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187 leaders: competition for the effectiveness in the new Parliament

Photo: Лєна Шуліка, VoxUkraine
25 February 2020
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The performance of the new Rada has proven to be impressive from its very first days. The speed with which the newly elected MPs passed the laws provoked numerous discussions in the media. Sometimes “turbo mode” has caused skepticism and irony. However, the VoxUkraine Reform Index has grown significantly since September 2019, although not all laws have been evaluated positively. VoxUkraine introduces an updated MP efficiency index that will allow you to see the contribution of each of the elected members to the country’s development.

New Rada has already proved its stamina and discipline. In six months the MPs of the IX convocation of the Verkhovna Rada managed to register 1 734 bills, among which only 63 reform laws were adopted (by the definition of iMoRe).

Compared to the previous convocation, the MPs of this convocation are more disciplined. The new board attendance ratio is 16% higher than its predecessors — 92%. But simply attending is not enough, MPs need to vote. On average, they participated in 74% of the votes (for comparison, at the last session of the VIII convocation, MPs participated in an average of 39% of votes). But is this Rada equally effective in implementing reforms?

MP efficiency index is a tool that allows to evaluate the contribution of each MP to the adoption of reform laws. It helps us tell which MPs vote “by default”, who supports the reforms, and who fights them.

Efficiency index is based on evaluations of laws that change the “rules of the game.” Laws are determined and evaluated by independent experts: the best economists and analysts in the country. Each law passed by the Rada receives a certain score: if the law has a positive expected impact on the economy, the quality of governance and democracy, it gets a positive evaluation. If it distorts incentives and promotes authoritarianism, it receives a negative evaluation.

The MP efficiency index allows you to see how each MP voted for the laws on the Index for the Monitoring of Reforms list. In addition, the efficiency index allows you to see the aggregate support (or lack of it) of individual laws and reforms in a particular area by faction, the “novelty” of a parliamentarian (i.e., whether he or she became an MP for the first time), the method of election (majority districts or party lists) and other characteristics.

If MP voted for a particular law, he/she will receive a score this law got, if he/she voted against, they get the law score withdrawn, if he or she abstained or did not vote, they get zero points. Possible index values range from 0 to 100%. The MP who voted for all reforms and did not support anti-reforms, i.e. got the highest score, receives 100%. Other MPs’ scores are converted into percentages relative to the highest score.

MP’s rating is also influenced by their attendance and voting.

Limitations of the rating. Much of the work of the MP is not visible” — for example, voting against harmful” draft laws during the consideration of the committee, as well as discussing the laws with the stakeholders before they are submitted to the committee. As such work is not reflected in the open Verkhovna Rada data, it is not possible to evaluate and include it in the rating.

We have analyzed the new Rada and compared it with the previous convocation. How did the MPs of the IX convocation vote for the reforms and what direction of the reforms they supported the most?

Best of the best

MPs from the Servant of the People faction demonstrate unprecedented coherence in support of the reforms. They support reform directions almost identically, which allowed the 187 most synchronous MPs to share third place in the efficiency rating. Among them are the “first among the first” – the top five ranked in the first and second places. They did not vote for anti-reform laws, which allowed them to gain additional efficiency points.

Fig.1 Best of the best

Two members from the Servant of the People party list Petro Pavlovsky and Alexander Kopylenkon got to the first place of the rating of the reformers’ deputies of the Verkhovna Rada of the IX convocation. Their reform support rating is 100%. They landed the first place due to the fact that they supported the reforms and at the same time did not vote for the anti-reform – the Law on Subordination of the National Commission for State Regulation in the Fields of Energy and Utilities, the Cabinet of Ministers. iMoRe experts rated it at -1.8 points, which got one of the lowest scores among all laws currently passed by the new Rada.

The second place was shared by Yuriy Koryavchenko, Sergey Litvinenko and Mykhaylo Ananchenko. Former Quarter-95 actor Yuriy Koryavchenko supported reforms, never missed a meeting, and participated in almost all the votes (96%). He voted for absolutely all laws – both reform and anti-reform. Since some laws received negative points and some were positive, his legislative omnivorousness allowed him to get maximum points.

Mykhaylo Ananchenko entered the Rada as #34 on the list of the Servant of the People. He did not vote for 2 laws: the law on the protection of the right to assemble semiconductor products (+1 point) and the law on changing the procedure of bringing criminals to criminal liability (-2 points), thereby losing only 1 point of the overall rating.

A majority MP from the Servant of the People’s Party Sergiy Litvinenko participated in 83% of the vote and attended 93% of the meetings, but supported almost all the laws of the Reform Index. He did not vote in favor of two laws: the SIB Restart Act (this law received 0 points. Expert opinions were split as the law contains both positive and negative rules) and a law allowing deputy assistants to work part-time and do business (-1 point ). Not voting for anti-reform laws helped him not lose rating points. It should be noted that Sergiy Litvinenko became the first buttonpusher of the Verkhovna Rada of the IXth convocation, but this was the first and for now the only case of button-pushing on his part.

