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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

MPs don’t know who Vernadsky is…

But they know the meaning of Boucheron. The Day tried to find out whether it is a mere coincidence or a regular phenomenon
21 May, 2013 - 10:27
Photo by Mykola TYMCHENKO, The Day

In the recent days MPs surprise us all with the way they vote. People’s deputies from the Party of Regions and the Communist Party repeatedly failed to vote for the decrees on celebrating the anniversaries of Volodymyr Vernadsky (1863-45, philosopher, naturalist, founder of geochemistry, biogeochemistry and radiogeology, one of the founders of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences), Vasyl Karazin (1773-1842, scientist, inventor, civic activist, founder of the first university in Eastern Ukraine – Kharkiv University), Tymofii Borduliak (1863-1936, writer, priest of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church), Kvitka Tsisyk (1953-98, American singer of Ukrainian origin, popular singer of advertising jingles in the US, opera and blues singer), and events to commemorate the heroes of Kruty.

After they failed to vote on decree regarding Vernadsky’s anniversary, member of Party of Regions Hanna Herman suddenly realized that something went wrong. “There was a misunderstanding because we did not hear the name clear… It has to be fixed,” said the MP. As a result, the deputies voted again and passed all the necessary decision, except those related to Kvitka Tsisyk and Tymofii Borduliak. There were not enough votes for honoring the names of these outstanding Ukrainian figures.

Of course, members of the parliament may have different tastes, perhaps not everyone likes Kvitka Tsisyk’s singing, but there is a suspicion that MPs simply do not know the figures, for whom they had to vote.

MP from UDAR Party Iryna Herashchenko wrote on her Facebook page: “Dear Inter TV Channel! Please, give all members of the Party of Regions a CD with your film about Kvitka Tsisyk. Today they together with communists failed to vote for events in her honor… Perhaps, they got scared of an unusual name unknown to them. It’s a shame that the parliament hall is associated with anything, but not with intelligence, knowledge of one’s own history, literature, music, and songs. A minute before this vote the parliament supported a bill to celebrate the anniversary of Veriovka Choir. Why didn’t Tsisyk find favor in the eyes of the ruling party?”

We have  asked deputies from the Party of Regions this question. According to Olena Bondarenko, there is no any subtext in what has happened, voting for the dates showed the lack of coordination between the parliament members.

“Today’s vote on anniversary celebrations is absurd,” commented another member of the Party of Regions Inna Bohoslovska. “When these bills were suggested for the consideration of the parliament, the communists began to shout from their places that the vote is on the dates that have already passed. Some deputies listened to what they said and stopped voting. Then this process was politicized and people began to speculate on it. I voted ‘for’ the dates. What concerns the level of intelligence of the MPs, some of them know who those figures were, some – don’t. Things like this happen in any society. For example, ask a citizen from one part of the Netherlands about Dutch artists from another part of the country – no one will tell you their names. We have a normal country that is still developing. Of course, we will promote our culture, but the present reality clearly shows that the two parts of Ukraine for a long time existed in different historical and social conditions. One part was under Austro-Hungary, the others – under Russia and Poland. Each part has its own heroes. Ukraine has been one united state only for 21 years now and we have to pay more attention to each other, to respect different points of view and cultural strata.”

As it turned out, it is hard for the people’s deputies to learn their own history. And these are the people, who have been elected parliament members. However, they seem to know a lot about expensive jewelry and brands. On May 16 every member of the parliament received a book Verkhovna Rada Ukrainy v Oblychchiakh (Ukraine’s Parliament in faces). It could have been unnoticed by the public, but the book has photos not of ordinary parliament “faces.” According to Herashchenko, the book advertises “extremely expensive jewelry – Luxury Boucheron and Chopard.” The question is not even how these ads got into the book (but it would be still interesting to learn the answer), but rather that those, who put it there understood well where they should look for the target audience.