Election Continuous

Vote for continued flourishing of our cities and villages! (source)

As of autumn last year, this country is in a state of political flux which will last probably until 2012. We’ve entered what I like to call “continous electoral campaign”, as there are elections scheduled every year with a brief exception in year 2011. Allow me to elucidate with refferenced to specifics:

2006 – municipal elections
2007 – presidentital election
2008 – parliamentary elections
2009 – European elections
2010 – municipal elections
2011 – take a deep breath
2012 – general (presidential and parliamentary) elections

From a scientific point of view this gives us an ideal opportunity to follow the flow of politics, as agenda setting will by default be influenced by upcoming elections every year. You’ve had the opportunity to observe this on this blog throughout 2007 as assasination of character of President of the Republic took place. Why? To prevent him from running again, making room for a more “appropriate candidate” and to diminish the role of the President as such.

Next, it is almost obvious that 2008 will be the year of “great achievements” of this government as it will try to boost its ratings and secure another mandate. I’ve full confidence in PM Janša in that departement (please note the sarcasm), although it is entirely possible that the next coalition will be ruled by these two characters

And the pattern will repeat itself every year until 2012. On one hand, this is bad of course. With the ruling coalition up to its neck in a reelection bid, little actual work will get done, so I shan’t be surprised if Slovenia finds itself lagging in development in 2013.

On the other hand, it offers a brilliant option for a political “exit-stage right” for Janez Janša, thus really bringing political transition to an end. Namely: parliamentary and presidential elections coincide every twenty years (the parliament has a four-year term, while the President serves a five-year term). If we suppose that Janša will get another mandate as PM in 2008, it is safe to assume that he will either fuck up big, making himself unelectable as PM in 2012, or that Borut Pahor and his Social Democrats will slowly build up power up to the point of becoming the largest party in 2012. In both cases, Janša would be offered the perfect exit cue, as he would not have to face electoral defeat, but would rather just switch offices – much like Drnovšek did in 2002. But Drnovšek had to resign in order to run for President, whereas Janša wouldn’t have to.

It’s gonna be fun for the next couple of years 🙂

EDIT: My timing is impeccable. According to this article by RTVSLO Slovenia’s economy will cool down in 2013. A summary of the analysis by government economists in English can be found here.

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Agent provocateur and an occasional scribe.

45 thoughts on “Election Continuous”

  1. Hahaha, I am really looking forward to all the possibilities I will have of expressing my preferences in elections – the tool of democrazy.

  2. I’m still amazed by how low the voter turn-out is in SLO. I thought it was bad in the US!

    Not directly related, but I couldn’t help but notice a googl ad that popped up here — Kuchinich for President! For those unfamiliar with Dennis, he was the Boy Mayor of Cleveland, my old hometown, in the 1970s (he has Serbian ancestry, by the way), had quite a rocky mayorship, and was defeated by George Voinovich (also with Serbian ancestry). Kuchinich eventually came back, and has been in Congress for some time now, certainly among the most progressive/left voices. Voinovich has since been Governor of Ohio, and for awhile now in the US Senate, still largely Dubya’s lapdog but has apparently had a change of heart on Iraq. Kuchinich doesn’t have a prayer in the presidential race; last I heard the main candidates have been trying to keep him out of the Democratic debates, but he was apparently on fire at one a few nights ago.


  3. @pirano: Low? Well, for parliamentary, municipak and presidendtial elections it is usually between 60 and 70 percent. The referenda, however, do have a criminally low turnout.

  4. Oh! Never mind then… 🙂 I was thinking about the various referenda.

    Do you know if any figures are available on SLO expat voting habits/numbers? I know quite a few Slovenians in the Cleveland and Chicago areas who regularly voted in SLO elections.

  5. There are only numbers for the “mail-vote”, which includes expats, students and anyone else who can and wants to cast a vote.

    In 2004 parliamentary elections there were 2407 “mail-votes” out of 991.263 total votes cast. Source: http://www.rvk.si/VOLITVE_DZ2004/Porocilo_izid.html

    Also, I don’t think that the law provides for “mail-vote” in case of a referendum.

  6. @venera — you mean about politics and sex? In my four (or was it 5?) years as a political science major, the only absolute truth I learned was that politics can be sexy, and sex can be political.

  7. Thanks for those numbers and link. That’s quite low and probably reflects another truism: MANY people lie about having voted!

  8. Politics can be sexy? Like in, politics is a perfect ground for exercising power games which can be sexy? I see no other connection.

  9. Politics can be sexy… but you have to consider their so called power and authority.. if not I agree you can’t find any of that on them.
    P: About politicians having sex… did you find out the answer regarding one of our talks in the past? 🙂

  10. @pirano: “politics can be sexy, and sex can be political.” Can I quote you on that? 😀

    @Morska: Uuuummm… do remind me… I forget…

  11. @venera: It’s more than just that… like sex, politics has its own dynamics, which can be translated into foreplay, intercourse, climax, possibly a momentary feeling of emptyness and subsequent feeling of guilt, a post-coital cigarette and then the urge to do it all over again.