Top 3 ANTI-reformers of the IX convocation are Dmitry Shentsev (non-factional, elected on the list of the Opposition bloc), Yuriy Solod (faction of OPFL) and Andrey Derkach (non-factional, self-nominated). Interestingly, all three of them already had experience in parliament. This convocation was attended by half of the Council meetings (average attendance is 50%). At the meetings they attended, they did not vote for reform laws (with a few exceptions), and in some cases voted against them. For example, Yuriy Solod voted against the state budget law for 2020 (the law received +0.8 points). And Dmitry Shentsev voted against the law on the perpetrators of corruption (+1 point), and for the law on changing the procedure for bringing deputies to criminal responsibility for abolishing their integrity (the law received -2 ​​points).

The distribution of leaders and outsiders in the overall rating reflects the overall situation of support for reform by factions. Next, let’s look at how the factions voted in favour of the reforms, whether the factions have their favourite areas of reform and what conditional groups the MPs split.

United bloc of the united majority

The new Rada is often referred to as the «new faces in politics» by both MPs and the media. And although this convocation of the Rada is not the most updated” (it ranks second after the Verkhovna Rada of the II convocation), it has many MPs with no prior experience in politics. How has such a renewal of power affected the reform support?

It seems that the newcomers’ desire to justify their “credit of confidence” has contributed to greater activity in the Rada as a whole. Almost perfect attendance at meetings and the average level of participation in voting prove it. Such conscientiousness, in turn, indirectly influenced the support of reforms.

The average usefulness of IX convocation is 70%, up 13% points higher than the usefulness of the previous convocation of Rada (57%). 187 first positions were taken by MPs from the “Servant of the People” with the level of support of reforms ranging from 89% to 100%. Therefore, in this issue of efficiency index, attention should be paid not to the ranking, but to the level of support for reform.

Factions of the IX convocation of the Verkhovna Rada can be conditionally divided into groups according to how they voted for reform laws. The first group is the monoblock of the majority (187 dMPs). Such MPs, in the framework of party politics and synchronization with the president”, go to all meetings and vote for almost everything (in general, strict discipline is the defining trait of the Servant of the People faction. MPs of this faction have the highest attendance and participation rates).

The second group of MPs does not support everything that is put to the vote, but votes for reforms. It included 139 MPs: the Voice and ES factions, the non-factional and most of the MPs of the Trust and For the Future groups. The reform support rating in this group is in the range of 40% to 87%, with an average attendance of 91%.

The third group is oppositionists. They do not vote for reforms and generally have relatively low voting participation. Support for reforms in this group is below 40% and attendance at meetings is 82%. The majority of this group was formed by deputies of the OPFL faction (42 out of 44 deputies) and deputies from Batkivshchyna (19 out of 24), as well as 3 MPs from the EU and one MP from the Voice. There are 92 MPs  in this group (the rest are non-factional and MP groups).

Figure 2. Support of the reforms by the factions of IXth convocation of the Verkhovna Rada

Representatives of the People’s Servant faction occupy the first 187 seats of the MP’s rating. The exceptions are Dmitry Razumkov (third in terms of support for reforms and 12th in overall efficiency rating) and Ruslan Stefanchuk (third in support of reforms and 17th in ranking), who cannot be members of a faction because of leadership positions in the BP apparatus, but are members of the Servant of People Party. At the same time, the first 41 MPs in the rating supported the reforms by 100%. They attended all sessions of the Verkhovna Rada (99% average attendance) and participated in almost all votes (93% of votes on average). In addition, they did not support anti-reform.

The Rubicon of the conditional first group is the 188th position in the rating. Starting from there, the monolith of servants” is diluted by representatives of the Voice” faction, who support the reform laws twice less on average – usually because of comments on the elaboration of the draft law, not because of opposition to reforms. Representatives of this faction are almost evenly ranked in the 200 places of the rating. The average level of support for reforms is 73%. Deputies of the Voice attend the Rada almost perfectly, on average they were present at 91% of meetings. However, they are less likely to vote, averaging 75% of the vote.

Compared to the previous convocation, Petro Poroshenko’s faction has hardly changed the level of support for reforms. In the Rada of VIII convocation, the PPB at the time supported reforms on average by 71%. Now, this figure is at 70%, and this is enough to reach the third place in the team standings. It is interesting that Poroshenko himself supports the reforms  less than his faction.

Like the previous convocation, the Opposition Bloc faction supports reforms the least. Compared to representatives of the Opposition of the last convocation, their support for the reforms has even decreased slightly: from 18% in VIII convocation to 16% in IX convocation.

