Remember how this blogger wrote that the story about same-sex weddings and adoptions is not completely over yet? Well, I hate to be an I-told-you-so. But I fucking did tell you so. That said, the latest (if not greatest) in bigoted proceduralism comes from a source pengovsky overlooked: the National Council.
The initial worry was that the Primc of Darkness would want to call another referendum . He did, in fact, whip up enough signatures to kick-off the procedure. However, there’s the little matter of Artice 90 of the constitution, We will deal with that in due course. But first, let’s take a look-see how the National Council demonstrated once more that it must be abolished, post haste.
Earlier this month the parliament amended the Family Code and brought it in line with the recent ruling of the constitutional court on the issue of equal rights. However, the National Council had other ideas.
The self-styled second chamber of Slovenian parliament voted to deffer enactment of the Family Code and send it back for a confirmation vote. This time, the National Assembly must pass the legislation with an absolute majority. That is to say, with 46 votes or more.
Re-confirmation shouldn’t really be a problem, seeing as the initial tally was 48 votes in favour. More importantly, the National Council again failed to live up to its intended purpose, such as it was. Instead, it is being used as a reactionary conservative cudgel.
Undermining the “liberal” in a liberal democracy
The National Council may have been happy to delay legislation that would protect human rights of LGBTQI+ minority. But it was even happier to do fuck all when the Janša government trampled on human rights of a majority of Slovenians during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In short, the National Council increasingly is not using its powers to, you know, protect the constitutional order. Instead it is hell-bent on undermining the “liberal” in “liberal democracy”.
In fact, pengovsky wrote as much in a post last year, when it became clear that it helped the Janša government walk roughshod over the constitution.
The National Council doesn’t do what it was supposed to do. In this, it is failing to provide what little check it has on the parliament rubber-stamping the government decisions. And yet, the body still exists, in a zombie-like state, to be revived whenever someone (presumably the Glorious Leader) feels like it.pengovsky, self-quote
The “revived later” part came – quite predictably – with the advent of the Golob government.
When corporatism and democracy meet
None of this should come as a surprise. Way back when the democracy was young, men were real men, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri, allowing a corporatist element in an otherwise liberal democratic constitutional order of Muddy Hollows might have seemed like a brilliant idea. You know, to allow the special interests to partake in establishing the common good. Or something.
But corporatism has decidedly autocratic, even fascist underpinnings. Liberal democracy decidedly does not. So it is not hard to guess why this particular political experiment failed. Or, why a corporatist political body would come to appreciate an autocratic executive branch.
Which is why it is high time to abolish the fuck out of the National Council. It has become utterly useless. And over the years it has become quite harmful to Slovenian democracy in general.
Until such time, however, such moves are perfectly legal. In fact, they are only one part of procedural shenanigans employed by the conservative right-wing in the face of impending
doom marriage equality.
Won’t someone think of the children
The other, and arguably just as dangerous part is the work of Aleš “Won’t Someone Think Of the Children” Primc. The erstwhile leader of the GOD party (Gibanje za otroke in družine) and the spiritus agens of pro-Janša/anti-judicial protests in 2014 is up to his old tricks again.
Specifically, he wants to call yet another referendum on the issue. Primc and his motley crew of religious fundamentalists were successful in using the ballot box to deny equal rights to same-sex couples, twice. There’s no reason for him to think he’d get unlucky the third time.
Only there will not be a third time.
Namely, the difference this time around is that changes of the same sex legislation were not simply a policy initiative. Rather, they legislated a constitutional court ruling. Article 90 of the constitution clearly forbids a referendum on laws eliminating any sort of unconstitutionality.
More Bible-thumping bullshit
However, just because something is forbidden, it does not mean that something cannot be attempted. Especially if one holds a very illiberal view of democracy.
Which is exactly what is happening here.
After the National Council handed down its veto, the National Assembly will have to take another vote on the amended Family Code.
Another vote means another debate. Which also means another round of Bible-thumping, gay-bashing, sexist and misogynist language disguised as “thinking of the children”.
Conveniently, this will happen right around the time of the second round of the presidential election. You know, just in case someone runs out of talking points.
But once that is settled, and the legislation is confirmed, the Primc of Darkness will burst onto the stage with his referendum bid.
This, too, will be denied by a vote in the parliament. Another vote, another debate, again.
Only this time around, the bible-thumping, gay-bashing, sexist and misogynist bullshit will be complemented by some seriously perverted and authoritarian notions of judiciary, parliament and democracy in general.
And once this is over and done with, either Primc or (more likely) the Glorious Leader and his party will petition the constitutional court to overturn the decision to deny a referendum.
In this, they will likely cite the argument the National Council came up with, that the new legislation goes beyond the court’s decision. [NARRATOR: the new legislation does not go beyond the court’s decision].
Ultimately, they will attempt pull the constitutional court right back into the fray, almost six months after the initial ruling.
Also conveniently, a lot of this will be happening just in time to fire up the right-wing base for a vote in three other referendums. More on that some other time, but suffice it to say that the referendum on public broadcaster RTV Slovenia is critical.
It’s all about culture wars
This does not mean that same-sex marriages and adoptions are still not legal in Muddy Hollows. Perhaps anticipating precisely such a turn of events, the constitutional court specified that full equality applies whilst the legislative procedure takes is course.
But it does demonstrate, once again, that LGBTQI+ rights have long since stopped being a policy issue. Instead, they became a culture war weapon, cynically deployed whenever the scorched-earth political tactics demand it.
At any rate, the story with marriage and adoption equality in Slovenia is not over yet. And it will not be over until some time in mid-December.
By then, it will be time to cancel Christmas once more.