Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Democracy in Ukraine

Catching up with more on Ukraine and its Orange Revolution.
The Freedom House's Adrian Karatnycky
Now people power again is showing its influence in a democratic age that has seen free elections spread to 45 countries in the last 30 years. This infectious trend is why authoritarian rulers in neighboring states, like Russia's Putin and Belarus' Alexander Lukashenko, are clearly worried. Ukraine is now awash with thousands of civic activists from Russia, Belarus and other neighboring countries, and they are eager to learn the lessons of nonviolent mass action.

Michael McFaul, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and an associate professor of political science at Stanford University,
wrote this before Sunday's Ukrainian election:
There was a time when championing state sovereignty was a progressive idea, since the advance of statehood helped destroy empires. But today those who revere the sovereignty of the state above all else often do so to preserve autocracy, while those who champion the sovereignty of the people are the new progressives. In Ukraine, external actors who helped the people be heard were not violating the sovereignty of the Ukrainian people; they were defending it.