Friday, December 14, 2012

Ukrainian parliamentary deliberations sound fun

The Ukrainian government has had an interesting couple of days.  According to a Yahoo! News story:

Ukraine’s parliament has been engaged in two days of all-out brawls, which have also featured a boxing champ and naked protesters.

I feel like this must be exaggeration, at least a little bit-

Outside of the two or three people sitting right next to the fight, no one seems to much care that it's happening.  Is this standard procedure?
Oh.  Okay, then. 

A pro wrestling style fight started on Wednesday between members of President Viktor Yanukovych’s party and the opposition in parliament. It continued on Thursday as two men tried to change their party affiliation. 

This sounds like the playground wars I used to have in kindergarten.  Just as in this case, there were a number of teams, frequent physical fights, people secretly changing sides in the middle, and large Ukrainian men on both sides.

I thought "pro wrestling" was another exaggeration, but that man appears quite ready to hit someone with a chair.
Pro boxer Vitali Klitschko made a cameo appearance on camera on Wednesday, and security forces had to divert naked women from storming the House floor.

Wait, are those two items related?  When you put it in one sentence like that, you make it seem like nude women stormed the floor because Vitali Klitschko was there. 

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, the leader of the main opposition party, is a woman, and she is currently jailed after losing the 2010 election to Yanukovych.

The protesters were members of the group Femen, and they were arrested after they stripped off their clothes in below-freezing weather and charged the parliament building.

So, to clarify: Klitschko was there because he was recently elected to the parliament.  The women were there protesting the jailing of a politician who lost an election in 2010.  Ukrainian politics is unusual, to say the least.

Images from Wednesday and Thursday showed a scene that resembled a WWE pay-per-view event, with parliament members using full nelsons, choke holds and other moves familiar to American wrestling fans.

From the photos, I was unfortunately not able to identify any specific wrestling moves, but I certainly don't doubt the truth of this statement.  These people fight for serious.
At some point, people might want to wear athletic clothing instead of suits to these proceedings.

On Thursday, the fight over control of the floor again exploded, as members fought on the assembly floor.

Among the new members of the opposition faction is Klitschko, who was on the floor during the skirmishes, but not throwing punches.

Pictures show a well-dressed Klitschko smiling, and he later joked about the fighting to reporters.

Klitschko is the head of the Punch party (yes, there is a Punch party) and he stood back from the fray.

Let's hope no one starts a Knife party.  This is ugly enough as is.  Ukraine might be the only country where "pro boxer" is the most appropriate career track for politicians, so Klitschko should be a natural.

This makes no sense, unless you can become president by successfully sitting in the president chair.
The country is deeply divided between factions that support ethnic Ukrainians (who want closer ties to Western Europe) and ethnic Russians (who want political ties to Russia).

The groups also couldn’t agree on parliamentary procedures on Thursday.

Ukraine has a history of violence in its parliament. Fights are common and one brawl in 2010 sent six deputies to the hospital with concussions.

Ukrainian parliament has a bigger head trauma problem than the NFL.  In any case, it sounds like a much more exciting experience than our American version.  If this kind of thing was on C-Span I'd watch all the time.
Politics in Ukraine: not so different from Walmart on Black Friday.

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