Policy-entertainers: can V. Zelensky and S. Vakarchuk win the election?


Yesterday sociological research company GfK Ukraine presented the results of their study in the second round of elections of the President of Ukraine Viktor Zelensky, S. Vakarchuk and A. Hrytsenko defeat all the other candidates. Interesting here is that among the trio of two candidates: Vladimir Zelensky and S. Vakarchuk, are not politicians and showmen.

This situation fits into the international trend and is not unique. Across Europe, there is a loss of confidence in traditional parties, and the support of voters get of a radical new movement and new leaders who are changing the established political agenda. Often such leaders have become entertainers.

At the election of the President of Slovenia in November 2017 in the second round met the current President Borut Pahor and the mayor of the small town of Kamnik, famous stand-up comedian and parodist Marian Sharec.

Before Marian Sharec was elected mayor of the town of Kamnik, he led several satirical show on Slovenian TV and radio. Became known for his fictional character, Ivan Serpentinite, the rural population of Upper Carniola.

Parodied many Slovenian politicians – President Janez Drnovsek, Prime Minister Anton ROP, of Janez Janša, Andrew Bauke and others.

It should be noted that in the second round of the presidential elections Marian Shares lost a total of 40 thousand votes to the incumbent President.

And later, in the parliamentary elections of 3 June 2018, the party stressed that Sarca took second place, which was a triumph for the new party, which until recently were not even included in polls. Party “List by Mariana Sarca” is a classic populist party that to achieve the result mixed quite diverse abstracts – from improving living standards to the full legalization of marijuana.

In Italy “Movement five stars” based popular comedian and blogger Beppe Grillo, has won the parliamentary elections in March 2018. “Movement five stars” took first place with 32% of the vote, and the result was 222 of 630 seats in the lower house of the Italian Parliament, and 109 of the 315 seats in the Senate.

Famous actors and entertainers from the beginning, always have a good initial ratings. This can be explained by a psychological phenomenon, the so-called “friend effect” which manifests itself in unwarranted sympathy to a familiar object – the more often a person sees someone, the nicer and more attractive it seems to him this man. A regular presence on television in a certain way forms the “friend effect” – voters think that they know this person and can judge his or her personal and even business qualities.

However, this is not enough for a successful political career. All successful election campaigns of politicians-entertainers have one thing in common – they were able to make the voters of a political offer that stood out among the others and decided the original by existing social problems.

Corrupt elites in Italy is the main and well-known problem that has long caused resentment among Italian voters. In these circumstances there is the party “Movement five stars”, which proposed an original solution to it – the instruments of direct democracy.

Direct democracy is the basic idea of “Movement five stars”. It is understood as the further evolution of representative democracy. The idea is that citizens will no longer transfer its power to the parties (meaning the old and corrupt elites), which act in the interests of financial clans and groups. To achieve success in combating this is only possible through the creation of new political institutions, based on the capabilities of the Internet and collective action.

In practice, “Movement five stars” chose its candidates for the Italian Parliament and the European Parliament through online voting by registered members of the blog of Beppe Grillo.

Using mobile online application registered users “Movement five stars” to discuss, approve or reject legislative proposals which are then presented by members of the party.

In particular, the electoral law “Movement five stars” was formed by a series of online voting, as the candidate for the post of President of the Republic. The political decision to support the repeal of the law against immigrants was taken online by members of the “Movement five stars”, despite the fact that it was the opposite of a categorical position of the founder of the party of Beppe Grillo.

Another anti-corruption rule “Movement five stars” is that politics is a temporary service: twice elected no one at any level can become a candidate again and has to return to his real profession. Feature movement is the so-called principle of “zero cost”, in accordance with it policy should not become a way to earn money.

Consistently defending the position of reducing the cost of public Finance for the maintenance of the state apparatus, “Movement five stars” in the General election in 2013 declined from 42 million euros of public funding, collecting funds for the election campaign through crowdfunding via the blog.

So, instead of conclusions it should be noted that the support of politicians, entertainers characteristic not only for Ukraine. But the popularity in acting or singing career is only important at the initial stage, when we are talking about the recognizability of the candidate. And then, to do political career, politicians, entertainers need to do society a meaningful policy proposal. Another challenge will be the need to prove authenticity – people want to be sure that a politician is a showman not playing, and is still himself. So today the high ratings of V. Zelensky and S. Vakarchuk is advance trust that they will still need to justify.

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