By: Franci Kindlhofer
When my wife and I headed to the polls on Sunday, I already had a kind of bad feeling in my stomach. In the morning after breakfast, one of our close relatives came to us and revealed in an interview that he would go to the polls, but he still does not know what it is all about. He has heard, however, at several ends that our drinking water is in danger because of some new government laws. I remembered taking a closer look at what it was all about a few days ago. NOVA24 TV also took a clear position on the referendum. But unfortunately, it is not watched by most citizens. On other public media, however, the matter was portrayed in such a way as to confuse voters rather than help them make a decision. Well, there has been a lot of talk about the threat to drinking water, although the two amendments to the legislation are not primarily about drinking water. However, voters are sensitive to this. They still have problems with drinking water in their blood from those wonderful socialist times. When I was able to drink tap water everywhere in Bavaria, so that I did not even bother to buy bottled water, in many places in Slovenia they had to boil drinking water for children. In this way, I also soon convinced my relative to vote for. To better understand how the left side cares about water and the environment, I also mentioned a chemical bomb in Jesenice, where the ironworks deposited toxic liquids in an artificial lake along the Sava. I have heard experts who have expressed concern that this toxic sludge would spill into the Sava, for example due to an earthquake, and that Sava river would be poisoned along its entire length.
I cannot help but mention here that the mayor of Jesenice entrusted the decision of where to build a new Gorenjska hospital, either in Jesenice or in Radovljica, to the greatest expert for all, the proud successor of those virtuous environmentalists from the red times, Tanja Fajon.
After the ballot papers were cast, we went to a friend of our age for coffee. She proudly stated that of course she is also against water pollution. It became increasingly clear to me that I did not need to watch the evening reporting on the outcome of the vote. It is quite clear who is not for clean water and who is not for the free use of lakes and seashores.
Today, I found out that even those who threatened our drinking water with thousands of corpses in 1945, namely the ZZB NOB, stood up for healthy water. In the Marxist style, they wrote pathetically: “Since we are talking about water, our greatest natural wealth, in the Association of Fighters for the Values of the National Liberation War of Slovenia we advocate public welfare for all and not private luxury for only some”. I ask Comrade Križman if he would have dared to write this at a time when Tito’s family was building facilities by Lake Bled and polluting it. Bled had no sewage treatment plants. In order not to stink, it was “sanitised” with the aim that the water in the lake could be quickly refreshed, which has catastrophic consequences for the biological balance.
I mention these things only to see what great possibilities the right had for arguments not to support the referendum provoked by the left out of very low ideological inclinations, or simply because of the offensive against the current government. This should teach us that, despite better arguments, we should not rely on all voters sharing them with us, or knowing them. Every right wing party must be aware that we need many more voters for a good election result than the number of party members and their sympathisers. We will have to dedicate ourselves to “missionary” work, to go among the people, among the unconvinced. Some time ago, I offered myself to one of the right wing parties to help them organise various lectures on politics, history, democracy. Why is such a well-intentioned proposal not even worth answering? In the Assembly for the Republic, I have already launched the idea that members, academics themselves, should make themselves available for this way of working. We will not get far with wisdom alone. Voters are gained through good programmes, if we know how to present them, the trust of voters is gained through the courage of the party, not arrogance. The voter needs to get the feeling that he will be in good hands with our government, that he will not have to fear for the job, because he is not defending exactly one particular party. Employment and political orientation must finally be two pairs of shoes. When an employee crosses the threshold of a company, he is only an employee of that company. However, when he leaves the company after work, he is completely free for the employer politically.
These are the foundations of democracy. That is why it should not be so hard to defend our center-right positions. But no one who is convinced that he has a good programme and the ability and knowledge to lead the country into calmer waters full of fish should not rely on the voters themselves to rush to him.
The left wing opposition has a bunch of dangerous weapons in its arsenal: lies, deception, misconception and indifference, which even allow the disintegration of society and the state with the help of the left current, which is flooding Europe but has not yet sunk. Therefore, those of us who are convinced that we can counter these harmful phenomena and trends must not build on the hope of better times, but on the belief that with courage and foresight and all those who think similarly, we will restore and preserve our homeland and Europe. For these bold moves, however, we need a democratic majority that the voters have in their hands. And these do not fall, as we know, from the sky.
Franci Kindlhofer is vice-president of the Association of Political Prisoners and Other Victims of Communist Violence.