I think it was James Earl Jones in “Clear And Present Danger“, that Reaganesque comedy featuring Indiana Jones, who said “Watch your back, Jack”. Why? Because even though members of a particular administration are suppose to on the same team, they constantly plotting against each other, striving for more influence while limiting others in achieving that same goal. Call it the dark side of checks-and-balances.
Sean Connery and Harrison Ford (source)
In case of the new Slovenian government, it is Gregor Golobič‘s Zares which appears to have taken the early lead. Given the party’s modest result (with respect to Social Democrats, the senior partner in The Quartet, that is), Golobič has positioned his party in all the right places. With Matej Lahovnik as the minister of economy the party has direct (political) influence over handling the economic crisic. With Golobič himself as minister of higher education, science and technology, it holds control over the area where major increases in spending were promised. With Irma Pavlinič Krebs as minister of public administration, there’s direct influence on the entire bureaucracy and – finally – with Majda Širca as minister of culture, there’s direct influence on future media development, where a shift from provincial 19th century “Kinder, Küche, Kirche” mindset to a more liberal and urban one is already apparent.
The above does not mean that things are OK just because they are the way they are. It only shows great political skill of Gregor Golobič, who has played his hand more or less brilliantly. However, his political power is far from unlimited (a stark contrast from, say, ten years ago) and he was soon playing defence, when PM Borut Pahor – not to be outdone by his coalition partner – started building a parallel power-structure. And I don’t mean stuffing (sorry, staffing) his office with Dimitrij Rupel. No, PM Pahor was about to create a sort-of-advisory Council on Energy which would report directly to him. The trouble was that energy is part of the economic portfolio, which is why minister Lahovnik of Zares saw this as Pahor pissing in his pool. The backlash was imminent, there was even talk of Zares quitting the coalition and Pahor backed down.
However, Zares will not be able to able to withstand the pressure indefinitely. Rumours are aplenty and – depending on who you listen to – there is talk of Social democrats’ MPs switching over to Zares as well as at least one Zares minister not being happy with her position (pengovsky goes:whoops, me and my big mouth :oops:). So while they wait for Borut Pahor to come crashing down on them again, possibly with great vengeance and furious anger, Golobič and the rest of Zares team are redistributing power between them. At the moment this is taking form of various directorates being transferred from ministry of economy to other Zares-held ministries. These transfers are not a bad idea unto themselves, but their political benefits cannot be ignored either.
So, (to continue with Tom Clancy theme) in the words of Sean Connery: “Once more they play their dangerous game. A game of chess.…” And at the moment only Zares and SD are playing. LDS made the only move it could, exchanging their good behaviour during coalition negotiations for a man at the helm of state owned NLB bank, while DeSUS‘s Karl Erjavec spent his moves on getting the defence portfoilo – and lost.