Nataša Pirc Musar took over as the fifth president of Slovenia on Friday. Traditionally, the takeover is done on 23 December, the anniversary of the independence plebiscite. It is also the last full working day before December Debauchery gets turned up to 11 in Muddy Hollows, so the new prez can give the new office a spin.
Given that the president is the commander in chief, the entire ceremony was remarkably low-key. If it weren’t for a full guard of honour and a red carpet, you could well miss the whole thing. Especially since it was tucked away behind the miniscule Council of Europe Park, between the presidential building and the employee entrance of Cankarjev dom. In a way, this is typical for Muddy Hollows. The more important the occasion, the less pomp there is.
The spat with Tatjana Bobnar should have been a nothingburger. Instead, it is turning into a carnival of fuckupery for Slovenian prime minister Robert Golob. Following a string of tit-for-tats over the course of the last week, the interior minister tendered her resignation, which the PM promptly accepted. She will officially step down tomorrow.
Things happened after pengovsky’s last blogpost that made Bobnar’s exit inevitable. She claimed she was being sidelined for pushing back against political inference into police autonomy. Golob pushed back on that and wanted her written report on those claims. And nothing good ever came out of political partners communicating by ways of written reports.
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.