The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions

In the wake of the initiative to hold a referendum on Croatian NATO entry, changes the referendum legislation are again being mulled.

20090303 zares The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions
Gregor Golobič and Cveta Zalokar Oražem of Zares pour over referendum legislation (source)

For starters, just a quick update: After a week of signature-collecting, the proponents of the referendum collected only about a 1000 signatures. As you know, they have 35 days to collect 40,000 signatures, meaning they’d have to collect more than 10,000 signatures a week, meaning they’re falling well behind. Provided that an unknown benefactor does not come to their organisational rescue, the SSN’s referendum bid is as good as dead.

However, should they somehow succeed, the results of the referendum would be binding, meaning that the parliament would not be allowed a decision contrary to the results of the referendum sooner than a year from the referendum. This is an important difference from the referendum on regions, which we followed closely on this blog.

As things stand now, there are four different rerefendums possible on a national level: a referendum on constitutional changes, a referendum on international relations (held when Slovenia joined EU and NATO), a consultative (non-binding) referendum and a legislative referendum.

The relative ease of initiating a referendum bid has time and again sparked the debate on whether or not the conditions for a referendum should be toughened. It is generally agreed that of ten-or-so referendums which were held in Slovenia, most if not all were either

-dealing in marginal issues, concerning a limited circle of population
-dictate of a loud minority over a silent majority
-political ploys for circumventing the will of the parliament by a political faction that wouldn’t take no for an aswer

or any combination of the above. Thus calls for a change in legislation have been frequent are ever louder. Especially in recent days, after a marginal party presented some 5000 signatures calling for a referendum and forced Slovene-Croat relations (which aren’t peachy to begin with) to a grinding halt.

A legislative referendum (the subject of today’s post) can be called for the parliament itself, upon the motion either by the government, the proponents of the debated law, a parliamentary club or by ten MPs. In every case the parliament votes on the motion. Additionally, the referendum can be called, without the parliament voting on it, by a third of the MPs, the National Council or by 40,000 voters presenting their verified signatures. The last provisio is also the most unpredictable, as only 2500 non-verified signatures are needed to start the whole procedure, meaning that marginal groups with slightly too much time on their hands can wreck havoc in a sensitive political climate.

It was also because of this that some parties, most notably Gregor Golobič‘s Zares called for changes in the referendum legislation. Specifically, they call for a turnout quorum below which the results would not be valid, a ban on referendum on basic human rights and deciding on one or two days in a year when all outstanding referendums are to be voted on. They also called for toughening rules collecting the initial 2500 signatures.

Pengovsky disagrees with most of what was proposed, both in terms of general principles as well as in terms of specific potential problems adoptions of the proposal would create.

First and foremost, pengovsky thinks this country has had enough of systemic changes aimed at achieving a specific goal. We’ve seen enough of this during Janša’s rule. One of the more blatant example of that was the change in legislation on financing municipalities where the City of Ljubljana was deprived of 57 milion euros overnight just because the wrong man was elected mayor. The referendum legislation might not be perfect, but changing it now, because a bunch of neo-Nazis took advantage of if would be like changing the off-side rule because your defenders are not fast enough.

Secondly, the very idea of a validity quorum, although practical under normal circumstances, is utterly misguided. Since the power to rule rests with the people and it is executed directly by popular vote, it is unfathomable that this power would come into effect only after a critical mass of people would have attended the vote. Imagine that the quorum is set (for argument’s sake) at 40% turnout. This would mean that if 39,9% of people attended the referendum would be invalid and that although they took the trouble to execute their sovereign right to a vote, their vote doesn’t count. On the other hand, if 40% had attended (and, again for argument’s sake, 3/4 of votes would be in favour), then the referendum results would suddenly be valid, although only 30% of all voters voted in favour.

The other side of the coin of course is that as little as 10 percent of the voters can attend (as happened with the referendum on regions). But if the other 90 percent did not bother to attend, who’s to say that the votes of the 10 percent who attended count less? Yes, there were a number of silly referendums like this, with criminally low turnout. But it is not as if those who stayed at home did not have a chance to participate. If they chose not to, then they put the decision on the matter in the hands of their fellow citizens. Period.

Furthermore, a turnout quorum could actually lead to more unnecessary referendums rather than discouraging them. It could become the perfect tool for stalling the decision making process: calling a referendum that you know will fail, thus eliminating any fear of actual legal consequences, but nevertheless making life infinitely more difficult for the other side. Like

Moreover, I can totally imagine a scenario, when elections are nearing and a political or legal impasse is reached (such as, say, should mayors be banned from serving as MPs) which can only be solved on a referendum. A definitive decision would be is needed to ensure that elections were held on time and under such a scenario a turnout quorum would only add to the confusion rather than clear things up.

A variation of the last argument goes for the proposal to have to days a year set to vote on all outstanding referendums. This could do more harm than good, as a particular decision on which a referendum was called could be put on ice for as much as six months. Right now the “incubation” period is around 50 days. Imagine that this provision would already be in place and that (again, for argument’s sake) referendums were to be held on 21 March and 21 September. In case of Croatian NATO entry the referendum could be held only on 21 September, unnecessarily prolonging the issue which needs to be settled as soon as possible.

Banning a referendum on human rights is an altogether different proposal and I support it fully. The trick is, that it is already in place. Namely, under Slovenian system human rights and basic liberties are executed based on the constitution itself and you cannot have a referendum on that. For example, you cannot have a referendum on the freedom of speech. Were you to hold such a referendum, it could easily be defeated in the Constitutional Court. It is true, however, that someone would have to contest such a referendum, because the Court does not have the authority to pro-actively judge legislation, but only when asked to. So, banning a referendum on human rights would have no practical effect.

And lastly, the idea of toughening the rules for collecting the initial 2500 signatures: this could be very well put in place. Namely, if a proponent of referendum seriously expects to collect 40,000 verified signatures in 35 days (verified as in signed in front of an official), then he/she should have no problem in collecting, say, 7000 verified signatures in seven days. The way things stand now, a proponet of a referendum needs only a list with names, addresses and signatures of 2500 individuals which may or may not be of legal age and may or may not be Slovenian citizens. Sure, all signatures are checked against records, but there is no guarantee that someone didn’t just copy the names out of a phone book and faked the signatures. Of all four proposals this one seems the most reasonable.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Referendum legislation was abused time and again, by both sides of the political spectrum. It is time to put a stop to that. But rules concerning execution of direct democracy should be changed carefully and with surgical precision and not cut up with a broad sword


62 Comments to “The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions”

  1. Davor Says:

    We have now the situation where a decision made by the parliament with a percentage of over 67 (needed for constitutional changes) can be an issue of the referendum. This is weird to me.

  2. pengovsky Says:

    I agree. I also agree that perhaps proponents of referendums on decisions which require 2/3 majority in the parliament should have to present an even higher number of signatures.

    But the problem is that this particular case (Croatian NATO entry) is being approached from a wrong angle. Everyone seems to think that the problem is the referendum bid. It is not. The problem is the fact that the ratifications in Slovenia are passed as a law, rather than a decision or a decree. The latter two are not subject to a referendum and it really doesn’t make sense to pass a law on another country becoming a member of an international organisation.

