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Parliamentary elections in Slovenia

by DoDo Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 08:25:38 AM EST

Today, Slovenia elects a new parliament. Update [2008-9-21 13:11:21 by DoDo]: Ballots closed now; see exit poll results in the comments.

From low support in polls prior to EU accession, it was clear most Western Europeans only knew Slovenia as just another ex-Yugoslav country. However, in many ways, the small Alpine state was (and is) the most advanced among the EU's formerly 'communist' new members. It even looks more like a poor Austria than say the Sarajevo region. No wonder Slovenia was first to join the Eurozone.

The most beautiful spot in Slovenia: lake, island and castle of Bled (photo, like all others, from Wikipedia). For those who'd complain that they only ever see this one scenery from the country, I posted a selection of other sights here.

Below the fold, a short review of the country's politics in the last two decades and the last few years, and some details on the elections.



The state of Slovenia

An independent country named Slovenia never existed until 1991. Formally part of the Holy Roman Empire, there have been a number of Slavic principalities on the area, which later came under Habsburg control. For centuries, most of today's Slovenia was incorporated in Austria. Like in other parts of the Monarchy, there were significant German-speaking populations when the post-WWII independent states were born.

Yugoslavia began to break apart after Slovenia's declaration of independence with the Ten-Day War, that started on 26 June 1991. Compared to successive conflicts, casualties were few (62 dead on both sides), and no large-scale ethnic cleansing followed.

Ever since, Slovenia had relatively good reations with all its neighbours. The question of having place-name signs in the language of local ethnic minorities, always a flashpoint in Central and Southeastern Europe, was non-issue in Slovenia (in contrast with even Austria, where Jörg Haider and others saw a problem in signs in Slovenian). There were some historical complaints from Italy regarding former Italian territory near the Adriatic Sea, but without much consequence. With Croatia, there were some disputes regarding a jointly ran nuclear plant at the border, and one more serious confrontation: at the disputed naval border; yet, relations are generally good.

In one thing however, Slovenia is not much better than the rest of Central & Southeastern Europe: the treatment of the Gypsy minority. Like in the Czech Republic, the new state's laws on citizenship rights made some 18,000 people stateless, most of them Gypsies (but also Serbs), and not without purpose. This played a role in more recent events (see below).

Slovenia was the most industrialised and richest province of former Yugoslavia. After independence, it was ahead of even the Czech Republic on per capita GDP (both nominal and PPP) -- what's more, it managed significant growth, despite rather high taxes, and without the downturns and drastic structural changes (shock therapies) seen elsewhere in the region.

Politically, the country has been dominated by liberals, of the Liberal Democracy of Slovenia (LDS) party; other forces rose up more recently. To be more precise, LDS was dominated by former reformist/separatist communists turned liberals, above all Janez Drnovšek (right), who left his mark like no other: PM 1992-2002 with a brief interruption, President for the next five years.


Slovenian politics in recent years

Slovenian politics today more or less maps to Western Europe: there is a not just in name center-left, liberals, center-right, and unfortunately a far-right, too.

The long domination of the liberals came to an end in 2004, and then they sank into internal crisis. Several prominent members left, including even then-President Drnovšek, who became something of a hippie while in office. Some social-liberals split off in 2007 to form the "For real" party (Zares). It has some of the spirit of a Green party, and also gets the support of well-known hard-left philosopher Slavoj Žižek.

They were succeeded by a center-right coalition, which held power for two brief periods previously (the independence period in 1990-1992, and a few months in 2000). The major partner was the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), a recent union of smaller parties.

Despite one of its origins being in a Solidarność-like eighties trade union, SNS was at first right-liberal dominated: one major campaign theme was significant tax cuts. Once in government, they were indeed pro-business, but had to scale back the tax-cut ambitions because of their smaller right-wing coalition partners (one of these, the Christian Democrat NSi, later split on the issue of "too much liberalism"). More recently however, PM Janez Janša (right) began to rail against "tycoons".

