NDI Vice Chair and former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle reflects on his recent trip to Ukraine in an op-ed for Politico Magazine. He applauds the strides Ukrainians have made in creating a more democratic society, though emphasizes the need for greater U.S. support for Ukraine.
“There may be no place on the globe where the stakes for democracy and freedom are higher or more reliable than Ukraine. The United States shouldn’t let the opportunity pass,” Daschle wrote.
The op-ed cited public opinion research recently conducted by NDI in Ukraine. The democratic values that underpinned Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity in 2014 still unite Ukrainians today, according to the public opinion research. Ukrainians have little nostalgia for the pre-revolution government, even among those who voted for opposition parties in October’s parliamentary elections. NDI conducted a nationwide face-to-face survey of 5,842 respondents in April and May, as well as implicit association tests, a method of measuring implicit or underlying attitudes, among 600 Ukrainians.
In spite of the pressure they are under, Ukrainians are overwhelmingly committed to defending the country’s right to determine its own future. A clear majority wants Ukraine to join the European Union, and nearly 80 percent regard Russia’s influence in the country as negative. Ukrainians are impatient to see political parties respond to the needs of society as a whole and challenge, rather than protect, the interests of the small clique of oligarchs that control much of the country's political scene. According to the survey results, Ukraine possesses a significant reservoir of untapped potential for citizen engagement in the reform process.
View the results of the public opinion research here