  3. Cornelius Says:

    No discussion on the interpelation of the Minister of Interior, Pengovsky? I read a bit into it, and it’s a political tragicomedy. I mean, the first accusation is that the Minister is using the phrase “the erased”, and not the relativized version “the so-called ‘erased'”, quotation marks and all, quickly followed by speculations regarding the number of the erased and the number of voters, who voted for the Trio. Seriously, do a piece on it. You can’t make this shit up…

  4. pengovsky Says:

    We’ll get there, I promise :)

  5. Going About It The Other Way | SLEEPING WITH PENGOVSKY Says:

    […] sex and politics The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions […]

  6. Zares » Arhiv » The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions Says:

    […] http://www.pengovsky.com/2009/03/03/the-road-to-hell-is-paved-with-good-intentions/ […]

  7. Blaž Babič Says:

    Slovenia is full of loud people with no practical experience whatsoever in political reality. On of them being the author of this blog.

    The author rather derogates and labels the initiators of a contemporary signature collection as “neo-Nazis” even if the same group clearly defends and promotes the positive historical achievements of the Slovenian people, like the Pohorje Battalion (Pohorski bataljon) of some 68 people that had to be “erased” by some 2500 members of Wehrmacht and Wehrmanschaft in 2nd WW (1943).

    Clearly author of this blog licks ass of the politicians who want to remove referendums as an efficient tool against EU-phile and NATO-phile establishment.

    I’ll gladly cross swords with the author on the issue of referendum but for the taste of what’s coming let me present you the referendum situation in three different European countries. You be the judge of following facts:

    Treshold of signatures to call a referendum:

    Switzerland – 5 mil voters – 50.000 signatures – 100 days – “in the street” collection

    Slovenia – 1’6 mil voters – 40.000 signatures – 35 days – “only at the public offices” collection

    Croatia – 4,5 mil voters – 450.000 signatures – 15 days – “in the street” collection

    And now you (the author of this stinking blog) explain to your audience why Slovenians are not worthy of development of direct democracy and what made Slovenian people so passive and unable to take power of decision-making in their own hands.

    Republic of Slovenia has been established on a basis of a referendum. After that all the politicians were doing in last 18 years was an attempt do demoralise and destroy any political self-esteem of population.

    Media and politicians together bark that “it’s not up to the people to decide”.

    Well bugger off, stinker!

    This country has in 18 year had ONLY 12 referendums. 3 only were called by 40.000 signatures, others were tactical tricks of the parliamentary establishment.

    The total cost of those 12 referendums has been at most 36 mil euros = 1 euro per year per citizen.

    While we build tunnels that cost 140 mil euros and spend 370 mil euros for military per year.

    SHAME ON YOU!!!

    How come Swiss could have a referendum on Bolgarian and Romanian workers – this is clearly a referendum about a “third person”.

    Slovenian propaganda media and politicians like to say that “Slovenia should not decide about Croatia”…

    Since they will occupy an inch of Slovenian territory they will remain legitimate case for any kind of referendum you can imagine.

    Last but not least Slovenian politics has already risen the treshold for 1st referendum step from 200 signatures, later to 1000 signatures and now to 2500 signatures in 7 days. That clearly shows how:
    – elite is afraid of referendums
    – author has no clue what he’s writing about

    And only after that you can start collecting mentioned 40.000 signatures.

    So why you are allowed to collect those signatures “in the street” and after why do they go straight to POLICE ????

    Last thing – political elite has already removed “ex-ante” referendum and now only thing remains “ex-post” referendum. Another hot issue but let me finish with this point.

  8. Blaž Babič Says:

    Plus – oh, wise author – get informed a bit on what made Slovenian Constitutional Court (CC) strike out the 10th article of the Law on referendum and people’s initiative.

    This article limited some types of issues as “non-referendum”. This is what the elite tries to do to protect their interests.

    As you have been told already – it’s the CC that decides if certain referendum is “constitutional” or not. You can only call referendums on laws passed in the Parliament so I don’t think there’s a lot of possibility to reach that limit.

    Stick to sex, politics is too hard for you.

  9. pengovsky Says:

    Ah, the infamous Mr. Babič!

    I am humbled by your magificent presence on this blog.

    If you had even bothered to actually read what I wrote, then you would see that I oppose most of the proposed changes. As for the rest of your comments, you’ll have to try harder than that.

    Yours is a case of mixing cause and effect. Naturally, you would want the referendum rules to be laxed as it would work in your particular favour.

    I have no idea whether you’re involved in this Croatia/NATO referendum business (although I have a feeling that you are), but let me assure you that the world did not start with this referendum bid, nor will it end with it. Hence, I am concerned not with what a change in rules would do to this ill-fated referendum bid, but what would its consequences be for future referendums. Hopefully you can understand that.

    As for the Neo Nazi part: How else would you describe the Blut-und-Boden agenda the proponents of the referendum backed by kids in bomber jackets have? In this respect they (you?) are no better than the Croatians who also claim that they will not give away an inch of their holy soil.

    It’s warmongering of the worst kind, not unlike another sorry lot which frequented a pub in Munich in the early 20s.

    You may think that you’re acting in this country’s best interest, but your good intentions are also paving a road to hell.

    And finally: Working with several failed marginal parties does not make you any more of an expert in politics than it does anyone else. Trust me. Really. It doesn’t.

  10. Blaž Babič Says:

    So now I get to talk with the sex&politics anonymity. Bugger! I never liked masked political entities.

    What particular technical issue did you mention in reply to all those numbers that have been given to improve your I-know-all attitude? None? So let’s start with your continuing rubble:

    1. “Infamous?”

    – Now you make me humble even more!

    2. “Naturally, you would want the referendum rules to be laxed as it would work in your particular favour.”

    – It’s not as easy as your brain would like to think. I’m not doing it in MY particular favor, I’m more of a peoples guy. Of course your cynicism can’t cope with notions like that but here your are – talking to a person (with name and surname, unlike yourself) who would like more direct democracy in this land. Naturally.

    3. What crap you’re able to write, incredible! But let’s do this bit by bit if you please:

    “I have no idea whether you’re involved in this Croatia/NATO referendum business (although I have a feeling that you are), but let me assure you that the world did not start with this referendum bid, nor will it end with it.”

    – Ok, I admit, I had something to do with it and I did help SSN with the whole referendum procedure. World surely did not start with your blog so what’s the fuss about that? About ending – it IS the end of the world as you know it.

    “Hence, I am concerned not with what a change in rules would do to this ill-fated referendum bid, but what would its consequences be for future referendums. Hopefully you can understand that.”

    – I can understand that you don’t understand that this referendum is far from being ill-fated except for the political elite and apparently you sharing their set of values already mentioned before.
    And do not try to persuade anyone that you are “concerned” you won’t succeed. What gives you away? Your cynicism.

    4. “As for the Neo Nazi part: How else would you describe the Blut-und-Boden agenda the proponents of the referendum backed by kids in bomber jackets have? In this respect they (you?) are no better than the Croatians who also claim that they will not give away an inch of their holy soil.”

    4.a. Please read and educate yourself:

    http://www.hervardi.com/referendum2008.php

    The similar “Nazis” already tried to call a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Hmmm, strange Nazis for sure.