The Batkivshchyna faction has also become less supportive of reforms. But the shift towards anti-reformism is even greater (11%). In the previous convocation, it supported reforms by an average of 43% and this convocation by only 32%.

See below which reforms have each faction supported.

Favourite reforms

We looked at what reforms supported the factions affiliated with political parties: “Servant of the People”, “OPFL”, “ES”, “Batkivshchyna”, “Voice”.

Figure 3 shows which reforms were of interest to different factions and to what extent they voted. The SoP, the Voice and the EU vote in a similar way almost on all reform directions. However, for example, in the direction of “state expenditures”, the Batkivshchyna supported reforms slightly better than the “Voice” and the EU. The OPFL, as the opposition should, supports less reforms and does not support the PP or the Social Security at all.

Fig. 3 Support for reform directions by fractions,% (specify for details)

Support is measured as the proportion of all possible points gained by the faction for voting for reform laws in a particular area. The maximum score (100%) is the sum of the points of all laws in a particular area of ​​the Reform Index. The table shows, for example, that energy reform was supported by almost all factions, and that civil service reform was carried out by virtually only Servants and two small groups.

MPs from the Servant of the People” supported absolutely all directions of reforms at practically the same level, which can be explained not so much by pro-reform sentiment, but by party discipline. Therefore, it is impossible to single out your favourite reforms.

Three factions have a favourite direction of reform – Energy. The Voice, ES and Batkivshchyna factions supported it 100%, voting for reforms and abstaining from voting for anti-reform – subordination to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (only A. Kozhemyakin from the Batkivshchyna supported this law).

Voice MPs also support the reforms – at about the same level (by an average of 73%). A little more MPs of this faction support reforms in the administrative services (at 86%), business regulation (85%) and in the category “Other, business environment” (84%) – this includes the law on the prohibition of solid logging in the Carpathians and the law on the safety of motor vehicles. roads. The latter category is also a favourite among the deputies of the Batkivshchyna faction (72% support). The least deputies from the Voice supported tax-related changes (40%) and did not support competition policy and civil service reforms at all.

EU lawmakers also supported forest bans and road safety, but most actively voted in favour of public procurement reform (78%), namely the Prozorro 2.0 law, the only one in this category.

The only direction that OPFL MPs supported by more than 50% was the reform of administrative services (55% support), namely the law allowing the homeless to register their place of residence at the address of social security institutions, and the law on creation of the Unified state electronic system in the field of construction. Interestingly, OPFL MPs have become the only faction that does not support anti-corruption reforms at all.

Some areas of reform have received high support only through the Servant of the People and the Voice. These include reform of foreign trade (support at 91% and 77% respectively) and protection of property rights (85% and 60% respectively).

There were also areas that received high support only due to the Servant of the People faction. For example, the government supported changes in government spending by 92% and the remaining factions by an average of 43%.

Civil service reform was supported only by Servants (by 88%), by non-factional (27%) and the Trust group (5%). Changes in competition policy have also been adopted thanks to the majority. In particular, it is the Law on Support for Foreign Film Producers (0.25 points). Deputies of the Servant of the People faction supported this direction by 90%, the Batkivshchyna by 33%, and the Trust group by 5%; the rest of the factions did not support at all.

Summary

  1. IXth convocation of the Verkhovna Rada has been so far much more pro-reform than the previous one. Its average efficiency is 70% (previous Rada had 57%). 
  2. Among the “teams” the ones with highest efficiency index are the Servant of People (91%) and  Voice (73%). MPs from the European Solidarity landed the 3rd place (49%). MPs from Opposition Platform — for Life were the least active, with average efficiency rate of 16%.  The secret of Servants’ high efficiency is високій відвідуваності (в середньому 94% присутності на засіданнях) and participation in the voting process (85% on average).
  3. First 187 places in the rating were distributed among the Servant of People MPs. Petro Pavlovskyi and Oleksandr Kopylenko both ranked 1st, Yuriy Koryavchenkov, Serhiy Lytvynenko and Mykhaylo Ananchenko ranked 2nd. The 3rd place was shared by other 182 Servants.
  4. MP Efficiency Index allows to measure the factions’ support of reforms by sphere. Energy reform, administrative services reform and business regulation were supported by nearly all the facyions, while the changes in competitive politics or state service legislation were passed almost exclusively due to the Servants.

Appendix 1. Correlation of reform support by sphere between factions

The correlation table shows that Batkivshchyna, ES and non-affiliated often support reforms in the same areas as the Servant of People. European Solidarity, Batkivshchyna and the Voice show similar reformist preferences; for the Future and the Trust are quite similar, too. There is a slightly lower correlation of support at the level of reform directions between the ES and Voice, and OPFL.

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