Another right-wing platform was, well, nationalism. When the then liberal government introduced a bill to finally grant residency rights to the stateless people, the right-wing opposition pursued a referendum to deny those - using the immoral and hypocritical argument that reinstating rights would cost a lot. On 4 April 2004, half a year before elections, a left-wing total boycott made the referendum a failure with only 31% turnout (of which 95% voted yes), but once in government, the center-right sabotaged the law.

Another bad moment, where the government demonstrated inaction (unlike President Drnovšek), was the scandalous expulsion of the Strojans, a Roma family, by the village they lived in. At the same time, the Slovenian National Party (SNS), a chauvinistic far-right party, began to rise in the polls.

In the 2007 Presidential elections, the center-right suffered a major defeat: the winner was opposition candidate Danilo Türk. While LDS and Zares supported Türk's candidacy, he was originally nominated by a third party: the Social Democrats (SD).

The Social Democrats rose recently thanks to the popularity of their centrist leader, Borut Pahor (right). SD (and Pahor) are direct successors to the reformist wing of the Slovenian communists, who quickly moved to the center-left. However, unlike other post-reformed-communist parties, they were only a small party for long years, thus the party's politics is in closer relationship with its name, rather than with the maintenance of the corrupt network of old apparatchniks.

What's more, after the internal battle in the LDS, several prominent left-liberal members joined the SD.

Still another platform of the current government was strong Western integration in an Atlanticist spirit. They got to be in position to celebrate when Slovenia joined the EU (2005), the Eurozone and Schengen (2007), and held the rotating presidency of the EU Council for the first time in the first half of this year (see diary on ET). However, not two months later, a newspaper leak (which enhanced the PM's on-going battle with independent media) revealed how crude their Atlanticism was.

It transpired that US diplomats were preparing the ground for Kosovo's 'spontaneous' declaration of independence months ahead, and the Slovenian government played the part of yes-men: upon US request, they prepared the ground in the EU institutions (see New Europe...LQD by melo).

PM Janša got into one more scandal at the beginning of September: according to Finnish TV YLE, he was among those bribed by Finnish arms manufacturer Patria (with altogether €21 million), to ensure the sale of 135 armoured carriers to the Slovenian army. Janša denied the claims and demands evidence (perhaps knowing it would be forthcoming only after the elections), claiming machinations by former communists - which, looking at the polls (below), may have worked for him with the Slovenian public.

But yet another scandal grew out of this a week ago, when Janša gave an "exclusive interview" to private channel TV Idea-Kanal 10 -- which proved to be a "paid media appearance".


Election system

Slovenia is a parliamentary democracy with a popularly elected figurehead President (what's that? For a graphic guide see European Tribune - European countries' confusing political systems...).

Parliament is bicameral. The upper house is the 40-seat National Council, which consists of representatives of interest groups (local, employer, employee). The lower house is the 90-seat National Assembly. One seat each is elected by the Italian and Hungarian ethnic minorities, the rest is currently elected for four years in mixed-member proportional elections. (This was introduced by the short-lived right-wing government of the year 2000, who then lost elections to LDS.)

There are two particular features of National Assembly elections worth to mention. One is a general 4% threshold to pass. The other is the geographic solution of seat distribution (there are no party lists).

There are 8 territorial voting units, each further divided into 11 precints, in which candidates have to run. How many seats a party gets in one territorial unit, depends on its share of the total vote in that territorial unit. As to which candidates of a given party get to fill those seats, is decided by who got the most votes in their respective precints.

(Say, in one territorial unit, the 11 candidates of party SXS got 25% of the vote overall, with Andrej A. getting 35% in precint 1, Bogdan B. getting 33% in precint 2, Cvetka C. getting 31% in precint 3, Dušan D. getting 29% in precint 4, ... Karel K. getting 15% in precint 11. Then SNS will get 3 mandates, filled by Andrej A, Bogdan B. and Cvetka C.)

Remaining seats are filled up at the national level with the d'Hondt method.


