Sunday, December 30, 2007

AIFF - Orange Revolution

OK, one more, then that's it.

Orange Revolution has particular relevance for paranoid leftist Americans. Are the powers that lie behind the Bush administration going to accept defeat in the 2008 presidential election [I'm not predicting defeat necessarily, just a scenario] and allow for a peaceful transition to a Democratic president? They didn't in 2000, and there's been suggestion that they election manipulation in Ohio gave them the election in 2004. So, if you believe that they are capable of anything from tampering with votes, voters, voting machines, etc. or even declaring a national security emergency and postponing the elections indefinitely, this is a movie you need to watch.

The ruling party, despite dictating to the media what they can say about the election and the candidates, is still losing to opposition candidate Yushchenko going into the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election. Yushchenko even survives a poisoning that knocks him out of the campaign for a month and leaves his face disfigured. It's clear the government is manipulating the elections and the polling. According to the DVD blurb when Yushchenko is delcared the loser:
They come into the streets by the hundreds of thousands, from every part of the country. Their election has been stolen, and they have come to defend their votes. They march in protest, set up tent cities, and form human barricades around government buildings, paralyzing all state functions.
But this documentary, which has interviews with many people in Yushchenko's campaign, also shows that the campaign had been expecting this result and planning for these mass demonstrations well in advance. They had gotten the tents, had set up procedures for food, bathrooms, music and all the sound and video equipment with it, and on and on, including donations to pay for everything. So when the election results were rigged, the Orange party were ready for the hundreds of thousands who showed up, in a snow storm. And they had contacts in the government to find out what was happening and how to counter.

Americans have a lot to learn from Ukrainians about how to win back a stolen election. In 2000 perhaps Americans were too lulled into the belief that we have fair democratic elections. In 2004 we have less of an excuse. But if the election is stolen in 2008 there will be no turning back and we'll have no excuse for not being prepared. If the Democrats are not watching this film and talking with the participants in preparation for November 2008, then they aren't doing their job.

I would note that at the end of the film it says on the screen that Yushchenko's party fought amongst themselves and things weren't terrific. But it seems to me the point is that the party in power, who were using that power for their own ends rather than for the people's, were not allowed to steal the election and keep in power. Whatever problems Yushchenko had in ruling, were less serious than had the old regime stayed in power.

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