Raven (photo by dr. fil)
So, Janez Janša, the man considered most likely to form Slovenia’s next government, took the time to block me on Twitter. Along with more than a dozen other people, some of them journalists. Although I fail to see why he felt this was called for, I suppose I should feel flattered. The party he leads, the SDS, is employing the same policy and is blocking Twitter users as well. Me, for example. If their social media use tips came from the same people as Rick Perry‘s, they would be well advised to ask for an update on good Twitter Policy.
Less than two months to go until the early elections in Slovenia and it shows. This time around, with left-wing voters disappointed with the soon-to-be-former government yet not ready to live through another reign of the coalition which preceded it, and right-wingers feeling victorious before election day, flux is the word of the day.
As is usually the case in this country, any and I do mean any public debate soon turns into a cockfight over who contributed most to Slovenia’s independence and, without fail, whose ancestors fought on which side in WW2. Sad, really. Family ties to famous or infamous people – depending on one’s point of view – are quickly used in lieu of arguments. Remember, this is a nation of two million. Everyone is related or connected in some way if you look hard enough.
Dismissive is the new black
The level of debate is non-existent. I wanted to say appalling, but there really is no debate. Sure, we have lots of people talking, but not to each other. It is far too easy to gain political points by labelling adversaries with insulting abbreviations and nick names, repeating lies until they seem so familiar that they ring true and, surprisingly enough, by showing flagrant disrespect for all institutions, even the Constitutional Court.
The strongest opposition party, the SDS has been campaigning for the last three years, ever since having lost the previous elections. A result which they have been painting as questionable ever since. The party leader is rather slur-happy and his faithful party members and his associates have masted the art of disqualification. The party leader and his supporters, for example, have no problem calling the previous ruling coalition the KGB, an acronym for the first names of the coalition members’ leaders, while crying bloody murder if any similarly distasteful remark is directed at them.
As I mentioned, Janez Janša blocked a number of profiles on Twitter, including mine. While I am sure that it is easier and more heart-warming to read only those questions and comments that flatter the undoubtedly important Slovene politician, a wise man considers critical thought and does not build fences to prevent the thoughts of those who do not march to his drum from coming to his attention.
I hope SDS wins the elections
Now for the twist in this story. I actually hope the SDS led by Janez Janša wins these elections. They have been working hard for three years to have them happen. Which does not mean they are responsible for the dissolution of the coalition, of course. Anyhow, for three years, these people have spared no insult, no insinuation, have not missed any opportunity to question the credibility and even legitimacy of the team that governed Slovenia during the worst period of the world economic crisis. It is time for them to show they can do better.
It is time that SDS took over and showed its expertise not only in talking, but in doing. Structural reforms are difficult to carry out in the best of times, let alone during a long period of hardship. It was greatly due to SDS campaigning that the three structural reforms proposed by the Government and adopted by the Parliament fell at referendums. So much for parliamentary democracy.
It is time they took responsibility, formed structural reforms of their own and convinced the people not to turn down laws that will inevitably make them work for their pensions longer, for example, at a referendum. Good luck there. Unless they change the referendum legislation first. How could they? The will of the people comes first.
I am slightly concerned that the man who hopes to bring Slovenia out of the economic crisis and make it as prosperous as the country and its people deserve, has sufficient time on his hands to invest his energy into choosing the citizens to block on Twitter.
Ah, but I forget. No promises are being made. Voters are promised nothing more than a change in leadership. All the rest will follow gradually and economic recovery is only forecast to become apparent toward the end of the new government’s reign. A time frame that roughly coincides with the estimate of economists for the world’s economic recovery, but surely, this must be sheer coincidence.
I hope that the only Slovene party and the only Slovene politician to my knowledge who have made it a policy to block users, including journalists, on Twitter, will be able to show a tad more openness if they form the next government. A country run by bigots would be no fun to live in.