Last polls

According to data collected on the Slovenian Wiki page, opinion polls are wildly apart. The only thing that seems certain is that coalition forming will be difficult, with no clear winner. The results of the last two polls (both 13 September), loosely from right to left:

PartyDelo StikDnevnik2004 result
SNS8.8%7.6%6.27%
SDS23.8%29.9%29.08%
NSi (Christian Democrats)3.0%2.7%9.09%
DeSUS (pensioners' party)10.0%8.0%4.04%
SLS+SMS (a Christian Democrat farmers' party
and a Green-ish youth party[!])
6.5%5.9%6.82%
+2.08%
LDS7.6%7.8%22.80%
Zanes9.4%10.8%-
SD22.0%20.1%10.17%


Election day

Polls opened at 7h, they will close at 19h. First detailed results are expected around 23h.

The official election site is here, also in English.

Display:
If anyone closer to the fire has corrections/additions, don't hesitate!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 08:26:44 AM EST
At 11h, overall turnout was 19.72%. The next numbers will be released after 16h.

I couldn't find partial turnouts for the 2004 elections as comparison, I can only give the final figure: 60.64% (a historical low: all previous National Assembly elections had turnouts above 70%).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 08:30:52 AM EST
At 16h, overall turnout was 46.38%. I think the final figure will be greater than last time, but still not high...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 11:42:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Photo is breath-taking.  What rich person owns this area?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 09:06:17 AM EST
Likely the Slovenian state.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 09:11:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It looks a lot like bits of the Lac Leman or Lac d'Annecy, minus the really big mountains. Lots of swanky lakefront homes on both, though lots of public land too.
by MarekNYC on Mon Sep 22nd, 2008 at 03:00:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lake Bled is much smaller than those, not enough place for condos of lots of rich men. There are hotels. (Even Tito had one of his residences in one hotel.)

minus the really big mountains

? I don't think so.

Triglav (the top of the mountains to the West [photo looks Southwest-west], about 20 km away) is 2864 m; while Lake Bled is at 475 m, so 2389 m difference. (Even closer, towards the North at the Austrian border, is another 2000+ m chain.)

For Lake Geneva (372 m), I guess Dents du Midi (3257 m) will have to count as maximum -- so 2885 m above the water table. For Lac d'Annecy (447 m), I guess it's La Tournette (2351 m) -- so 1904 m above water level.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Sep 23rd, 2008 at 03:03:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
View Northwest with the border mountain chain:



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Sep 23rd, 2008 at 03:10:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For Lac Leman the max is Mont Blanc. For the Lac d'Annecy, you're right.
by MarekNYC on Tue Sep 23rd, 2008 at 03:45:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hm. Mont Blanc is 50 km from shore and beyond the coastal range. Is it even visible from Geneva?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Sep 23rd, 2008 at 04:57:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. Assuming no buildings or clouds are in the way it's visible form pretty much anywhere on the right bank. The entire massif is. A quick google search landed me this photo which was taken from the lakeside in downtown Geneva. You'll notice that there's a break in the first wave of ranges. On the right there's the Saleve (long ridge rising up), on the left the Mole (classic pyramidal shape) and in the gap between them the full massif. Either it wasn't one of those perfectly clear autumn days when the whole massif is a bright crystal clear monument with a shimmering reflection in the lake, or the photo is imperfect, but you get the idea.

by MarekNYC on Tue Sep 23rd, 2008 at 05:17:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(I got the un-ebmeddable picture only from the comment source)

I once travelled all along the Northern shore, camped along it, then walked along the lakeshore in Geneva, without seeing it - it must have been moist or cloudy when I was there. <checking photos> Indeed, both. When I was in Geneva, I went to Chamonix the next day, and that travel along the l'Arve seemed quite a distance.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Sep 23rd, 2008 at 05:31:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Mont Blanc is visible from many heights around Grenoble when the sky is clear enough; much, much farther away...

