The Power of Opposition
The mystery of a sudden turn, which has put Positive Slovenia ahead of the SDS in the recent elections will keep the analysts busy for a while. Have the polls gone wrong, was it Janković who managed to charm the surprising number of voters, or did Janša lost them before the finishing line?
In absolute terms SDS has lost around twenty thousand (3%) voters comparing to the last elections; while Janković had only a percent less than the 2008 winner Borut Pahor.
The theories we have been served in the days after elections involve practically anything an expert could think of. From complex thoughts to straightforward and rough conclusions like the one by Janša’s former economic advisor Jože P. Damijan: “Following the general idea that all politicians steal, the voters have probably came to a conclusion that Janković at least leaves a stadium or a bridge to the people, while there’s nothing left for them with Janša in power.”
We are certainly talking a mixture of reasons, but to carry on the idea of the previous editorial, let’s say that the result can as well be addressed to Janša’s over confidence, resulting in an overblown campaign, that at the end just to many people were able to see through. Despite the unexpected twist in the last round of events, we should not forget that Janša had a huge advantage in polls for practically two years. To have wasted it, means being an ever greater looser.
However, the most explanatory thing came from the SDS itself. The message from their PR department sent to editorials allover the world reads: “The Left managed to reorganize just before the elections. They launched two new political parties, which were - all along strongly supported by the media (dominated by the national TV and all daily newspapers) - presented as new offerings and solutions for Slovenia. (...) The Party of the Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković was strongly supported by former communist organizations, retired people associations and all those strata of Slovenian society that have, like Janković himself, enriched in very controversial circumstances of the transition period.”
Anyone who has been following the Slovenian media knows that this is not true, particulary not for the national TV. Furthermore, labelling your political adversaries ‘communist organisations’ is a nonsense and also a hypocrisy, knowing that the ranks of SDS are no poorer in the aging breed of former-commies, than most others. The threat of communism, which SDS is full of may only strengthen the belief of the already convinced, while it is totally useless if not repulsive to many others who just don’t see the world through this 20th century prism anymore.
The point here is not to counter what the SDS has mailed around. Regardless whether you support SDS as a party that deserves the leading spot in the country or not, it would be about time for them to sober up and quit thinking that the only reason for their failures are political conspiracies of ‘the Left’.
Why still paying attention to the SDS? While the future government is under negotiations, the SDS will most probably end up in the opposition again, creating a very strong political force. The previous experience of SDS in opposition reminds us that they took every chance to strike a nail into the coffin of the previous coalition. With a little help of referendum-friendly constitution, it has played the role of - safe to say - the most destructive opposition in our democratic history, who took the biggest credit that the essential reforms have not been passed under Pahor’s government. Of course, their game was simple - they wanted the snap elections as quickly as possible, expecting they would take power with a strong majority and do things their way.
With SDS believing they have been cheated into defeat again, Janković as Janša’s arch enemy in power, and the people who easily turn against the measures which will essentially be unpopular, things are not destined to turn for better. In his speech after the vote count Janša made it clear: “The next government will not see a full term.” The path of vengeance is easy and a tempting one, but it makes no benefit to anyone.
Speaking of conspiracies: Janša might blame it on the former president Kučan (oh, yes, the reformed communist), who has dragged Janković into the campaign; but there’s another intriguing thing coming to mind: Wasn’t it Janša’s 2006 purge, which made Janković give up the post of Mercator president of the board? And would he still enter the politics if it didn’t happen?
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