Democracy in the Ukraine

We’ve had enormous help over the past two years from the team at Halogen-DG in Kharkov, Ukraine. As well as programming and maintaining this site, they have programmed our online ICT encyclopedia, Yacapaca (our new assessment engine) and for me personally the lovely NLP Conference website. They’ve done all this with immense patience and courtesy, even when I’ve been unbearably picky about inconsequential details. The benefit to you has been that Chalkface has been able to afford a much better level of online service than would otherwise have been the case.

Now it’s time to give something back. As you will have read on the news, Ukraine stands on the cusp of becoming a true democracy, with the people peacefully (so far) resisting the blatant theft of an election. The democratic movement supporting Victor Yushenko to be recognised as president is requesting that every Western government reject the legitimacy of the official election result. This would put enormous pressure on Ukraine’s corrupt old guard since both they and the Russian government that backs them are dependent on trade with the West.

Here’s where you come in. If you would like to help Ukraine achieve true democracy, please give me just 10 minutes of your time. Fax or email your MP (I used the brilliant, free Fax Your MP service to write to my MP, Anne Campbell) and ask him or her to put pressure on the British Government to publicly refuse to recognise the fraudulent election. You can gather your own information from the excellent BBC or CNN coverage, or you can take it from the horse’s mouth. Here’s what Alex IMd me earlier:

in Donetsk region (one of cities) 99% of voters voted, and 98% voted for goverment candidate. seems more like Saddam Husein , not like ukraine. in normal country with normal election it is not normal.

The important thing is act now. You don’t need to do much; this wall will fall over with just a little push, but it’s bloody cold on the streets of Kiev and Kharkov and the protesters can only hold out for so long without outside help.

Update: Alex’s photos of yesterday’s demo

Update 2: Anne Campbell replied to me on 13th December. She says

…I have tabled an Early Day Motion calling on the UK Government to make clear its support for democratic rights and the importance of free and fair elections. So far 46 MPs have added their names to the motion.

Given that the Ukrainian election is to be rerun on 26th December, this is a timely and effective way to keep the pressure on.

So democracy works….in the UK, at least.


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