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misčres
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Wed Sep 24th, 2008 at 09:10:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I quoted the distance in comparison with the 20 km from Lake Bled to Triglav, not for lack of sight (on that, I believed the coastal range obstructs the view).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Sep 24th, 2008 at 02:36:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dodo your text seems to be pretty accurate. I don't know much about Slovenian politic nowadays but I see pretty much same names there like say 18 years ago...But this phenomenon is everywhere in ex YU republics.
Yes Slovenians had always been "different" from the rest of us. Even during communism. Probably because of their close proximity to Germany/Austria/West Europe. In practice they were much more pro-west, pro private then all of others. And yes they were industrialized (especially having in mind how small actually the state is in every sense.
Milosevic never actually had a war with them. What ever of the "war" took place was just to buy time to take as much of JNA (Yugoslav Army) and equipment out of Slovenia. So there is no that much bitterness between them and Serbs from that war. But...we never actually felt that close ever. We can hardly understand their language (I can better understand Poles or Checks, not to mention Bulgarians...).Then our history was really different too. We have suffered under Ottomans and they prospered under Austria (at least economically).We used to call them "German's hostlers" and they called us Serbs "Pig traders". We were distant but I don't think that ever was hatred between us (like it was between us and Croats).
You are right about their nationalism. It is and always was strong there. I even think that some doze of nationalism is healthy for the nation but their is malignant.
As for economy it seems that they are doing well. I even see that people from Serbia now go to work there. Even before the war there was pretty good amount of Bosnians working and living there. They obviously need immigrants (small population and economy is growing) but they are not willing to give them rights that they should.
Corruption was endemic during communism (and Slovenia did not escape it) and it's not going to go anywhere. Especially having in mind that what we see nowadays in Western Europe does not look that ideal as we thought it is in this field.
And yes Slovenians opened first shopping malls in Belgrade long time ago. And even after war (and Milosevic called on boycott for Slovenian goods) they managed to work and sell in Belgrade. I was surprised to learn that now one of the Serbian richest businessman (or better say mafia member) is building huge shopping mall in Slovenia. Some things changed...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 10:54:23 AM EST
they prospered under Austria (at least economically). We used to call them "German's hostlers" and they called us Serbs "Pig traders".

How nice...

That prospering wasn't that droll until the nationalisation of the wealth of German-speakers in Yugoslavia and its predecessors, though. There was a big peasant rebellion in 1515 (one year after a similar one in Hungary). Before Tito's partisans were executing collaborators in Slovenia, during WWII, though nowhere as bad as what Serbia (not to mention Poland)suffered, Slovenians also got a taste of what the Nazis intended for Slavs after the planned finishing-off of the Jews and Gypsies resp. defeating the Soviet Union, see for example the kidnapping and Germanisation of the children of partisans.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 11:38:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for this educational diary DoDo - I am ashamed to admit I knew almost nothing about Slovenia, except where it was. I did a basic country wiki check when the Patria arms case came up in Finnish media - but now I know more. Danke.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 12:50:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How nice...

Hahaha...you have to understand that it is our sense of humor...a little bit black tho...

There was a big peasant rebellion in 1515 (one year after a similar one in Hungary)

I know, I know...it wasn't that much funny for them but comparing with what we had to endure under Ottomans...

Slovenians also got a taste of what the Nazis intended for Slavs after the planned finishing-off of the Jews and Gypsies resp. defeating the Soviet Union,  

Yes, I know...Slovenians used to run to Serbia for the shelter at some point...
nationalisation of the wealth of German-speakers in Yugoslavia and its predecessors,

I know that Tito nationalized ( grubbed) wealth and properties of German-speakers after WWII and drove away and killed them calling them "kulaks"(rich people), all though he did not spear any of us Slavs in this matter but I have heard recently that after WWI our king did not do anything like that. All though I am not sure...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 08:17:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
what we had to endure under Ottomans...

What "we" endured under the Ottomans is in part latter-day myth on top of historical facts. For example, I read a few years ago a historians' article on Ottoman military campaigns in Hungary, where they explained that contrary to general assumption, the majority of those armies weren't Turks: most were recruited (as regular army or mercenaries) near the border, that is they were Bosniaks, Serbs and Bulgarians, and not even all Muslims. This while at the same time, a lot of Serbs fled the Ottomans into what was the Kingdom of Hungary, most to Vojvodina but some going as far North as Szentendre, North of Budapest.