    4.b Kids in bomber jackets weren’t neither from Hervardi NGO, neither from SSN (http://www.ssn.si/si/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=227&Itemid=58)

    4.c Wow, how many lies in one short paragraph! The last being that Croatians are claiming this land for “holy” – the politicians know well when and how they took those few 100 meters of land and they aren’t even hiding it. It is a matter of basic principles. Either you have them or not. Apparently you don’t give a damn about the country you live in. People like you – who think they are above all this :) make me smile :)

    5. It’s warmongering of the worst kind, not unlike another sorry lot which frequented a pub in Munich in early 20s.

    Funny, yeah! So Swiss are Nazis also (for deciding on referendum about Romania and Bulgaria workers) and all those who try to defend the basic interests of their countries? Let us make it clear – whoever is not of or from the establishment and wants to deal with politics is inevitably some kind of Adolf, ok?

    6. “You may think that you’re acting in this country’s best interest, but your good intentions are also paving a road to hell.”

    Well, dear soul, this truly is a classic example of a psychological-mirror statement. You talk about lower realms quite often, I see. And sex being frequent part of your vocabulary you would surely say that politics is a whore, wouldn’t you, piece of pathetics!

    7. “And finally: Working with several failed marginal parties does not make you any more of an expert in politics than it does anyone else. Trust me. Really. It doesn’t.”

    Now boy you trust me – years of practice bring experience. Apparently more than you comprehend.

  11. pengovsky Says:

    OK, I’m game, so – let’s play…

    My identity is not really a secret, but you’ll have to put some back into it. This is my blog and people are welcome to use nicknames. You chose not to, so stop bitching about it. Numbers you quoted are of course true and there’s no point in arguing them. Except from the small fact that you chose just about the two examples which suit you most. Besides – you are up against Slovenian legislation, so you would be well advised to stick to that.

    - Ok, I admit, I had something to do with it and I did help SSN with the whole referendum procedure. World surely did not start with your blog so what’s the fuss about that? About ending – it IS the end of the world as you know it.

    Do me a favour and read again my position on the Zares proposals. Really. Then we’ll be able to talk about it.

    - I can understand that you don’t understand that this referendum is far from being ill-fated except for the political elite and apparently you sharing their set of values already mentioned before.
    And do not try to persuade anyone that you are “concerned” you won’t succeed. What gives you away? Your cynicism.

    Well, I must admit, that as of late I’m not at all concerned with your referendum. How many signatures have you collected so far? And how many days to go? But on the other hand I am concerned with the fact that you seem to have a 19th century definition of a nation-state and sovereignity, which is autarkic, nationalistic and more often than not results in bloodshed.

    The similar “Nazis” already tried to call a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Hmmm, strange Nazis for sure.
    Kids in bomber jackets weren’t neither from Hervardi NGO, neither from SSN
    Wow, how many lies in one short paragraph! The last being that Croatians are claiming this land for “holy” – the politicians know well when and how they took those few 100 meters of land and they aren’t even hiding it. It is a matter of basic principles. Either you have them or not. Apparently you don’t give a damn about the country you live in. People like you – who think they are above all this :) make me smile :)

    So if these kids weren’t from your gang, where did they come from? You should pick your friends more carefully. As for Croatians taking the land – they didn’t take the land… Last time I checked we were blocking their EU entry for trying to legalise a disputed border. And you’re wrong to think that I’m not concerned by all of this (a quick glance on this blog will prove that).

    The problem I have is that you people are actually working in favour of Croatia by trying to hold this referendum. Because you are endangering Slovenia’s negotiating position over the border issue.

    Funny, yeah! So Swiss are Nazis also (for deciding on referendum about Romania and Bulgaria workers) and all those who try to defend the basic interests of their countries? Let us make it clear – whoever is not of or from the establishment and wants to deal with politics is inevitably some kind of Adolf, ok?

    Well, the Swiss have been called “the other white race” more than once :) But to answer seriously: Again, you’re mixing up cause and effect. It is not your self-professed “anti-establishment” position which makes you a warmonger. It is the fact that this referendum bid is nothing more than a nationalistic parade of “defending every inch of Slovene soil”, which – if not stopped – will will end in war. I’m not kindding about that. When things heat up border tensions can turn into border clashes and then all hell breaks loose.


    6. “You may think that you’re acting in this country’s best interest, but your good intentions are also paving a road to hell.”
    Well, dear soul, this truly is a classic example of a psychological-mirror statement. You talk about lower realms quite often, I see. And sex being frequent part of your vocabulary you would surely say that politics is a whore, wouldn’t you, piece of pathetics!

    You haven’t really answered my statement, have you?


    7. “And finally: Working with several failed marginal parties does not make you any more of an expert in politics than it does anyone else. Trust me. Really. It doesn’t.”
    Now boy you trust me – years of practice bring experience. Apparently more than you comprehend.

    You mean experience in failure? But you can console yourself with the thought that one of the purposes in your life is to server as a warning to others

    BTW: shouldn’t you be out there collecting signatures or something?

  12. Blaž Babič Says:

    No arguing about numbers than?

    Could you provide some examples from Italy, California, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, New Zealand, German Federal Lands perhaps?

    The rest is, well… here’s my firm position:

    :)

  13. dr. filomena Says:

    @Blaž Babič: Just as Pengovsky’s, my own name is not a guarded secret either and you can find that insignificant piece of information with a few well-pointed clicks on the net.

    I truly do wonder whether you’ve read what you commented on. As far back as I can remember, Pengovsky has always been in favour of keeping the institute of referendum as accessible as possible and argued against possible limitations being imposed. So if you give it a bit more thought, you may well find that you’ve been barking up a wrong tree. My views on the issue are much less liberal than those of Mr. P, incidentally.

    As for the Swiss referendum, it truly was an interesting event. I followed it in the news. What you fail to mention is that a/ the referendum was forced by the far-right Lega dei Ticinesi and Swiss Democrats in an attempt at instilling hatred towards migrant workers and b/ the referendum failed as Swiss voters realised quite clearly that the European spirit is one of inclusion, not exclusion, and the fact is that without upholding its close ties with the EU, Switzerland cannot survive. Even today, the country’s legislation is so finely tuned to that of the EU, that it’s almost a de facto member.

    Happy Women’s Day! In Switzerland, women were given their right to vote only in 1971 (not securing a yes vote in all cantons, btw), after having strived for it since the first demands made in 1886 and their motions being voted down in various referendums. No comment.

  14. pengovsky Says:

    @Blaž Babič: Really, you haven’t read a single line of what I wrote, have you? As the good doctor pointed out, I oppose most of the proposed changes, and for various reasons. So you really are barking up the wrong tree here.

    You keep coming up with various countries which in your opinion have a better (more democratic?) referendum legislation. I don’t care about that. It is Slovenian legislation which applies and until it is changed, numbers from other countries aren’t really relevant.

    I do, however, fiercely oppose the referendum on Croatia entry into NATO and I would oppose it no matter what, because I think that it is just about the worst possible move which may lead all the way to an armed conflict.

    Feel free to laugh at it.

