By: Petra Janša
“I am happy with the work of the government. It managed to keep jobs; health care worked despite bursting at the seams due to the pandemic. Moreover, as much money and other benefits (vouchers, etc.) as we citizens received in the corona time were probably not found anywhere else in the world,” Edvard Kadič, an expert in communication and personal development, told us in a conversation.
DEMOKRACIJA: Mr. Kadič, on Twitter you recently congratulated the Povežimo Slovenijo movement. Why?
KADIČ: These parties represent a relatively large group of voters who currently do not have a direct voice at the state level. It is an extra-parliamentary centre-right cover of the people’s, entrepreneurial and green voice of society. Well-known and politically well-profiled names, such as e.g., Počivalšek, Kangler, Podobnik, Kovšca, Čuš, etc. are a good starting point. In this story, I admit, I miss Aleksandra Pivec, who is working very hard to build her story, but there is still relatively little time until the elections.
DEMOKRACIJA: So, do you think that the attempts on the right and in the centre, which are urging people to unite, will be successful in the elections?
KADIČ: We humans are slowly getting tired of sharing. Ordinary working people want peace, and above all, the rule of law and its institutions to play their part in society correctly. I believe that there is great potential in the middle and the very idea of connecting is a great starting point. It is important how the Povežimo Slovenijo movement will succeed in addressing people on the field. Due to the focus of the mainstream media on Ljubljana, we often forget that Slovenia is much more than just a capital city. Already 30 km out of the centre, the political landscape changes significantly. People understand the need for networking, and it is nothing special that at the local level, clients who do not even dream of supporting each other at the national level are connected to each other in individual projects.
DEMOKRACIJA: Are you satisfied with the work and communication of the current government?
KADIČ: I am happy with the work of the government. It managed to keep jobs; health care worked despite bursting at the seams due to the pandemic. Moreover, as much money and other benefits (vouchers, etc.) as we citizens received in the corona time were probably not found anywhere else in the world. In addition, performance indicators in most areas of the company’s operations are good or even the best in the history of Slovenia. It is therefore an efficient, working government that does not lack energy. I also think that the government is doing well in terms of communication. We are talking about a network of people and channels through which everything is covered, from the meeting of the Prime Minister with this or that to all possible messages about these or those decrees and measures of each office in the Ministries. Moreover, special congratulations must be given to the Government Communication Office for the excellent use of social networks, as some media (sometimes central) deliberately turn some messages to neutralise the positive power, sometimes even turn against the government or simply do not publish some. Anyone who does not understand that deviant phenomena in society (e.g., road attacks on Dr Krek or Dr Štrukelj) are mainly the result of the atmosphere in society, and the atmosphere is mostly created by the media with their reporting, should ask themselves as soon as possible why they are lying to themselves. If you shout in protest that you live in a dictatorship, but in the meantime, you do not understand that you cannot protest in a dictatorship, then you simply need help, or you are doing it deliberately.
DEMOKRACIJA: But how do you view the leftist rhetoric of exclusion? Is the All Against Janša programme still a winning combination?
KADIČ: This siege of fascism, dictatorship, oppression, and so on, is starting to get on the nerves of more and more people. I was also shocked when I recently heard e.g., Dr Stanković on Val 202 (Radio Slovenia) talking about Slovenian folk music and how this music, due to its unambiguousness, uniformity is ready for fascism. I wondered where they are taking them from. But the answer is simpler than it seems. In Slovenia, the left simply gained disproportionately big access to speakers. It was the national media of RTV, especially Val 202 and with it the MMC portal, that became the strongest speaker of far-left ideas. When you are forced to follow only the ideas of fascists in power, dictatorship, the need for protests, even the nationalisation of private property, etc., it becomes clear that the transitional left urgently needs conflict for its own needs. To conceal the true masters, it needs the so-called useful idiots, i.e., prominent enough ideological extremists who create conflicts and ignite ideological fires in society so that transitional rulers have peace in the background. The rulers in the background therefore flood them with money, projects, promotions, and so on, and the circle is closed.
The left political option has become empty and without ideas in recent years, given the negative staff selection. Somehow, they are trying to fill themselves through the wave of a culture of exclusion (“cancel culture”) and awakening (“woke”), but this is clearly not working in Slovenia. We are a small environment where we basically all know each other, we live relatively well, we are hardworking, diligent, and most care about themselves and not politics. I do not know if All Against Janša is still a winning combination. I hope not. Content, not populism, must win the election.