So there have always been people arranging themselves with the powers-that-be and those for whom the new rulers were mortal danger, and after the successful establishment of a nation state, later national mythology will always conserve only part of the whole picture.

all though he did not spear any of us Slavs in this matter

I don't know; but that he had prisoners of war executed after the final vitory (and not just Ustashi but regular soldiers) would not put it far from him.

but I have heard recently that after WWI our king did not do anything like that. All though I am not sure...

Things happened before the establishment of central authority, though central authority itself may have supported it. At the end of WWII, every force was trying to 'create facts' and grab as much territory as possible. What is now Slovenia was a flashpoint for this: the area called Lower Styria, including Maribor, was majority-German by all accounts, but Slovenian forces managed to take over. Maribor was heavily de-Germanised afterwards, most inhabitants were 'persuased' to go North. (Not that the Austrians were any better with the Slovenian minority during WWI.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Sep 22nd, 2008 at 02:26:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At the end of WWII, every force was trying to 'create facts' and grab as much territory as possible.

Uhm I meant, At the end of WWI, every force was trying to 'create facts on the ground' and grab as much territory as possible.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Sep 22nd, 2008 at 04:49:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
According to puzblic television RTV, a surprising victory for SD:

  • SD 32.02%
  • SDS 28.04%
  • Zarez 10.05%
  • DeSUS 6.74%
  • SNS 5.58%
  • LDS 5.21%
  • SLS 4.28%

NSi (2.76%) failed as expected. (I'm not quite sure where they get numbers down to hundredth percent.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 01:04:29 PM EST
Quick calculation:

  • Majority needed: c. 45.96%
  • Center-right government parties: 39.06%
  • Potential left block: SD+Zarez 42.07%

Assuming SNS is quarantined, that puts the remains of the LDS in a comfortable balancing position.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 01:10:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Counting almost reached 90% now. SD and SNS are closer (30.46% vs. 29.29%), but by and large, it's the same picture as in the exit polling.

In the seat projection, SD+Zares+LDS is 29+9+5=43, so with the traditional support of the two minority reps, a minimum majority (45 out of 90). The damn far-righters are in the position of balance.

(I found in the meantime that LDS declared they won't coalition with the ruling SDS, hence I dare to count on left/right blocks.)

Also, on Borut Pahuk, I forgot to add the interesting detail that he is currently a MEP: that is, instead of the standard story of a 'used politician' being dumped on the EU, we have someone returning from there possibly on the top [as PM].

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 03:32:05 PM EST
DoDo:
Also, on Borut Pahuk, I forgot to add the interesting detail that he is currently a MEP: that is, instead of the standard story of a 'used politician' being dumped on the EU, we have someone returning from there possibly on the top [as PM].

So then we can have someone who goes from the parliament to the council. That is a bit interesting.

Btw, how is stalemates in the parliament (45-45) settled?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 04:26:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I will have to look up (not today). One thing is certain: it is the right of the President to choose a PM candidate who shall attempt to put together a coalition, and there has been pre-election dispute over whether he should 'dare' to break 'tradition' and choose Pahuk in case SDS wins most votes ahead of SD - a dilemma that is no more, so it'll be Pahuk's turn.

I note we are at 99.88% counted, so I don't expect the seat distribution to change:

Minorities: 2

SD: 29
Zares: 9
LDS: 5
(left block: 43)

SLS+SMS: 5
DeSUS: 7
SDS: 28
(government block: 40)

SNS: 5

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 04:35:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just checked: the 2004-8 government majority was 49(+2), but Janša's government was laos approved by the 6 votes of SNS... so things could get interesting, like in the Czech Republic.

