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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The First Government of Robert Golob

Robert Golob finally put the ministers into his prime-ministership. The parliament voted on his cabinet yesterday and – to nobody’s surprise – approved the whole lot. Only it didn’t. Because this is not the cabinet Robert Golob wanted. Rather, it is the cabinet he can have at this moment.

Robert Golob and his (first) government, pictured immediately after the swearing-in ceremony.
The initial setup of Golob government (source)

This is a direct result of SDS moving to call a consultative referendum on the new Government Act. It stopped Golob’s redesign of the executive dead in its tracks and forced him to adhere to the existing layout. But the Big Bird will eventually get his way and a cabinet he really wants. So in a way, yesterday we saw the swearing-in of Robert Golob’s first government.

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A Hope And A Prayer

It may not seem like it but it has been nearly eight years and four governments since Muddy Hollows last had to deal with a no-confidence vote. And before 2013, the only other time a no-confidence vote was mounted was in 1992. In short, a no-confidence vote is pretty fucking rare in this neck of the woods. Doubly so when the effort is led by Karl Erjavec, something pengovsky still can’t completely get his head around.

The motion of no-confidence

Be that as it may, today Komeback Karl, supported by LMŠ, SD, SAB and Levica parliamentary groups, filed the fifth no-confidence motion in the history of democratic Slovenia. Wait. Fifth? Pengovsky, you dumbass, you said it only happened in 1992 and 2013!? Well, allow me to elucidate with references to specifics…

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Karl the Komeback Kid

With the return of Karl Erjavec to the helm of DeSUS this past weekend, things are shaping up for some serious end-of-the-year fireworks in Muddy Hollows.

Karl Erjavec featured in a meme.
Erjavec may have qualities but looking good in a mask is not one of them (source)

The fact that Komeback Karl made, well, a comeback, may seem a beautifully executed political long-play. In reality, it is anything but. Then again, Erjavec will be trying to milk the situation for all it might be worth. Including making a play for the post of the prime minister.

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Invisible Masks And Parallel Parking

One of the things this government made a complete and utter fuckery of in managing the Covid-19 fallout, apart from trying to call in the army, overpaying for medical equipment and gutting public oversight, was messaging.

Government workplace personal hygiene recommendations (source)

From the beginning to the end, the honchos in power produced a steady stream of thinly veiled threats, contradictory information on personal and public hygiene measures and did many a walk-back. The one thing they don’t seem to be capable of doing, however, is staying the fuck on message.

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