  15. pengovsky Says:

    @dr. fil: Good catch about the Swiss… Zee nice Germans, ja

  16. Blaž Babič Says:

    Hi, temporary Slovenian legislation is unconstitutional.
    It has already been proven as such at the CC.
    It will be proven again if needed.

    If you propose raising the limit for referendum initiative from 2.500 to 7.000 to me this is quite opposite of your own sentence:

    “As the good doctor pointed out, I oppose most of the proposed changes, and for various reasons. So you really are barking up the wrong tree here.”

    woof, woof

    I think it’s just the right one:

    “And lastly, the idea of toughening the rules for collecting the initial 2500 signatures: this could be very well put in place. Namely, if a proponent of referendum seriously expects to collect 40,000 verified signatures in 35 days (verified as in signed in front of an official), then he/she should have no problem in collecting, say, 7000 verified signatures in seven days. The way things stand now, a proponent of a referendum needs only a list with names, addresses and signatures of 2500 individuals which may or may not be of legal age and may or may not be Slovenian citizens. Sure, all signatures are checked against records, but there is no guarantee that someone didn’t just copy the names out of a phone book and faked the signatures. Of all four proposals this one seems the most reasonable.”

    Did you or did you not at any given time in your life collect signatures on Slovenian streets?

    How many did you collect?

    Do you know the trick they made in Croatia regarding collection of signatures “on the street”? They’ve had to write the personal number (like EMŠO) besides their signature but the number was nowhere to be found in new documents since it has been erased due to the change of legislation on privacy.

    Croatian voters “only” collected app. 125.000 votes for calling a referendum on their NATO membersip. They needed app. 450.000 in 15 days. Now, tell me, how fair is this?

    So how come Swiss can collect signatures so much easier? Why didn’t they had serious war since… ? Why are they not member of NATO?

    Slovenia – so small, yet so important, but the natives should be kept out of all this.

  17. pengovsky Says:

    As I said, I oppose most proposals. One – namely, the one about raising the number of signatures needed to start the procedure – I support. Why? Because if you seriously expect to collect 40.000 verified signatures in 35 days, then you really should have no problem in collecting 7000 non-verified signatures in 7 days. That simple. Unless of course you’re just goofing around.

    Did you or did you not at any given time in your life collect signatures on Slovenian streets?

    No. I’m not in the habit of calling for unnecessary referendums. I do attend them, though. Sad, I know…

    Croatian voters “only” collected app. 125.000 votes for calling a referendum on their NATO membersip. They needed app. 450.000 in 15 days. Now, tell me, how fair is this?

    So, you’re trying to have a referendum because Croats didn’t get one? I don’t get it… They have their legislation, we have ours. You wouldn’t let them join NATO. And yet you bitch about their right to have a referendum? Run that by me again, would you?

    As for the Swiss… If they were suddenly to join NATO. Would you have a referendum on their membership as well?

    Slovenia – so small, yet so important, but the natives should be kept out of all this.

    Do realise that if Slovenia stops Croatian NATO membership we lose our entire credibility in the border issue? Have you even considered what this country’s interests are? Or are you just hell-bent on filing for referendums and hoping that one of them will eventually succeed?

  18. Blaž Babič Says:

    Good morning, the Trickster. Let us continue.

    1. *”As I said, I oppose most proposals. One – namely, the one about raising the number of signatures needed to start the procedure – I support. Why? Because if you seriously expect to collect 40.000 verified signatures in 35 days, then you really should have no problem in collecting 7000 non-verified signatures in 7 days. That simple. Unless of course you’re just goofing around.”*

    So out of a blue sky there is no other problem that you could spot right there?

    I’m asking you again – why 40.000 when Swiss have 50.000 in the first place!!! Why stick to 35 days (of which the administrative units only work 25 days or so) when Swiss have pure 100 days? Why not collect all signatures “on the street” if this is sufficient for the initiative phase?

    Noooo – you would stick with the present false and unconstitutional rules just to proove… what exactly? That you can kick ass as a blogger??? You make me funny :)

    2. *”No. I’m not in the habit of calling for unnecessary referendums. I do attend them, though. Sad, I know…”*

    Now that’s what I call evasive manoeuvre. And classical double-tongue. Congrats, you’re a pro.

    3. *”So, you’re trying to have a referendum because Croats didn’t get one? I don’t get it… They have their legislation, we have ours. You wouldn’t let them join NATO. And yet you bitch about their right to have a referendum? Run that by me again, would you?”*

    Many problems with logic you have young Padawan. My position is quite clear and open I’d say. Not the devil, may only thy neighbour stay at your borders.

    It’s funny how the political stance to let Croatia into NATO superbly correlates with the wish to “harm Croats”.

    So let them send troops to Afghanistan. So let them pay for the military as we do. So let them be controlled by NATO as we are. So let them have dirty legislation on referendums we don’t care about that…

    :) You plonkers!

    4. Yes I would demand a referendum if they would occupy 1 cm2 of Slovenian territory. You didn’t read the points of SSN, did you – it so much easier to call them neo-Nazis, isn’t it.

    5. *”Do realise that if Slovenia stops Croatian NATO membership we lose our entire credibility in the border issue? Have you even considered what this country’s interests are? Or are you just hell-bent on filing for referendums and hoping that one of them will eventually succeed?”*

    What bloody credibility are you talking about? You must be ass licker to the bone!

    WHAT ARE THIS COUNTRY’S TRUE INTERESTS AND NOT THE INTERESTS OF THE ELITE YOU ARE WELL SERVING WITH THIS BLOG OF YOURS???

    Regarding referendums – I like the notion of people holding power in their own hands (3rd article of our Constitution) is that so hard to grasp.

  19. pengovsky Says:


    So out of a blue sky there is no other problem that you could spot right there? I’m asking you again – why 40.000 when Swiss have 50.000 in the first place!!! Why stick to 35 days (of which the administrative units only work 25 days or so) when Swiss have pure 100 days? Why not collect all signatures “on the street” if this is sufficient for the initiative phase?

    And why not? Just because you can’t make the cut it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Other initiatives have collected 40.000 signatures in the past, so it is doable.

    Noooo – you would stick with the present false and unconstitutional rules just to proove… what exactly? That you can kick ass as a blogger??? You make me funny :)

    You don’t need me to make you funny. You’re funny enough just the way you are. Referendum legislation is perfectly constitutional. If you have a beef with it, it doesn’t make it invalid.

    Now that’s what I call evasive manoeuvre. And classical double-tongue. Congrats, you’re a pro.

    It was a rather slick move, no? :D

    Many problems with logic you have young Padawan. My position is quite clear and open I’d say. Not the devil, may only thy neighbour stay at your borders. It’s funny how the political stance to let Croatia into NATO superbly correlates with the wish to “harm Croats”. So let them send troops to Afghanistan. So let them pay for the military as we do. So let them be controlled by NATO as we are. So let them have dirty legislation on referendums we don’t care about that

    Too much Star Wars, Obi Wan? No wonder you’re funny… While I have heard the argument that we would screw the Croats better if the let them join NATO rather than keep them out, I don’t really subscribe to that logic, nor could you find me seriously defending it. You just made it up.

    And you haven’t really answered my question. So much for evasive manoeuvres.

    Yes I would demand a referendum if they would occupy 1 cm2 of Slovenian territory. You didn’t read the points of SSN, did you – it so much easier to call them neo-Nazis, isn’t it.

