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.
“I didn’t deserve this” said minister of development and European cohesion policy Marko Bandelli (SAB), butthurt as he announced his resignation on 13 November thus setting off a rocky ten-day period for the government of Marjan Šarec. And while the main event of the last few days were the 2018 local elections and some surprising results, the bad blood between various coalition members burst in the open almost as soon as the polls closed.
By itself, the Bandelli thing is a pretty straightforward case of the Dunning-Kruger effect in action. The erstwhile mayor of Komen, known for his colourful language and thin skin was a somewhat surprising pick for the non-descript post of assistant beancounter minister for EU cohesion funds. And indeed it turned out that the ambition got the better of him. In fact, we will never know whether Marko Bandelli would have made a good minister without portfolio in charge of EU cohesion funds, because the man turned out to be spectacularly inept at being a senior government official as such.
You might not realise it, but this coming Sunday local (municipal) elections are to be held in all of 212 municipalities in Slovenia. If you’re asking how in the holy fuck did Muddy Hollows end up with two hundred and twelve municipalities, pengovsky can only say: don’t ask.
Destrnik hopeful Franc Pukšič sending mixed messages (source)
But if you insist and want to have your mind blown, suffice it to say it has to do with some half-baked decentralisation back in the 1990s, when the old commune system was dissolved and municipalities formed on the principle of “natural gravitation”, i.e. defining local societal centres and setting up a fairly flexible set of criteria for forming municipalities. This link provides a nice path down the rabbit hole that are Slovenian municipalities.