From 200 to several thousand hryvnias. Not necessarily in cash - pensioners can simply be fed daily and given with sweet tea. Such a sad conclusion was made by the Chairman of the Voters Committee of Ukraine Olexiy Koshel. It should be clarified: we are talking about the local elections scheduled for December 23, which still may not take place due to the introduction of martial law in some regions.
But the problem voiced by Mr. Koshel is not new for Ukrainians. Direct or indirect bribery of the electorate is expected in the presidential and parliamentary elections. The disease is so outdated that every political person and every political force in case of loss will certainly accuse opponents of using dirty technologies, among which the mobilization of administrative resources is only in second place. On the first there is bribery of voters - their votes are usually bought for UAH 200 (USD 7).
Here is the main root of the notorious Ukrainian problem. Let the following sound cynical, but Ukrainians who are ready to take such a sum for the necessary and correct voting think irrationally and are guided by unknown categories. They have never heard the assertion that if you really sell, then sell it once and at a high price. What, in fact, at one time the silent majority of the USSR citizens has made, having entered into a tacit agreement with the Soviet authorities: we suffer poverty if you guarantee it to us. You pretend that 60 rubles a month is a normal minimum wage, and we pretend we work honestly for this money.
Currently, a similar social contract successfully operates in the Russian Federation. The overwhelming majority votes for Putin, not because they love this “eternal president” a lot, but because the Putin regime guarantees only poverty, but a stable poverty. Russians get their scanty (by Russian standards, and decent by ours) wages accurately twice a month: in the form of an advance and the main part. Bribery of the electorate takes place at the state level under the slogan of social protection of the population.
The Ukrainian government, during the whole time of Independence, did nothing like this. People began to do what they could. Fortunately, there have been no cases of mass famine in Ukraine for a long time. Nevertheless, it is the food sets given with the intention to feed the electorate, that have been working for the benefit of politicians since the time of Leonid Chernovetsky.
For those who do not know: at first there were free lunches organized by this millionaire in Kyiv since 1996. The idea of food packages in the format “bottle of oil - kilogram of buckwheat - can of sprats - instant coffee - alcohol” was chosen by candidates for deputies of all levels in the early 2000s. Money in envelopes, the same sacred 200 UAH, appeared later. Nobody paid attention: the cost of the mentioned food set is exactly like that.
Therefore, a situation with no logical explanation arises: Ukraine is not the richest state in Europe, but we are not starving here. However, an ordinary voter, especially in the regions, is ready to sell a vote for food. Or for an amount that can be spent only on food and which is enough for two days. And those who buy people this way, in turn, think strategically. They want to eat tasty and long, to the end of life, providing their family too. And if the problem of buying votes is not resolved in the short term, the appetite of the ordinary voter would increase. Only the requirement to solve not daily, but global problems with the refusal of 200 UAH and a bag of buckwheat will look decent for a citizen who is ready to give a vote in exchange for benefits.