Once More Unto The Referendum Breach, Dear Friends

Apologies for abusing The Bard, but the upcoming referendum votes do have a tinge of Shakespearean drama to it. Or maybe it is the Shakespearean length of this post. Who knows. To quote Hamlet, fuck it. Going to the polls for the third time in as many weeks, and for the fifth time in eight months, is not a regular occurrence in Muddy Hollows.

Shepherd boy with flute symbolises RTVSLO. The fate of the public broadcaster in Slovenia will be determined on a referendum on Sunday.
Shepherd boy with flute, by Zdenko Kalin, symbolising RTVSLO since forever. But for how long? (source)

And yet, this Sunday might prove to be just as crucial as the April parliamentary election was. For those of you living under a rock for the past few months, Slovenians are about vote in three different referendums on Sunday. There is a vote in the Government Act, on the law on elderly care, and the law on RTVSLO, the public broadcaster. A fucking cornucopia of direct democracy if there ever was one. But there is a catch. Because of course there is.

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Local Elections Postmortem (Kind Of)

Local elections came and went yesterday. Mostly, that is. A run-off will be necessary in forty-seven municipalities across the country. Most notably in Maribor where incumbent Saša Arsenović will face the agens movens of the 2012/13 Winter of Discontent, former mayor Franc Kangler. Apparently, ten years is enough for the good people of Maribor to forget what a knuckle-dragging douchebag he is.

Master Yoda has a lesson for local elections.

Pengovsky wrote on Friday that the vote will be a fucking mess. And it was, although for reasons that are not immediately obvious. Of the 212 mayoral races, 137 returned incumbents. And that number may increase still, after the second round. However, there were several cans of whoop-ass that good people of Muddy Hollows opened on several high-profile(-ish) local honchos.

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All Politics Is Local (Elections)

On Sunday, the good people of Muddy Hollows will again head to the polls. This time around, they will be choosing their mayors and municipal representatives in local elections. Given that local self-administration in this country is a hot mess, there is often no rhyme nor reason for things being what they are.

Exploded map of 212 municipalities in Slovenia where local elections will be held this Sunday.
The 212 municipalities of Muddy Hollows (source)

Slovenia has 212 municipalities, twelve thirteen of which have city status (thanks, Krško!). This means several thousand people will run for some elected office on Sunday. It will be a fucking mess. On the other hand, this is precisely the reason why everyone will claim victory of one sort or another.

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Nataša Pirc Musar, Commander In Chief

Nataša Pirc Musar was elected the first female president of Slovenia on Sunday. The end result was very much in line with polling predictions. The president-elect won just shy of 54 percent of the vote while Anže Logar, got 46 percent, the largest percentage for any SDS president candidate ever. Thus, another glass ceiling had been broken in Muddy Hollows, the third one in less than six months.

President-elect Nataša Pirc Musar at a lectern during a press conference with the outgoing president Borut Pahor.
President-elect Nataša Pirc Musar during a welcome-tour at her future office (source)

Nearly a decade had passed since Alenka Bratušek and her brief-but-crucial stint as first female PM of Muddy Hollows. It took the country until late spring this year to see Urška Klakočar Zupančič become first female Speaker. Weeks later, Tanja Fajon and Tatjana Bobnar were appointed first female foreign and interior ministers respectively. And now, NPM won the race for the top job. Women have finally arrived.

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Madam President?

What felt like an unnecessarily long campaign to elect the next president of Muddy Hollows finally ends today. Having gone through a metric fuckton of TV, radio and newspaper debates, Nataša Pirc Musar seems to hold a slight edge over Anže Logar.

Nataša Pirc Musar and Anže Logar during one of the last campaign debates. One of them will be elected president on Sunday.
Nataša Pirc Musar and Anže Logar, right (source)

However, depending on which pollster you look at, her lead is either stable or melting fast. So, it could well happen that Slovenia will get its first female president. But to use an old campaign truism, turnout will be the key.

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