning an official interpretation of confidential information confirms this. But confidentiality covers only civil servants and members of their families. The decision limits dissemination of information concerning their income, expenses, real estate, places and ways of leisure and residence. Henceforth, journalists can receive this information only at the consent of those very officials. Nobody is talking about defending ordinary citizens.

Freedom of speech and right to public information is walked all over again. And all this is in times of the information epoch.

Weird, but these are the realities.


Electronic Democracy — who’s going to be first, – Russia or Ukraine?
Author :