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.
After six years of running the Social Democrats, Dejan Židan announced on Thursday that he is getting the fuck out of Dodge, leaving the party in the hands of its senior MEP Tanja Fajon.
Obviously, Židan is not leaving the party itself as he has no reason to. He is, however, reducing himself to a lowly MP. Which he should, as his six years at the helm of the direct descendant of the Slovenian Communist party were, for all intents and purposes, a series of missed opportunities. It also provides a much-needed respite from bad pop-rock puns in post titles on this blog but that is another matter.
The results were in on Sunday night and… well, it is a clusterfuck. SDS won a relative majority with 25% of the vote and just as many seats in the parliament but party leader Janez Janša will be shitting Lego bricks trying to put together a workable coalition. Far behind SDS in second place is LMŠ of Marjan Šarec with 13 seats. After that, the field gets crowded. Social Democrats (SD) of Dejan Židan and SMC of Miro Cerar have 10 seats each, The Left have nine followed by NSi with seven. DeSUS of Karl Erjavec and SAB of Alenka Bratušek have five each. Rounding off the pack are Zmago Jelinčič’s nationalists (SNS) with four seats. This is the most fractured parliament Muddy Hollows has had in ages, and putting together a coalition will be a nightmare, No wonder there is plenty of talk of a repeat vote in six months’ time.
However, upon closer inspection things get even more interesting. First, the fact that Zmago Jelinčič and his SNS have barely made it above the 4-percent threshold and remain vulnerable to either results of absentee votes or potential legal challenges in individual precincts. More importantly, and possibly with great ramifications for coalition negotiations, neither Alenka Bratušek nor Karl Erjavec were elected to the parliament. Which means both will have a critical interest in joining coalition where they will serve as ministers. Given that they control ten votes between them, this is a distinct possibility.
So, this sorry-ass presidential campaign is finally coming to an end. It’s been three weeks since the first round and the voting public learned virtually nothing new about either of the remaining candidates.
The biggest surprise of this election seems to have been the fact that there is a second round at all. And while the incumbent Borut Pahor struggled to maintain both the tempo and the direction of his campaign, the challenger Marjan Šarec struggled to maintain… well, anything. As the campaign dragged on it became painfully obvious that Šarec was increasingly out of his depth while Pahor never regained the momentum he had at the outset of this ordeal. As a result Šarec was able to close the gap significantly, according to the latest polls.