I also note that based on past coalitions, DeSUS (the pensioners' party) may swing to the left -- however, while writing the diary, I found an article about that party's leader declaring Pahuk unfit for office (for supposed lack of experience).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 04:43:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the preliminary result, the seat distribution remains the same. In percentages, the governing parties all do slightly better than in the exit poll:

  1. SD 30.50%
  2. SDS 29.32%
  3. Zarez 9.40%
  4. DeSUS 7.45%
  5. SNS 5.46%
  6. LDS 5.24%
  7. SLS+SMS 5.19%

Turnout was higher than last time, but still low... 62.16%.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Sep 22nd, 2008 at 02:32:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK? I looked up: the majority needed is 50%+1 (i.e. 46), so things are gonna be interesting. I guess the left block will try to convince DeSUS.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Sep 22nd, 2008 at 03:28:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh. Apparently, the MPs of DeSUS already signalled their willingness. A left-of-center majority, then.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Sep 22nd, 2008 at 04:32:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The future governing parties also announced that half of all ministers will be female. (Currently, the future smallest coalition member, theremains of LDS is the only party with a female leader.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Sep 22nd, 2008 at 04:34:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The ORF article I quote downthread also quotes still-PM Janša laying his hopes in the postal ballots of Slovenians abroad -- up to 40,000 ballots... But a one-seat shift won't change the big picture.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Sep 22nd, 2008 at 04:44:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Slovenia's opposition wins elections | World News | Deutsche Welle | 22.09.2008
Slovenia's opposition Social Democrats (SD) have defeated the centre-right Democratic Party of Prime Minister Janez Jansa in Sunday's parliamentary election. Preliminary official results show the Social Democrats led by Borut Pahor are likely to win 29 seats in Slovenia's 90-seat parliament. The Election Commission said the ruling centre-right SDS party won 28 seats. Political observers say the Social Democrats are likely to form a coalition government with two other left-leaning parties.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Sep 22nd, 2008 at 02:33:18 AM EST
BBC article, images with captions:


Mr Pahor is a former young communist and one-time male model


Mr Jansa is hoping to gain a new four-year mandate

Heh LOL. Janša is a former young communist, too. Pahor may have been a male model at some time, but he has a university degree and was involved in politics early on -- in the same rainbow press style, BBC could have mentioned Janša's affairs.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Sep 22nd, 2008 at 02:49:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From the Austrian public television:

oe1.ORF.at / Machtwechsel zugunsten der Sozialdemokraten oe1.ORF.at /Change of power in favor of the Social Democrats
"Die Sozialdemokraten zählen zu der sogenannten Reformlinken in Europa; ihre wichtigsten Anführer waren Tony Blair und Gerhard Schröder. Die traditionelle Linke sieht ihre Hauptmission darin, das gerecht zu verteilen, was Erwirtschaftet wurde. Die reformierte Linke sieht aber auch darin ihre Verpflichtung, die Bedingungen dafür zu schaffen, dass wir mehr Erwirtschaften, um das auch verteilen zu können.""The [Slowenian] Social Democrats belong to the so-called Reform Left in Europe; its main leaders were Tony Blair and Gerhard Schröder. The traditional Left sees its main mission in the fair distribution of what was produced. The Reformed Left sees its duty also in creating the conditions to produce more, in order to be able to distribute more."

Gah... another Central European Centre-Leftist who still sees Bliar (and Schröder) as role model. Then again, in the campaign, he pushed for more redistribution, Third Wayism more transpired in a commitment to continue with a slow-paced privatisation of state companies.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Sep 22nd, 2008 at 04:42:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just found a good pre-election campaign summary. It explains the "tycoon-hunt". More interesting is this on the economy:

The Slovenia Times - Polls and Politics - Elections - Politics

Parties of the centre-left bloc has also criticized what they perceive as a troubling and growing gap between the rich and the poor, still lower than in many other European countries, but of concern to many voters. The opposition's case is based partly on the argument that the booming economy has left too many struggling Slovenes behind and partly on the implication that the foundations for growth were laid by the previous government's policies. In fact, during the second televised debate, Zares chair Gregor Golobič argued that the current government had little to do with the economic growth rate.


Disagreeing to Agree

Yet, the Slovenian political landscape is characterized by a remarkable policy consensus. All major parties are in favour of maintaining a wide-ranging and involved welfare state. In the early days of its four-year term in office, the current government toyed with comprehensive reforms that would have reduced the state's involvement in the market, relaxed employment laws, and made the economy more competitive. In the end, amid vocal opposition, the government backed down from many of these free-market reforms. The consensus in favour of an involved welfare state survived.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Sep 22nd, 2008 at 03:08:36 AM EST


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