In what can only be described as a landslide, voters in Muddy Hollows on Sunday rejected amendments to the Waters Act by an overwhelming margin. Voter turnout reached 45 percent, the highest in recent years. 86 percent voted against and only 13 voted in favour of the law. The voters effectively doused the government of Janez Janša in cold water.
The proposed changes to the legislation were fairly technical. But they were controversial enough to galvanise the opposition, a wide array of experts and – crucially – the civil society. The referendum was also the first chance for the electorate to show how they really felt about the Glorious Leader and his administration. And show they did. By flipping them a giant finger.
Janez Janša saw the 30th anniversary of Slovenian independence as something of a personal milestone. He is the only senior figure of the 1991 independence struggle who is still in public service. Everyone else is either retired, dead or in prison. It was to be a joyous occasion, crowned a few days later by Muddy Hollows taking over EU Council presidency.
Instead, the Glorious Leader spent the anniversary week doing some light LGBT-bashing on the EU stage. With this, he was paying fealty to his Lord Protectór and then denied all of it, only to be, well, outed by none other than Luxembourg PM Xavier Bettel. Awkward.
SDS, the party of PM Janez Janša seems to be in a bit of a pickle. With its congress just around the corner, it started sounding alarm over a supposedly looming civil war and the spectre of communism haunting Slovenia (to paraphrase a certain German philosopher).
As both readers of this blog are well aware, alarmism and fearmongering are par for the course for the Party and its Glorious Leader. Still, toying with Parteiverbotand internecine violence is a new level of increasingly beligerent rhetortic of Janša’s party. So, what gives?
News of Lilijana Kozlovič resigning as minister of justice earlier today, or to be precise, the reason for her resignation is yet another proof of what is euphemistically put as “democratic backsliding” in Slovenia. Better described as an increasingly authoritarian rule, the waste Marshal Twito is laying to the system of checks and balances is massive. It will also likely outlast his regime.
Given enough time, many fuck-ups of Janez Janša’s third government will be reversed or corrected. The economy will pick up. Various health, social, and educational sub-systems will pull back from the brink. But over the past year or so, the entire system of democratic norms and institutions was put under immense strain, both in terms of baseline behaviour as well as shifting the legal balance of power. If either of these stay the norm – and chances are, they will – Muddy Hollows will be in deep shit regarding the future of its democracy.
In the larger scale of things, Janez Janša’s reaction to the drama that was the Super League debacle is not really important. In fact, Janez Janša’s reaction to, well, anything these days is not really important, as the man was relegated (pun very much intended) to the also-ran category of European politics. That said, with the Super League drama being the talk of the continent, everyone who’s anyone chimed in.
However in contrast to other European leaders, especially those of populist persuasion (see: Johnson, Boris; Macron, Emmanuel; Órban, Viktor), the Glorious Leader started his wild 72-hour ride with a tacit approval of the Super League monstrosity. This was done less out of his love for runaway capitalist mayhem than out of his fear of UEFA chief Aleksander Čeferin entering the political fray in Muddy Hollows.