    It is easy to call them Neo-Nazi, since they follow precisely the same logic of making unreasonable demands and then accusing the other side of being uncooperative and finally (like you do) histericaly scream of occupation.

    The border is disputed. It is not set. Croatia is indeed enfrocing a fait acompli, but you cannot speak of occupation. If the border will be completely settled and Croatia still tries to enforce its sovereignty only then will you be able to start thinking about occupation and even then you’ll need armed presence of Croatian army to really call it an occupation.

    Barring that you’re drumming up hysteria.

    What bloody credibility are you talking about? You must be ass licker to the bone!

    I’m talking about the ability of a country to come across as a serious negotiating partner which can set its priorities straight and consider its interests in the wider sense of international security and responsibility. To put simply, for you to understand, that Slovenia does not act in the same hysterical manner as Croatia. Thanks to your lot we are very close to becoming just like Croatia

    WHAT ARE THIS COUNTRY’S TRUE INTERESTS AND NOT THE INTERESTS OF THE ELITE YOU ARE WELL SERVING WITH THIS BLOG OF YOURS???

    Stop shouting (using caps) or I’ll kick you off this blog. This is the only warning you’ll get.

    Regarding referendums – I like the notion of people holding power in their own hands (3rd article of our Constitution) is that so hard to grasp.

    Let me guess… You studied law but never finished?

    Article 3 of the constitution reads:

    Slovenia is a state of all its citizens and is founded on the permanent and inalienable right of the Slovene nation to self-determination.

    In Slovenia power is vested in the people. Citizens exercise this power directly and through elections, consistent with the principle of the separation of legislative, executive, and judicial powers.

    You conveniently forgot the part about exercising the power to rule through elections.

  20. Blaž Babič Says:

    Liar, liar, pants on fire!

    1. “And why not? Just because you can’t make the cut it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Other initiatives have collected 40.000 signatures in the past, so it is doable.”

    Out of 12 referendums only app. 3 were made with the collection of 40.000 sigantures. It was SDS, Unions and perhaps someone else connected to the biggest and strongest and most financed entities.

    It would be funny if not serious how you dare to demand from a political party that is being discriminated financially (below 1% votes) to engage to the same levels of activities.

    2. “Referendum legislation is perfectly constitutional. If you have a beef with it, it doesn’t make it invalid.”

    Please be a sport and read this for me:

    http://www.us-rs.si/index.php?archive=1&sv_path=2958,2959,3179

    If you need any additional information don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll be there for you.

    For the rest of your quisling mumbo-jumbo – one BIG HAHA :)

  21. pengovsky Says:

    It would be funny if not serious how you dare to demand from a political party that is being discriminated financially (below 1% votes) to engage to the same levels of activities.

    Simple. Because the same rules apply to everyone. It’s one of the basic principles of the rule of law.

    Please be a sport and read this for me

    Surely, you mean this?

    And? The Constitutional court annuled some articled of the Law on Refendum insofar as they pertained to the preliminary referendum which is non-binding. It however specifically denied your claim that the entire law is invalid. Furthermore, the referendum in question is a subsequent referendum, bearing no relevance to your constitutional beef.

    So, who’s the liar now?

  22. Blaž Babič Says:

    Well decide for yourself, it’s either liar or not-being-able-to-read-large-volumes-of-legal-stuff.

    Check the reasons why they had to strike out the whole 2nd chapter in the disputed Law. And it had also to do a bit with the preliminary referendum, true. But that was NOT the whole story, silly you.

  23. Blaž Babič Says:

    Oh, check that one also:

    http://odlocitve.us-rs.si/usrs/us-odl.nsf/o/980C50D5FD4DB83DC125717200288D9C

    Do you like the section where they say:

    “Ustavno sodišče ni našlo ustavno dopustnega, tj. stvarno upravičenega cilja, ki bi narekoval zakonsko ureditev, po kateri ne morejo dati podpore zahtevi za razpis tisti volivci, ki osebno ne morejo priti na upravno enoto zaradi bolezni, zdravljenja ali invalidnosti Način sprejemanja podpore volivcev zahtevi za razpis referenduma (bi moral biti) natančneje določen, in ne bi smel biti v vsakem primeru posebej odvisen od navodil in usmeritev pristojnega organa ali ministra.”

  24. dr. filomena Says:

    Off the top of my head, two possible reasons why the Swiss have not had a serious war in a long time:
    1/ from the military point of view they are located in a rather non-interesting part of Europe;
    2/ they have everybody’s money and no robber will attack his own bank.

    Why are they not members of NATO? As you noted, they have not been under a serious military threat in a long time (and before that, they were basically busy either killing each other with fervour or killing and dying for the highest bidder in their neighbours’ wars), and “neutrality” plays a big role in their keeping at least part of their traditional role of a safe money harbour that a significant part of their economy is based on.

    Place the Swiss on the Balkans and let’s see how fast they go to war and join NATO :twisted:

  25. pengovsky Says:

    @Blaž Babič:

    Please, stop manipulating. You’re insulting your intelligence as well as mine. Neither of us is as stupid as not to know that you’ve just posted two different links to the same decision.

    And it has absolutely nothing to do with the question at hand. Neither with your ill fated referendum (which is a subsequent, not preliminary) nor with the actual content of this post.

    The court did annul certain provisions of the law when they apply to a preliminary referendum, but it did not annul the entire law, no matter how you may wish it.

    @dr. fil:
    2/ they have everybody’s money and no robber will attack his own bank.

    ROTFL! Good one! :mrgreen:

  26. Adriaan Says:

    I’m amazed Mr Babic has time to participate in this correspondence. Wouldn’t he be better served spending more time trying to stump up some support for this referendum?

  27. dr. filomena Says:

    My dear friend, I only omitted making that comment on account of thinking it too obvious. Lovely to see great minds run similar tracks again :mrgreen:
    PS: Oh and the referendum has just been effectively dumped. See:
    http://www.rtvslo.si/modload.php?&c_mod=rnews&op=sections&func=read&c_menu=1&c_id=194807

  28. Blaž Babič Says:

    Wash your hands, you type dirty and you lie a lot.

    This decision was revolving around ill-fated 13th article of the old ZRLI.

    Afterwards US decided on its own hand to strike out the whole IInd section chapter of the ZRLI specially preliminary referendum and the ELITE used this gift to scrap the preliminary referendum out of the Law for ever.

    Was this necessary? Not at all – it’s how the ELITE works. If people succeed in making one step forward, the ELITE throws them two steps back. Been there, done that.

    It’s a good trick but still it is a trick and in time people will understand that mentality like yours only hinders them in achieving better quality of political life.

    Cheerio, mate!

  29. Blaž Babič Says:

    Two liars on the same blog – now that’s a catch!

    Marjan Podobnik and his NGO 25th of June have had nothing to do with the procedure to collect 40.000 signatures. They tried to “help” collecting 2.500 signatures, for sure, but the POLICE (why police – that is unconstitutional as well!) scrapped like 2.300 signatures which have been mainly theirs as non-valid.

    As a good agent of the ELITE he did try hard later however to convince SSN to stop all activities.

