After it had won all the marbles over the past fifteen months, the left-liberal coalition waited almost a full week before turning on itself. This must be some kind of a record. But this not January 2020 all over again when Marjan Šarec face-planted while trying to outsmart Levica. This time around, the power-struggle erupted within Gibanje Svoboda. Because of course it has.
Specifically, feathers are flying between The Big Bird and interior minister Tatjana Bobnar over who gets have a say in reforming the police. And she doesn’t like it that other people have started pissing in her pool.
In the end, it wasn’t even close. The government of Robert Golob won the three referendums on Sunday, by a landslide. The votes on RTVSLO and on elderly care even passed by a 2-to-1 margin. Turns out the people like their public broadcaster. Whodathunk, right? Even the question on the composition of the government, which part of progressives were opposed to, was approved with a whooping 13 percent difference. The message could not have been clearer.
Perhaps even more importantly, the turnout was near-historic. It stopped just short of the all-time high of 43 percent for a policy referendum. But if the July 2021 Waters Act referendum was interpreted as an anti-Janša protest vote, yesterday was about whether the new Golob administration really has the mandate to do all the things it set out to do. And the voters said: fuck, yes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.