Archive for August, 2009

1 August 2009

Only 4% Ukrainians approve of government

Gallup has released data of approval rates of governments in 12 of the 15 former Soviet republics. Only 4% of Ukrainians polled answered yes, they approve of their country’s political leadership, whereas 77% approve in Azerbaijan and 71% in Kazakhstan. Russia comes in fourth at 56%.


Showing once more that statistics can be tied into any number of narratives and discourses, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty reports the results under the headline “Gallup’s Index of Fear”, saying that it should be clear to all that these results indicate nothing more than the fear of voicing one’s true feelings about the government in these country’s which scored highly.

They may have a point. But the story does indicate that there is no possible way in which public events or comments in, say, Azerbaijan could be interpreted positively by RFE/RL. If they scored poorly, that shows that the leadership should be changed. If they score highly, that shows the leadership should be changed. Here’s to the future of self-reflexive journalism.

And as for Ukraine, RFE/RL echo the words of George W. Bush, when he said he was pleased that there was such vocal protest about the war in Iraq during his visit to London, since that showed true democracy was alive in the UK.

It’s true that Ukraine’s political situation is a mess. But at least people there aren’t afraid to say so. And that means something.