    So the question for you and your readers is – why do media promote Marjan Podobnik so well and why do they ignore or attack SSN as “neo-Nazis, football fans, marginals, prisoners…” :)

    Be kind to yourself and stop lying.

  30. Blaž Babič Says:

    Adriaan – I will not waste my time under unconstitutional conditions, now how arrogant of me is that?

  31. Adriaan Says:

    @Dr. Fil: I always was a master of the obvious!

    @Blaž Babič: Arrogant? that’s for others to decide, I’ll come to my own conclusions. That said, if I’ve understood you correctly, isn’t giving up defeatist rather than arrogant?

    History gives us plenty of examples of those who’ve triumphed despite odds stacked against them. If you truly believe your stance perhaps you should just try harder?

    Or perhaps you’re just being argumentative?

  32. pengovsky Says:

    Wash your hands, you type dirty and you lie a lot.
    I learn from the best :D

    This decision was revolving around ill-fated 13th article of the old ZRLI.Afterwards US decided on its own hand to strike out the whole IInd section chapter of the ZRLI specially preliminary referendum and the ELITE used this gift to scrap the preliminary referendum out of the Law for ever. Was this necessary? Not at all – it’s how the ELITE works. If people succeed in making one step forward, the ELITE throws them two steps back. Been there, done that.

    Again, I’m dumbfounded… So you actually helped in reducing the level of direct democracy? My, oh my… I’m starting to see a pattern here.

    So the question for you and your readers is – why do media promote Marjan Podobnik so well and why do they ignore or attack SSN as “neo-Nazis, football fans, marginals, prisoners…” :)

    For starters, they are all of the above: Neonazis, hooligans, marginals and prisoners. At least one of the party leaders is doing time for attempted murder. As for your question, why are they ignoring SSN (I’ve yet to see a media attack on them), it is simple: they’ve got nothing to show, plus, they are a bunch of political quacks.

  33. Blaž Babič Says:

    Here is another rebuttal of your claim:

    Andrej Šiško reported a possible crime of money laundering to Maribor police. Later he worked with the police to nail the guy.

    http://www.hervardi.com/primer_ponarejeni_tolarski_boni.php

    Would a person that works together with the police waste one second to “put the explosive device under the criminal’s car”?

    The court procedure lasted “merely” 16 years. That leaves Andrej Šiško with clear status of political prisoner.

    —————————

    I did not help reducing standards of DD in Slovenia. Whoever would try to use the legislation in favour of people would get the same “two steps back” attitude.

    —————————

    Adriaan – if Slovenia has rule of Law this current legislation will have to be scrapped and replaced by something more Swiss-like. Under these conditions any attempt of collecting signatures is linked to the costs around 100k euros at least. Therefore it’s discriminatory in its core.

  34. pengovsky Says:

    I’m not interested in Šiško. You brought him up, I merely said that he is a convicted prisoner, which is a fact and you don’t dispute that.

    Well, apparently you did help diminish the possibilities of referendum, since cancelling the preliminary referendum was a direct result of your constitutional complaint. Talk about shooting onself in the leg. But I can imagine your fury over that. :twisted:

    as far as the rule of law is concerned: if it costs you 100k euros to collect 40.000 signatures, it would cost you in excess of 250k euros to collect 100.000 signatures. Probably even more, since you’d have to pay people for 100 days of work and not “just” 35 days of work.

    It’s expensive to play Switzerland…

  35. Blaž Babič Says:

    Wrong on both accounts – stop repeating yourself…

    1. If it wouldn’t be me or Nova strana (New party) at that time it would be someone else, testing referendum legislation in practice and forcing the quasi-elite in defensive maneouvres… as described before alas ignored by you.

    If we would have Swiss system we would have to collect approximately 16.000 signatures in 100 days “on the street”. You don’t need people standing in front of Administrative Offices any more therefore the debate about costs is again – negative. Such as is your own attitude towards referendums in general. Point made, thank you very much for your cooperation.

  36. dr. filomena Says:

    Blaž Babič, for somebody who finds it to natural and easy to verbally abuse people in a debate, in particular with references to liars and burning pieces of clothing, you seem to have little to stand on.

    I quote from a Swiss website on the history and present situation of Swiss referendums:

    “From a legal point of view, one citizen alone may collect the 50,000 signatures of other citizens it takes to call for a referendum on a new law and he may finance the campaign to convince the electorate all by himself. In practice, however, this will not work. Collecting 50’000 signatures within three months is a very big effort, people will not sign just anything and you have to convince them one by one. And just hanging out posters and buying newspaper ads doesn’t convince the electorate. The Swiss electorate wants to get informed, they go to public discussions, they are looking for convincing arguments and they are discussing the issue among friends.

    A team of 1,000 or more volunteers and 100 orators (members of national or cantonal parliaments, entrepreneurs, labor-union leaders, presidents of all kinds of assciations etc.) is about the minimum it takes for a successful referendum campaign. Of course, some money is involved too, but the hours of volunteers still have more weight in Swiss politics than sheer money. There are only few parties or organisations that can mobilize enough volunteers alone, so usually a referendum campaign will see a pro coalition and a con coalition. For people familiar with Switzerland’s political party system, coalitions are quite predictable even before someone even starts a referendum campaign.”

    Please note the references to numbers, cost and ease of collecting signatures.

  37. Blaž Babič Says:

    Your point being?

    Also please add the number of referendums that they’ve had in last 18 years.

    Slovenia only had 12 – mostly fake ones – initiated by the Parliament itself.

    What is your problem, people? Or to be exact – which are your problems?

  38. dr. filomena Says:

    Blaž Babič, you said:
    “If we would have Swiss system we would have to collect approximately 16.000 signatures in 100 days “on the street”.”

    In fact, you would have to collect 50,000 signatures.

    Switzerland has a totally different political system, *based* on direct democracy for very specific reasons. Establishing that type of a system was the only way to stop the various political factions from killing each other and effectively stopped a period in mid 19 century when your model country was riddled by political assassinations, violence and the likes.

    In this system, politicians fear the referendum so much that they seek even the most improbable compromise and consequently succumb to various interests of pressure groups. And even so, referenda do get implemented. However, interestingly enough, the voter turnout is very low with the better-educated voting more frequently than those not so well-off and over 60% of the referenda are unsuccessful. BTW, over 90% of “intitatives” are unsuccessful as well.

    In your place – which admittedly and thankfully I am not – I would try to build my arguments on Slovenian circumstances, legislation and outlook, rather than use Switzerland as some shiny example or a perfect system which it really and truly is not. My Swiss friends agree.

  39. pengovsky Says:

    If we would have Swiss system we would have to collect approximately 16.000 signatures in 100 days “on the street”. You don’t need people standing in front of Administrative Offices any more therefore the debate about costs is again – negative. Such as is your own attitude towards referendums in general. Point made, thank you very much for your cooperation.

    As it stands in Slovenia you need signatures 2.8 percent of voters. Is that too much to ask? If you can’t persuade 2.8 percent of voters that yours is a worthy cause, then maybe it’s about time you get the message…

    Actually, I’m very much in favour of referendums. That’s why I wrote this post, which you apparently still didn’t read. Sadly, it you people who constantly drum up silly little referendum ideas and then scream treason when you don’t succeed, who are providing ready excuses for curbing the referendum as an instrument of a direct democracy.

