Ліві та лівоцентристські партії в Україні

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Гарань, Олексій
Бельмега, Василь
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Очевидно, що на даний момент ніша як справжньої української лівої партії, так і соціал-демократичної, залишається відкритою. Так само залишається відкритим і питання, хто її зможе заповнити. Небезпеки у тому, що в цій ніші можуть попробувати грати представники радикальних популістських та русофільських сил (як “Союз лівих сил”, очолюваний В. Волгою), або партії, які створюються українським бізнесом для лобіювання своїх інтересів.
In the Ukrainian political lexicon, the term ‘Left’ usually refers to parties that are to the left of both social democracy in its traditional understanding and to the left of several Ukrainian social democratic parties. In fact, Ukrainian politics lacks a genuine and strong social democratic party; the formerly influential but marginalized since the Orange Revolution Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (United), SDPU(o), represented oligarchic interests while other social democratic parties are insignificant. The reasons for slow progress in the evolution of center-left parties are the loss of social democratic traditions after seventy years of Soviet rule; independent trade unions remained weak; there still was a small (although growing) middle class; Ukrainian parties, in general, are not programmatic and usually are built around one leader or are controlled by business groups. Among the Left, main parties after 1991 were the Communist Party of Ukraine (CPU), re-legalized in 1993 (after the August 1991 ban), and the Socialist Party of Ukraine (SPU) established in fall 1991. The post-1993 CPU incorporated the hardcore pre-1991 CPU members. The paradox is that the left’s electoral successes in the 1994 and 1998 (during a period of massive economic downturn) when they gained up to 40% of the seats in parliament, contributed to the fact that unlike the forced reform of the leftist successor parties in Romania and Bulgaria (following their electoral defeats in 1996 and 1997) the CPU remained orthodox. Also, the leftist parties lost their state clientele which limited their ability to use patronage and other government resources. It led to CPU’s decline in the 2006 and 2007 parliamentary elections when it attracted only between 3–5% compared to its 20% in 2002. A large proportion of the votes of the Party of Regions (PoR) (which was created in 2000-2001 by large business groups associated with authorities) came from the CPU. The PoR formally promoted many of the same issues as the CPU (i. e. against Ukrainization and Westernization), but without the CPU’s explicit Soviet nostalgia. Also, the PoR could provide more resources in a clientelist exchange to voters. In contrast to the CPU, the Socialists have experienced some ‘social-democratization’, beginning in 1993, after the more radical actors had left the party. The SPU also made commitment to Ukrainian statehood, which became obvious during the adoption of the 1996 Constitution. In 2000, the SPU adopted a new version of its program where the SPU described itself as a ‘leftcentrist’ force, between the orthodox CPU and European social democratic parties, although tending more towards ‘democratic socialism’ than ‘social democracy’. The SPU members participated in the Orange Revolution, and the party received several important positions in the government. However, following the 2006 elections the SPU suddenly defected from the Orange coalition to the 2006–2007 ‘anti-crisis coalition’ with PoR and the CPU. As a result of this betrayal, the SPU failed to enter the 2007 parliament when it received only 2.86%. Its modernization was interrupted, and the party was shattered. After that, the SPU did not manage to gain full member status in the Socialist International. The SPU desperately needs new faces with socialdemocratic orientation. This is hardly to be done by Vasyl Tsushko, new head of the SPU, as he is tightly integrated into the new Yanukovych government. Attempts at reuniting the Left in the 2010 presidential campaign under orthodox CPU leadership appeared not to be very successful. SDPU(o) or Justice Party, which proclaimed to be center-left and joined the bloc, appeared in the CPU’s shadow. This could further discredit socialdemocratic ideas. PoR is interested in continuing split of the Ukrainian Left. On the eve of the October 2010 local elections the CPU, being a member of the ruling coalition, tactically at the same time increased its criticism towards PoR. On a positive side, the Communists (as other left forces) are against concentration of power in the hands of president. However, it does not change the fact that Ukrainian Communists, like the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, was always a “comfortable opposition”. Nevertheless, the active use of traditional ‘left’, social oriented slogans by all the parties in electoral campaigns indicates that the current crisis of the Ukrainian Left is not a crisis of social-democratic ideology but rather a crisis of leftist parties. A socialdemocratic niche is open, even though it is far from evident who will lead genuine social-democratization process. One of the dangers, however, is connected with political forces which are created by support of large business groups and which would try to seize at least part of center-left electorate. Under these circumstances, international social democracy and its foundations should not concentrate on one-two forces from Ukrainian center-left spectrum. They should continue educational work with young generation from all forces of this spectrum as well as definite social and professional groups (students, young scholars, journalists, trade union activists etc.).
політика, Україна, politics, Ukraine
Гарань О. В. Ліві та лівоцентристські партії в Україні / Олексій Гарань, Василь Бельмега // Friedrich Ebert Stiftung / Фонд ім. Фрідріха Еберта (Представництво в Україні). - К. : Фонд ім. Фрідріха Еберта (Представництво в Україні), 2010. - 32 с.