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Monday, December 5, 2022

Voters are always right – even when they are wrong

By: Gašper Blažič

You have probably heard the well-known slogan that elections are a celebration of democracy and that voters are always right. It is a popular catchphrase of the former President of the Republic, Milan Kučan. The first president of the republic, and before that the last head of the Central Committee of the Slovenian Communist Party and president of the presidency.

Kučan probably gave a similar message this Sunday evening, when the staff of his chosen Nataša Pirc Musar started celebrating the victory already in the afternoon (!). So, already much earlier, before the first unofficial results of the elections came to the public. Nataša Pirc Musar was already announced as president in Arnes classrooms (HERE), which raises the question of whether elections and parliamentary voting are merely a formality that only confirms decisions made in advance, similar to the “good old days”. when the republican assembly merely confirmed what the Central Committee had already concluded. Which means that any independent initiative past the “buffoons” from the Central Committee was de facto prohibited.

Nothing without the blessing of the CK ZKS!

Perhaps someone will remember how Ernest Petrič, a former constitutional judge and before that a diplomat, half a century ago, i.e., still deep in the time of the Red regime, became a sort of reserve candidate for 25 members of the Assembly of the Socialistic Republic of Slovenia for a member of the Yugoslav presidency, after the architect of the Leninist revolution in Slovenia, Edvard Kardelj, refused to run for office. Of course, he withdrew his candidacy a little later, but the very fact that a group of 25 MPs dared to act on their own and against the will of the ZKS leadership triggered a terrible scandal. First, the ZKS municipal committees started roaring, saying that it was a terrible political diversion, and then the controversy reached the Central Committee itself. The driving force behind the “action of 25 MPs”, Cena Matičič, was left without a parliamentary mandate, he was expelled from the party, and thus also from public life. Until 1990, he was no longer allowed to advertise in public. But if he did try, he would risk a prison sentence.

However, even in recent history we have had cases where a person was congratulated for being elected even before the results were announced. Thus, on February 27th, 2013, Peter Kraljič, the king of Slovenian businessmen, made a move that he probably did not expect to cause a big storm. In the evening hours, probably around 9:45 p.m., he sent an SMS message to Alenka Bratušek congratulating her on her election as prime minister. The results of the vote of constructive no-confidence in the (second) Janša’s government, which elected the then MP from Pozitivna Slovenija party (later president of Zavezništvo and SAB, and today state secretary at the Ministry of Infrastructure and a proud member of Gibanje Svoboda) as prime minister, were known only after 10 p.m. that day. It is not known whether Kraljič did it “on a bluff” or if he really knew something more. The fact is that he sent his congratulations even before the results of the vote were announced in the parliament.

But what is interesting is what Kraljič said in the aforementioned interview regarding Janša, who, according to him, led Slovenia well, but we quote, “at the end of the year /… he said that Slovenia would become a beacon of Europe and that it would have a three percent growth GDP, and a year later we fell by nine percent.” “Thus, we were not a beacon, but a lantern somewhere in the background. How could a Prime Minister so misjudge what will happen in the coming year? (i.e., 2009, fn. G. B.) This means that he did not understand the economy,” explained Kraljič confidently, but he obviously mixed up the timelines a bit. Namely, Janša’s speech mentioning the phrase “beacon of Europe”, for which the mainstream media (starting with Mladina) attacked him for stealing it from former British prime minister Tony Blair, was given in mid-2006 (and not at the end of 2008, as Kraljič claims – at that time Janša was no longer prime minister at all!). So, two years earlier, when there was no talk of the crisis yet.

Although Kraljič was mentioned several times in the past as a possible technical prime minister, he never really entered politics. However, he said in an interview that one of the political parties – he did not mention the name – literally kicked him out of the supervisory board of one of the Slovenian companies, and later proposed that he run for president of the republic. However, there are records of this: in 2017, during the government of Miro Cerar, the state, as the majority owner, did exclude Kraljič from the company Sava Re, an article about this was written for the portal Siol by Primož Cirman and Vesna Vuković, who are fairly well-known to the Slovenian public (HERE). In 2000, however, Kraljič received a high state award from Kučan’s hands for his services in the training and education of Slovenian managers, and later he also appeared at events organised by the now dissolved Forum 21.