    That is why I’m in favour of raising the limit of initial signatures to 7000. So that we make it possible to hold referendums which have at least some backing in the electorate and prevent a joke of a party (like yours) to hold the entire country hostage to its delusions of grandeur.

  40. Blaž Babič Says:

    As said before – you already know so much I can not add anything more. And you are not able to listen and think outside your parameters set in advance.

    So thank you for your quality time and few hollow arguments.

    May the readers of this blog check and think over for themselves which side of the arguments goes in favour of better democracy and more empowered voters.

    Bye, bye!

  41. pengovsky Says:

    I have every confidence they will do just that.

  42. Blaž Babič Says:

    One last info for your readers – this blog has been published at the ZARES (political party) web-site (www.zares.si) in an attempt to show how “independent” and “realistic” bloggers of Slovenia think about referendums.

    As I checked now the link has been removed.

    Mission accomplished, struggle for better direct democracy continues.

  43. pengovsky Says:

    Actually, the link is still very much there :)

  44. Blaž Babič Says:

    Naša naloga je zavarovati pravico do referenduma Print
    11 Mar 2009 ob 12:25 PM
    Danes, 11.02.2009, je Ustavno sodišče RS prejelo pobudo za oceno ustavnosti ZRLI (Zakona o referendumu in ljudski iniciativi), ki ga je vložila SSN.

    V zvezi s to pobudo je SSN podala še zahtevo za zadržanje uveljavitve in izvrševanja zakona o ratifikaciji Protokola o pristopu Republike Hrvaške k Severnoatlantski pogodbi, in če bo Ustavno sodišče tej zahtevi ugodilo pravočasno in s tem zavarovalo temeljne pravice slovenskih volilk in volilcev, to pomeni, da bo ratifikacija zakona odložena na tisti čas, ko bo referendumska zakonodaja ponovno usklajena z Ustavo RS in bo pobudnici omogočila ustrezen način zbiranja podpisov.

    Pobuda za oceno ustavnosti ZRLI temelji na več primerih ustavne prakse iz preteklosti, predvsem pa na konkretnih in praktičnih primerih ponovnega kršenja pravice do referenduma, zaradi česar je bila tudi dosedanja akcija zbiranja podpisov manj uspešna, kot bi lahko sicer bila.

    Bistveni neustavni element v sedanji referendumski zakonodaji po prepričanju SSN predstavljajo navodila MNZ in drugih ministrstev, ki so vsakič arbitrarna ter ne nudijo pravne varnosti.

    Naslednji velik problem, tako za vsakokratne pobudnike, kot za volilke in volilce so tista določila ZRLI – še posebej pa 16.b člen – ki so napisana nedoločno, brez ustreznih podzakonskih izpeljav, in pomenijo dejansko pravno praznino.

    Vse te navedbe je SSN podkrepila s številnimi dokumentiranimi primeri, ki so se že zvrstili od dne 20.02.2009, ko se je zbiranje podpisov pričelo.

    Stranka Slovenskega Naroda
    Predsedstvo

    http://www.ssn.si/si/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=240&Itemid=58

    Translate it for your readers. Let me help you with the short version – No NATO occupation of Croatia this year.

  45. pengovsky Says:

    Another constitutional complaint? You’re getting really old really fast… What’s the matter, not enough signatures? Bad organisation is a bitch, I know…

    You could have translated it yourself, but you didn’t. And you know why – because nothing in there guarantees that you will succeed. And even if the Constitutional Court deliberates on your motion for a temporary injunction against the ratification, there is no way of telling that it will do it before your deadline expires.

    And even if it did do that, you have absolutely no guarantee that it will rule in your favour.

    And finally – as of now, you are on moderate. This is the first and the last time you’ve posted a press release on this blog.

    Normally, I’d consider this spam and delete it. It is only because I enjoy watching you build monuments to your ineptitude that I leave your comment as it is.

  46. Blaž Babič Says:

    Been there, done that:

    http://odlocitve.us-rs.si/usrs/us-odl.nsf/o/E9B18E810E2AEE2AC125717200288E3C

    So I have no fear Croatia will be occupied by NATO this year.

    Sorry for the CAPS – they were already in the link.

    :))))))))))))))))))))

  47. pengovsky Says:

    And yet you don’t seem to understand that you speak of two different things.

    Today you moved for an injunction against the law which was passed, but with this last link you give us yet another one of your referendum antics, where you succeeded in imposing a temporary injunction against an article of the Parliament’s Rules and Procedures.

    It is just not the same, you know…

    Besides… If memory serves, that referendum failed miserably and you evaded Court’s decision by the most stupid of manoeuvres – like refusing to accept registered mail

  48. Blaž Babič Says:

    Life is not as simple as your brain would like to paint it.

    You keep on bashing over completely hones and completely legal attempts to call more referendums in this land. So much about your “support of referendums”.

    The mail you were mentioning has not been registered. It has been hand-delivered by the security personnel of the Parliament, which can hardly be described as a proper procedure.

    Let me try to translate following paragraph so your two grey cells could do the combination:

    “Zadržanje objave zakona je pomembna pravna posledica vložene zahteve oziroma pobude za naknadni zakonodajni referendum. Le s tem, da se prepreči objava zakona do dokončanja postopka z referendumom (in posledično prepreči tudi uveljavitev zakona), se lahko zagotovi učinkovitost naknadnega zakonodajnega referenduma kot oblike neposrednega odločanja volivcev o potrditvi ali nepotrditvi (torej zavrnitvi) zakona.”

    To hold the publication of the Law is an important legal consequence of the passed referendum demand or initiative for a subsequent referendum. Only in this manner – that the publication of the law is postponed until the end of the referendum procedure – (thus prevents the implementation of the law) can (we) provide efficiency of the subsequent legislative referendum as a FORM OF DIRECT DECISION-MAKING of voters regarding confirmation or rebuttal of a law.

    So – if the Government does all it can to prevent the referendum taking place and to enable the ratification (and it surely did a lot in this case) voters have the final defence at the CC.

    It’s called the rule of law.

  49. pengovsky Says:

    Hello, Earth calling Mars! Every attempt at calling a referendum is legal.

    Let me put it in very simple terms. I am in favour of the current referendum legislation. I would support only (repeat: only) a rise in the number of signatures needed to start the whole process.

    The way things stand you need 2500 signatures to stop the entire legislative procedure. That’s 2500 out of 1.6 million, or 0.15 percent (about the percentage of votes SSN received).

    The mail I was mentioning was merely an illustration of the tricks you are prepared to employ in order to get your way. But hey, if it’s within the scope of the law, fine. All I know is that as a result of your antics back then, all official mail is now considered delivered after 15 days, regardless of the fact if you actually got it or not. No more evading paying for parking tickets. Thanks for that. Really :D

    But to turn my ever waning attention to the paragraph you mention – again you are barking up the wrong tree. For one, this has to do with a specific case years ago and does not directly apply to your current referendum bid.

    And secondly, the publication of the law is postponed until the end of the referendum procedure. Which, I believe, is rapidly coming to a close.

    Seriously: how many signatures have you collected by now?

  50. Blaž Babič Says:

    You have no clue about the current legislation in practice, do you.

