At first glance, the passing of Queen Elizabeth II does not seem especially pertinent to the politics of Muddy Hollows. In fact, other than a couple of boilerplate expressions of condolences by the nation’s highest elected officials and a botched (and then deleted) tweet by the Glorious Leader, the death of the worlds longest-serving monarch in, like, ever, was primarily a media fascination.
That is not to say, however, the late queen and Slovenia never crossed paths. Fourteen years ago, Her Majesty popped over for a three-day state visit. The occasion was correctly seen as a major diplomatic success for a country that had joined the EU and NATO only four years earlier.
Slovenian parliament constitutes for a new term today, kicking off a power-transfer process at the end of which Janez Janša will be looking at the PM’s office from the outside in. When that milestone is reached, Robert Golob of Gibanje Svoboda party will become the tenth person in history with an Outlook footer that says “Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia”.
Golob spent the past weeks busily getting all of his ducks in a row. He concluded a coalition agreement with Tanja Fajon of SD and Luka Mesec of Levica. In the process he probably saved the former’s ass and gave the latter a chance of a lifetime. Somewhat surprisingly, SAB and LMŠ leaders Alenka Bratušek and Marjan Šarec get to play along, too.
News broke this afternoon that Studio City, the iconic RTVSLO programme, long a thorn in the side of soon-to-be-ex PM Janez Janša and his cronies, is to have its host Marcel Štefančič, jr. axed and its format radically altered. This, obviously, was not entirely unexpected.
All the evidence pointed to something like this. Not in the least because the outgoing regime and its recently-installed peons at RTVSLO spent the last couple of months dismantling every single bit of programming that dared look at the government with a critical eye. Studio City was right at the top of that list. However, that it should be done on 3 May, the World Press Freedom Day, is – not to be too direct – sadistic.
OK, so the “just” in the title is doing a lot of heavy lifting here, seeing as it has been nearly 72 hours since Robert Golob taking Janez Janša to the cleaner’s became global news. But still, Marshall Twito being defeated at the ballot box by a political adversary he himself had created, for the second time, is a big fucking deal.
But, wait, did pengovsky really state that Golob took Janša to the cleaner’s? He did? Well… In fact, the Glorious Leader and (some of his) minions even slightly increased their MP count. It is just that Robert Golob and his newly-minted party Gibanje Svoboda (GS) won basically all the other marbles, ending up with 41 MPs in a 90-seat parliament. Reader, it was a blow-out.
With parliamentary election in Muddy Hollows in T-minus-two-weeks, we are finally at crunch time. The stage of the campaign where things start to matter. This is not to say that things didn’t matter before. Until now, however, the parties and their leaders were busy with laying the groundwork, setting up a favourable narrative and testing messaging. They have two weeks left for everything to come together.
Public opinion polls will also become much more relevant in the next fortnight. Until now, the things to watch were mostly trends. As of now, however, numbers will become important, too. But most importantly, whatever room parties and their leaders had for various campaign mishaps is rapidly disappearing. From now on, every fuck-up could be fatal.