Much of the parliament’s work in the past five years has been destructive and contributed to democratic regression. This group also broke laws often by failing to vote in person as the Constitution requires. For the ruling Party of Regions, voting on instructions from fellow lawmaker Mykhailo Chechetov became so common and frequent that he was nicknamed the conductor, while deputies voting for colleagues were called pianists.
But that’s not the Rada’s only addition to the vocabulary. Another is “tushki,” used to describe lawmakers who defected to the ruling coalition often cajoled by money, favors, pressure or all of the above. This phenomenon took off in 2010, after Viktor Yanukovych was elected president, and resulted in the creation of a majority consisting of the Party of Regions, Lytvyn’s eponymous bloc and the Communist Party faction, which adopted many divisive, harmful and defective laws.
One such example is the language law, which elevated the status of Russian ahead of the Oct. 28 parliamentary election, triggering protests. The recent election, moreover, was conducted on the basis of a law that, in some respects, created more problems than it solved.