Presidential Stand-up: Why Comedian Volodymyr Zelenskyy Wins Ukrainian Elections

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Presidential Stand-up: Why Comedian Volodymyr Zelenskyy Wins Ukrainian Elections
Presidential Stand-up: Why Comedian Volodymyr Zelenskyy Wins Ukrainian Elections

Video: Presidential Stand-up: Why Comedian Volodymyr Zelenskyy Wins Ukrainian Elections

Отличия серверных жестких дисков от десктопных
Video: From comic to president, Zelensky wins Ukraine presidency 2023, January

Dmitry Kurkin

The second round of the presidential elections to be held in Ukraine next Sunday, Vladimir Zelensky will almost certainly win. If this happens - and the likelihood of this is very, very high (according to the latest polls published on the eve of the "day of silence", Zelensky is ahead of Petro Poroshenko with a solid margin), - not just a comedian, showman and former Caveman without an impressive political background will become the president of the country, but the person who played the role of the president.


There is an opinion that the Ukrainian electorate in the current elections is voting not so much for Zelensky as for his character from the Servant of the People series - a simple history teacher named Goloborodko. Some even believe that the series itself, which was released with the prophetic slogan "The story of the next president" (on the channel "1 + 1", owned by the oligarch Igor Kolomoisky), was nothing more than a cunning promotional campaign, which perfectly lay on the general distrust of Ukrainians in their own the political elite: shortly before the elections, Poroshenko himself admitted this.

Whether it is true or not, one thing is clear: elections in Ukraine are held more according to the laws of show business than in accordance with classical ideas about political competition. And the winner on them, respectively, is the one who understands better than others how show business works. What are yesterday's debates at the Olimpiyskiy stadium in Kiev - with two stages and sets of sound - on which candidate Zelensky insisted.

This seems to give a reason to talk about the elections as a farce (and of course, there are enough such comments in Ukraine and abroad now). But if you think about it, there is nothing shameful or "frivolous" in such a scenario. Moreover, in a world where the most important referendums and elections are won in the media space - including social media, where there is a daily slash for likes and reposts - the current presidential race with a media character at the head of the peloton may become a prototype for the elections of the future.

Elections, strictly speaking, are the most ritual and protocol process that can ever be in political life: it is a sequence of expected rituals, from the nomination of candidates and meetings with voters and ending with inaugural speeches. And it would be strange if the old and new media did not try to get their hands on these rituals and rethink their rules.

The line between show business

and politics, if not erased, then it has moved significantly -

in favor of show business

The new politician can be anyone, but he is almost always a popular blogger who cannot fail to understand the importance of social media as a powerful mouthpiece and must regularly deliver content to the audience (either on his own or with the help of a team of professional bloggers, not so important). This has already been understood and taken into account by American politicians from Donald Trump (a weekly analysis of his "tweetsstorms" has become mandatory for political commentators) to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and this model is gradually becoming the de facto standard.

Zelensky b I also built most of my campaign as a blogger. He refused direct discussions with candidates (together with his rivals he appeared on the air only a month before the first round of elections), but, practically without leaving his role, he turned to the electorate through the next season of Servant of the People, that is, he used his main weapon - media resource. In one of these videos, he symbolically buried Poroshenko - and yes, it was also a serial promo. The current president, apparently, tried to get involved in the battle of content - not so long ago, a video appeared on one of the telegram channels where Zelensky's character was hit by a truck - but the moment was lost.The comedian's team also unleashed the agitation war on the streets like a skirmish on Twitter - setting up their billboards next to the billboards of rivals: so next to Poroshenko's "President is one!" Zelensky's “And this is me” appeared. Even yesterday's stadium battle of candidates will be remembered as a series of short accusations. “I am not your opponent, I am your verdict,” candidate Zelenskiy told the incumbent president.

Zelensky was not at all shy about joking openly at his competitors - and being a comedian, he outplayed "serious" politicians in advance in this field. In this sense, he is somewhat similar to the stand-up artist and member of the Saturday Night Live team Al Franken, who was a longtime satirist and political commentator, and in 2007 went to the Senate elections from Minnesota and unexpectedly won them (in the Senate he served nearly two terms, until he resigned after numerous accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior).

The vote for Zelenskiy - or for teacher Goloborodko, for that matter - perhaps says something about a crisis of confidence in the political establishment. But no less does it say that the line between show business and politics, if not erased, then significantly shifted - in favor of show business. You can call the potential president of Ukraine “virtual” as much as you like, but it is obvious that elections now have to be won not only by traditional methods, but modern political strategists are also required to be talented content managers who break the rules of the game.

PHOTOS: 1plus1, ze2019

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