SMS for Alenka and Nataša’s presidential beer

I mention this episode with Kraljič’s SMS mainly because, while reading this message, Bratušek was photographed by Jani Božič, at that time the editor of the “Pod lupo” portal. As this was supposed to be a criminal offence of breach of civil secrecy, the competent services of the National Assembly charged Božič, who was then sentenced to a suspended sentence, and thus also to life without the possibility of professional employment, as a result of which he then moved to Great Britain and started anew. Matija Stepišnik, the president of the Slovenian Association of Journalists under the regime at the time, assessed that the prosecution of journalists by politicians was problematic from the point of view of protecting the constitutional right to freedom of speech, creating a climate of fear and possible self-censorship. The conviction and conditional prison sentence in the case of Jani Božič are therefore controversial and worrying for a democratic society, Stepišnik’s words were summarised by Večer online at the time.

However, Stepišnik reminded that “when a journalist interferes with the communication privacy of a public person, he must accurately justify the public interest in the publication”. Perhaps Jani Božič has too obviously dragged himself into the snake’s nest of the deep state, when he publicly revealed the unusual temporal relationship between the congratulations Bratušek received and her election? Unfortunately, it is not known whether any of the journalists dared to ask Kraljič how he knew that Bratušek had already been elected. Just as it is not known when Nataša Pirc Musar’s headquarters ordered the so-called presidential beer with labels on which appeared the image of the preselected president at the time.

Of course, this in itself raises the direct responsibility of the National Electoral Commission as the operator of the elections, especially if we consider that the main long-term head of this institution is former LDS MP Dušan Vučko. But a bigger problem than the namesake of the legendary Sarajevo Olympic Games from Orwell’s 1984 is that there are practically no control mechanisms in DVK through which we could have control over the correctness of the elections. We just have to believe that everything is okay. Even if it is not. Anyone who does not believe in the fairness of elections can very quickly be declared a non-democrat. So, this is actually a kind of commanded religion, where belief in the fairness of elections is a commanded dogma that must not be questioned. Even though Stalin very sincerely said that the most important thing is who counts the votes, not who is running.

Central committee from the inn

However, the succession of the old communist nomenclature in our country actually does not need electoral fraud, if it has a sufficiently sophisticated Orwellian engineering of human souls, which is primarily based on a powerful system of nationwide propaganda and psychological “hairdressing” of people. We saw how it looked during these elections, for example, in the case of the instructions of the “uncles” from the famous Ljubljana inn Pečarič (HERE). And this may also explain why Pirc Musar, despite her actually shamelessly rich-socialist-capitalist-tycoon clientele, is in no way objectionable to the lower class, who barely survive from day to day. Which is nothing new, as two other such examples inspire confidence in a similar way, i.e., current Prime Minister Robert Golob and Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković.

Perhaps the answer to this question lies in the information that the political godfathers of these listed persons successfully “shoot down missiles” flying from the direction of the enemy through the propaganda apparatus – accusations of enrichment thus actually create the opposite effect from the desired one. If you ask any politically ignorant voter (and they are the majority in our electoral pool), the latter will express the belief that either NPM is not rich at all, or that she may be, but that it does not even matter, because even a large business empire of Donald Trump, was not disturbing to members of the lower class in the United States. For such voters, the fact that it was worth the effort to elect the first female president (regardless of who she is) was attractive. And the majority of voters, both men and women, went to the polls with this instinctive mentality to circle number 2, while we at Demokracija were actually convincing those already convinced – with articles about the contents of the heavy moral backpack of the new president.

But speaking of instructions from a well-known Ljubljana inn, it is worth recalling a thick book that was published eight years ago and attracted a lot of attention. It is about the book “Fallen Masks”, the author of which is still living Zdenko Roter, a former professor at FSPN/FDV, and before that an officer of Ozna, and in the period after 1990 Kučan’s chief advisor. The book describes examples of how “uncles” and “aunties” met in secret meetings in taverns and there they constantly worked out a propaganda strategy, sent orders and thus achieved, even through formally democratic mechanisms, that the voters only confirmed their decisions. In this way, they put Danilo Türk in the position, they were a little unlucky in 2012, when Pahor was too strong for Türk and then Marjan Šarec. But they always achieved the main goal of eliminating “someone from the right” from the game.

