The Evolution of the Ideological Spectrum of the Ukrainian Party System on the Example of Parliamentary Parties
Yavir V. The Evolution of the Ideological Spectrum of the Ukrainian Party System on the Example of Parliamentary Parties
The evolution of the ideological spectrum of the party system in Ukraine on the example of the transformation of the parliamentary parties since Ukraine's independence is studied. The evolution of the ideological spectrum of the party system in Ukraine on the example of parliamentary parties has not been deeply studied in Ukrainian political science, which provokes scientific interest to it. As a rule the party system in general, its transformation or ideological content in a given moment became the object of political science research.
Studying the evolution of the left and right ideologies in Ukrainian parliament reflects the electoral preferences of Ukrainian voters and their transformation during the period of Ukraine's independence. By 2014, the parliament has always held leftist political parties that indicated continuity of Soviet ideological heritage and conservatism of Ukrainian voters. Especially that segment of voters who traditionally attend elections and are not inclined to absenteeism. This analysis shows the change in parliamentary parties.
The nationalists, representatives of the political parties of the right-wing, came to the Ukrainian parliament mainly due to the majority electoral system and in smaller quantity compared to representatives of leftist political forces. The party system of polarized pluralism is characterized with two left and right oppositions that are in permanent conflict with strong ideological differentiation; political power struggle between six or more parties that form the coalition during the campaign.
The popularity of leftist ideology (communist, socialist) almost led to communist revenge in the election of the President of Ukraine in 1999. Unlike parliamentary elections, presidential election wasn’t accompanied by ideological confrontation between right and left ideologies, since 25 March 1999 the main candidate of the right-wing V. Chornovil was tragically killed under mysterious circumstances in an accident. The second round of presidential elections was held between President L. Kuchma and Communist leader P. Symonenko.
The most significantly a former President won in the Western Ukraine. As the Western Ukraine has always been an electoral core of ideologically right-wing parties, it gave reason to the experts to argue that voters didn’t voted for President Kuchma but against the leader of the Communists, who was identified with the revenge of communism and the revival of the USSR. It was the biggest ideological confrontation in the political and electoral history of Ukraine, which is why these presidential elections also influenced the evolution of the party system in Ukraine, in particular its ideological component. 1999 was the peak of popularity of leftist ideology in Ukraine.
Communist Party and Socialist Party numbers of deputies that represented in parliament left ideological views didn’t exceed the number of representatives of right-wing and center-right parties any longer. As for the ideological evolution of the party system, the gradual decrease in the coordinates "left - right" and increased - in the coordinates "anti-presidential - the pro-presidential" political parties.
In 2012 right-wing Svoboda became a parliamentary party. The radicalization of Ukrainian society even caused concern in the EU. In the resolution on the situation in Ukraine, adopted on December 13, 2012, the European Parliament expressed concern about the rising nationalist sentiments in Ukraine and called democratic parties in parliament not to interact, support and form a coalition with this party.
Nowadays neither right-wing Svoboda, nor Communist or any other left-wing party are not represented in Ukrainian parliament. Svoboda gained 4,71% of votes, the Communist Party – 3,88% on the last parliamentary elections. In 2015 the Communist Party lost the right to be a subject of political and electoral process according to Decommunization Law. The major part of electorate has not forgiven the left and right parties their categorically radical position. An example of the current parliamentary parties demonstrates that the transition process from ideological confrontation between left and right oppositions to clipping of extreme left and right parties of the ideological spectrum from parliament is finished.
Keywords: party system, ideology, opposition