    You did not read the Constitutional Court’s argumentation, did you.

    The Legislator (read: Ze Elite) has already removed the preliminary referendum so any accusations aimed towards the initiators being only “the brake” is false and immoral.

    Regarding mail – you are free to write to the CC and show them your P for Pengetta.

    Regarding postponing of the law – not if the referendum procedure itself has been proven to be unconstitutional, may it be in practice or in legislation itself. The postponement has already been done and it will be done this time as well, believe you me :)

    Seriously: you think I would tell you?

  51. pengovsky Says:

    You have no clue about the current legislation in practice, do you.
    You did not read the Constitutional Court’s argumentation, did you.

    I do and I have :D

    Regarding mail – you are free to write to the CC and show them your P for Pengetta.

    Huh?

    Regarding postponing of the law – not if the referendum procedure itself has been proven to be unconstitutional, may it be in practice or in legislation itself. The postponement has already been done and it will be done this time as well, believe you me

    If being the operative word here :D As far as believing you is considered… The jury is still out on that one. Not in the least since I just checked with the constitutional court and they have nothing filed that would relate to your press release. But maybe the mail hasn’t arrived yet. You did remember to send it registered, right? :D

    Seriously: you think I would tell you?
    Seriously, at some point you will have to ;)

  52. Blaž Babič Says:

    Swiss system translated to Slovenian case would be:

    14545 voters in 100 days, collection on the street, daily – if necessary – special “fast track” confirmation by some nearby local office.

    Two, three, four or more referendum days per year.

    Each one costs dvesto tolarjev. Skoraj kot loterija ampak bolje, dosti bolje.

    Did you watch the rage in Placid Lake?

  53. pengovsky Says:

    Actually, you’d have to reduce the number of days available as well, so you’d have 32 days available. And I’m sure it would work in your favour. It’s just that everyone else would be worse off, because we’d be stuck with your crackpot referendums on a weekly basis. If you really want direct democracy to work, you mustn’t abuse it.

    I still fail to see why 2.5 percent of voters’ signatures is too much for you? Just because you have a lousy track record doesn’t mean rules have to be changed.

    Besides – you seem so interested in the financial aspect of a referendum that I wonder if your services are for sale…

    Did you watch the rage in Placid Lake?

    What, are you planning to jump off a roof? Let me tell you a little secret: The trick to flying is to miss the ground

  54. Blaž Babič Says:

    1. Actually not. I’ll stick with the full 100 days if you please.

    2. They wouldn’t be mine crackpot referendums but your crackpot elite by-pass.

    3. On a quarterly basis.

    4. Abuse? Same with your blog or parliamentary democracy.

    5. You fail? ‘Cause it’s not too much for me. It’s too much for the voters. They have record of only 3 referendums in 18 years. Why is that? Let me see…

    6. For sale? :)

    7. Perhaps watch but did not understand.

    8. You are so artificial :)

  55. pengovsky Says:

    1. Actually not. I’ll stick with the full 100 days if you please.

    Of course you will. That’s why no one is taking you seriously anymore.

    2. They wouldn’t be mine crackpot referendums but your crackpot elite by-pass.

    Ah. But they are crackpot. What else do you would you call a referendum initiative that can’t get a support of 2.5 percent of population?

    3. On a quarterly basis.

    I’m sure you’d file at least one initiative per week :)

    4. Abuse? Same with your blog or parliamentary democracy.

    Yes, you musn’t abuse my blog either…

    5. You fail? ?Cause it’s not too much for me. It’s too much for the voters. They have record of only 3 referendums in 18 years. Why is that? Let me see…

    No, no, no… You got it the wrong way around! If voters don’t turn out to sign your initiative it means that they don’t really care. It’s not as if they have to do down do the basement on shabby stairs with no light and through a door where it says “beware of the tiger!”

    6. For sale? :)

    Yes.

    7. Perhaps watch but did not understand.

    Could be. But then again, you don’t understand much of what I’ve written and yet it doesn’t seem to bother you

    8. You are so artificial :)

    Not only that. I don’t really exist, did you know that?

  56. Blaž Babič Says:

    5 mil voters – 50 k signatures = 0’1%

    WOW! The answer to your question Nr. 2 would be – 2’5 higher standards than in Switzerland. Why so? Simple – people that Pengovsky defends want to remove the power of decision-making from the hands of the people.

    For that you need a lot of insults and arrogance:

    Nr. 1. and Nr. 3.

    Nr. 5. is about ignoring the fact that the media spilled over this country a clear message against referendum from The President, The PM, The President of the Parliament, etc.
    How you are able to overlook the log in your own eye will remain a mystery.

    Nr. 6. Now, now, don’t judge others upon yourself. You should know better.

    Nr. 7. If you did understand what I wrote – and I did try to express myself clearly – then why are you still making these stoopid noises? Your ego doesn’t allow you to loose an argument? On your own blog?!

    Nr. 8. I figured that out by now about your integrity. Hence g-bye.

  57. pengovsky Says:

    5 mil voters – 50 k signatures = 0′1%

    Actually, it’s 1% percent my mathematically challenged friend. But still, you still haven’t provided a single argument why Swill system is better – other than the fact that it is Swiss.

    Nr. 5. is about ignoring the fact that the media spilled over this country a clear message against referendum from The President, The PM, The President of the Parliament, etc.
    How you are able to overlook the log in your own eye will remain a mystery.

    So because the President is opposed to you referendum, he should keep quiet? You got a whole lot of media attention. Hell, even the PM came to talk to you. And you still failed to capitalise on that. So rather than a log in my eye I think we’re faced with an extremely poor organisation on your part.

    Nr. 6. Now, now, don’t judge others upon yourself. You should know better.

    The Bible sayeth: “Judge not, lest ye be judged!“. But I’m more than willing to be judged (at least on this issue) so I say “judge on, oh Pengovsky!”

    Nr. 7. If you did understand what I wrote – and I did try to express myself clearly – then why are you still making these stoopid noises? Your ego doesn’t allow you to loose an argument? On your own blog?!

    Oh, I understood perfectly. It’s just that it makes frightfully little sense. You, on the other hand, are oblivious to just about anything I submitted to you.

    Nr. 8. I figured that out by now about your integrity. Hence g-bye.

    Parting is such sweet sorrow…

  58. Blaž Babič Says:

    1. One slip and you call me names. Bad, bad boy.

    Throwing pearls at pigs would have similar effect than me explaining to you why more referendums would be better for this country.

    2. If the President and PM and the other guy swore to follow the Constitution of this Republic and to work in the best interest of the people – than they should strive for more direct democracy.

  59. pengovsky Says:

    1. One slip and you call me names. Bad, bad boy.

    A pretty big slip. It’s like saying that you have to collect 4000 signatures when you actuallly have to collect 40,000.

    Throwing pearls at pigs would have similar effect than me explaining to you why more referendums would be better for this country.

    Humour me. If you have anything to throw at all, that is…

    2. If the President and PM and the other guy swore to follow the Constitution of this Republic and to work in the best interest of the people – than they should strive for more direct democracy.

    This of course does not mean that they should be quiet. But it also brings us to my previous question.

    I’m prepared to wait until hell freezes over…

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