And this game is clearly still going on. Which is normal in the Hegelian conditioned mentality of confronting thesis with antithesis.

Will we continue to deal with trinkets?

It is strange, however, that eight years after the publication of this book, the spring option (which quite freely declares itself to be right-wing, which is a de facto pejorative in our space!) is still not ready to reflect on this and take appropriate action, and even analysts are actually wise about less important things, saying whether or not they might achieve a turnaround in the elections if Anže Logar cashed in political capital either by taking over the leadership of the SDS or with a new centrist party that would take some of the wind out of the sails of the transitional nomenclature and its “new face”. And of course, they speculate that Logar might still win if… If he might have left SDS earlier?

But forget about that: in this case, the propaganda apparatus would spread the rumour that the exit from the party was only apparent and part of the tactic, and Logar is still a kind of “crypto-Janša”. Therefore, such speculations and guesses about what should be done are more reminiscent of the actions of the management of a private store that has problems with business because it is uncompetitive (too expensive) and does not offer added value that could make it work more successfully. And, of course, they suggest that the owner act by changing the sign on the store to be more attractive to customers – while the business strategy remains intact.

Perhaps this comparison is somewhat unfortunate, because at first glance it suggests that both political camps have the same chance of winning in our country – which, of course, is far from true. But what destroys spring camp from the inside is the mentality. Better said: getting used to the role of the victim, who in a way enjoys being beaten furiously by members of the other camp, and then they go to the management of the institution run by members of the same option (i.e., the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia). And they require e.g., convening an emergency meeting of a committee and proposing the adoption of some (very general) decisions, for which it is already clear in advance that the coalition will not approve. Such behaviour is actually more than “tickling the rhinoceros”, since the parliamentary procedure is always a tool of the stronger (although in theory the democratic procedure should protect the weaker side).

We are missing – the radio

In the conditions of pre-programmed quasi-democracy, where the voters only (majority) confirm the decisions of the secret Central Committee”, it is necessary to change the mentality first. While the pseudo-left privatisers, according to the media, have also hijacked almost the entire civil society space and with it the field of slander (which happened with the slow departure of the so-called Nova revija champions from the public), we still console ourselves by saying that we will show them once at elections that we are strong. And that is actually how we roll from election to election and tell ourselves “Now it is going to be real”. Even though each new bitter experience puts us on a realistic floor. But after the initial shock, we comfort ourselves again with the words: “It will be better in the next election.”

The main burden of the spring camp therefore remains in the fact that it is not ready to invest much in the civil and media sector – for example, by establishing a radio station that would cover the entire area of ​​the country and become a kind of strong competitor to the existing Odlazek’s propaganda network. Unfortunately, this has not happened so far. The television (Nova24tv) and the existing websites of the opposition orientation mainly attract politically aware Slovenian men and women, who are in the minority compared to those who prefer relaxing content and are not interested in politics, in the style of the old “non-interested” oriented composition of Čuki musical group (“…one white, the other red, nothing is important, only that we have peace…”). In this area, the spring camp is seriously behind and will not be able to be solved by some kind of boring instant solution with new parties. Namely, we have already had a few new parties, but experience teaches us that if a new party is not “blessed” from the “central committee”, it is not in the public eye. Just look at where “Povežimo Slovenijo” party is today… It practically does not exist.

Unlike the aforementioned SDS, it continues to exist, but it will remain a disturbing factor – unless it sinks into a state of dormant SZDL-democracy with “pluralism of self-governing interests”. The word “democracy” (and its derivatives) has been used by Party members almost always in public since at least 1958, especially in the 1980s. And we practically do not see the difference between real democracy and the then (perverted) conception of this word.

So, are voters “always right”? If the Central Committee is always right, then the voters are/we are always right if they/we confirm the already made decision of the “uncles” in one of the taverns. And this is the essence of our orchestrated quasi-democracy. No wonder, then, that Golob’s coalition is trying to bring to RTV the corporatist management model of SZDL, which was already discontinued, and which even the infamous Benito Mussolini – Duče would be proud of. Will we really be so naïve at the referendum that we will use gasoline to put out the fire of politicisation? If such a model wins, then I suggest that the prime minister can offer us a drink in a completely democratic way: a spritzer with raspberry juice…

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