  12. P: You’ll have to pay me another drink 😛
    The question: When do J&U have sex… or… do they have it at all… and how does it looks like… ups… I’ve said too much 🙂

  13. So, we could say that Peterle, Gaspari and Turk are now in the phase of eye contacting which will be followed by lots of seducing and teasing (which you, as a male, simply ignored).:)

  14. Hm… does any candidate strike you as strictly heterosexual? 😉

    As for you being in the dark… it depends on whether you like to be blindfolded or not 😉

  15. Well, whenever I travel abroad for longer periods I don’t give a rat’s ass for what is happening in Slovenia in the political arena. I feel like blindfolded on my return home :). Does that count?

  16. @venera: It might… As long as you’re enjoying it 😀

    @Morska: now you’re askign too much… Name one sexy politican. And don’t say Pahor… Lubricant is sold in its pure form for 1.95 € in sex shops, no need to buy Pahor as a whole 😀

  17. I remember one time flying 10.000 metres high on return to Slovenia, BBC brought the news of Janša’s victory in Slovenia. It was sort of a climax (never heard any other news from Slovenia so high up in the air)

  18. No, it’s a joke of course. He’s just funny… ok, I wanted to put down Irgl but I’m so into women company lately that I could be mistaken for a lesbian so I’ve changed my mind.. and even with her.. I’d have to forget her personality…
    Let’s make it this way… better sex than politics..

  19. Is there any chance whatsoever that something positive might come out of the permanent election campaign state of the nation? Will people become more difficult to shock and more resistant to various approaches of manipulation? Will bureaucracy become more professional and independent of the ever-changing “daily politics”? Will a silent consensus be reached by the parties on what policy areas should be sacred and not sacrificed in elections so as to ensure the nation’s prosperity? What do you think? Let’s get creative and try to figure out any positives that might come out of it. Imagination at full throttle.

  20. @pirano: those referenda served as party membership solidification tool, not much more. Pity they had to be paid by all taxpayers. IMNSHO, the absolute majority principle should apply.

  21. @dr. filomena: I fear that people will get sick of election and will develop a taste for a more authoritarian rule. Much like the Germans at the end of the Weimar Republic.

    And while the absolute majority rule on a referendum seems appealing, it is the first step to that same authoritarian rule. Unfortunately.

  22. @Morska: that’s the spirit! P’s blog seems to be raining political awareness, yeah 😉 You should get him to start Pengovsky’s list and include you in it…

  23. Hm… I’m only running either for the Mayor or the PM. Let’s start with the Mayor first… If Zoki can do it, it can’t be that hard 😀

  24. F: I’d be the accountant… and the doctor… and the main adviser… and the photographer.. and… No, I should be the Major… that’s in my plan in the period 50+.
    P: Well, your smile is much more atractive than his.. and you speak better… and you’re of course sexy and smart and funny… are you blushing already or do I need to continue? 😉

  25. P, would you forecast a smaller number of stronger parties? You haven’t used your immagination, though… you can’t come up with any potential positives?

    How do you connect absolute majority for referenda with authoritarian rule? Do you believe important issues can be decided/resolved by reducing them into a single yes/no question? Illusion. And if they affect the entire population, it seems less than fair that they should be valid with less than a half of the population even casting their votes.

    Think I’m the only person the country who hasn’t read a single Alan Ford… will have to take care of that someday.

    P for PM and M for Mayor. Cool 😉

  26. Looks like I was late for the party!

    Anyway, with the “assembly line” elections coming, how will that effect policy-making if the parties must endure year after year of elections?

  27. @dr. fil: Actually, I think that the number of parties will remain about the same. There is the question of DeSUS (pensioners’ party), but the way things stand now, they’ll make the 4% threshold and remain in the parliament.

    Re absolute majority: Your idea forces people to make a choice. Even those, who cannot make a choice or do not want to. While I strongly dissagree with a “passive voter” stance, I must admit that it is entirely legitimate. So, if people do not want to make a choice they let other people decide in their name. I agree that minority can decide for the majority in this case, but it is majority who let this happen. It is not as if the minority enforced its decision. What is more unfair? Letting the active minority make a decision or having a passive majority force a non-decision on those whom the subject may concern?

    I’m in favour of limiting the options for actually having a referendum.

    @Jay: As I said: little actual work will get done – policies will be even more short-term than they are at the moment, and the people will possibly get fed up with with constant battles. in 2013 everyone will be tired and weary of politics, and a possible left-wing government will have to pull the country from the economic slump, probably by applying (ironically) using neo-liberalistic policies. And then the cycle will start all over again… Welcome to the twilight zone…

  28. Did you mention it in the comments? I must hve missed that. I’m still recovering from a bout of assholeitis.

  29. Actually it’s in the fourth paragraph, but no worries. I’m more than happy to repeat myself… When I’m right, that is :mrgreen:

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