DEMOKRACIJA: Do you notice any substantive changes in the performances and actions of the so-called KUL members in the last months?
KADIČ: Above all, Tanja Fajon calmed down her rhetoric. As if someone were whispering to her that such aggressive rhetoric damages the reputation of the party she leads. Even otherwise, it seems to me that the leaders of the KUL coalition have retreated somewhat and are cautiously waiting to see what will emerge from the situation with Robert Golob. The wedding of Golob and KUL, which Milan Kučan wants to carry out according to public speeches, is obviously not impressing anyone. If such a connection occurs, they will suffer the most in KUL, so for Golob’s Svoboda movement it makes sense to connect only with LMŠ and SAB, maybe with Dobra država, LIDE and the remnants of DeSUS. Thus, on the left political pole, we would get three strong and clearly demarcated players, i.e., Levica, SD and the Svoboda Movement, which would certainly be an interesting challenge for the right.
DEMOKRACIJA: How do you comment on the (non)verbal communication of the Kul members, after they had to bow to Robert Golob at the request of the godparents from the background.
KADIČ: The season of amazement was first opened by Sandi Češko, the new head of economic policy at SD, with the view that it is not particularly difficult to be so successful if you run a state monopoly. Of course, after the meeting with Robert Golob, the performances of Marjan Šarec and Alenka Bratušek were especially expressive. Marjan Šarec because he is a trained actor and knows how to put himself in the right mood for a public appearance. However, he stood all frightened in front of the microphones, like someone who realised that he had finally become a not very important figure on the chessboard. That he is neither a king, nor a queen, nor a knight, but only a pawn that will have to play or sacrifice as it is instructed. Alenka Bratušek acted in a similar way, as she almost broke her fingers that she was twisting, intertwining, and pulling. The video of this exercise with the palms has become a real online sensation, as it is already difficult to describe the feelings that after the meeting with Golob it became clear to her that she will go with him, or she will be gone. Namely, anxiety, fear, etc., are feelings that are externally expressed in just such a way.
DEMOKRACIJA: Speaking of Golob, how do you assess his verbal and non-verbal communication? Will people be fooled that he is as a kind of modern-day messiah?
KADIČ: Robert Golob is interesting to study. Due to the position, salary, and the way of entering active politics, even more so. Technically, he will not have any problems with the performance, but he will have them because of his personality traits. Too much dominance and patronage, we jokingly say God’s complex of infallibility, will be a great obstacle in confrontations. Rolling his eyes, mocking, nervous interjections to his interlocutors, intense switching while listening to criticism, patronising raising of the index finger, saying no, no, it will not work like that, are just some of the more noticeable elements of nonverbal communication that do not speak in his favour. He will not be able to shake this off, but the question is whether he will allow himself to change it at all, because these very moves keep him trapped through the excuse: That is how I am and that is why I am where I am. Still, I have a hard time judging whether people will be fooled by him or not. I would likelier said that they would. If people got fooled by politicians like Zoran Janković, Miro Cerar, Marjan Šarec as saviour, then why not him? He comes from the same pool, addresses the same people, is supported by the same media, and has the same political background. The real question is just how far does this interesting operational conglomerate around him even reach? I think much less than with Šarec, let alone with Janković. Golob’s circle could be unpleasantly surprised.
DEMOKRACIJA: You mention the notion of shame several times in your comments. Is seeking the diploma of Judge Branko Masleša a disgrace or “shaming”?
KADIČ: Shame is a strategy that targets our perception of the interlocutor to reduce his credibility. Of course, it says more about the one doing it than the one that is targeted. Where do you think children learn to embarrass others? From their parents, from “many others”, also from politicians. Imagine a child being ridiculed by the whole school because he is e.g., too fat, or too skinny, too small, too big because he does not have the right sneakers or t-shirts of the right brand? This can permanently damage him and thus permanently damage society. As for Masleša, it seems to me that shame was not the initial intention. First, it was a legitimate journalistic question that was supposed to be answered in a few days. Most people are proud of their degree and would be happy to show it off. In the present case, however, we are monitoring everything other than the responsible behaviour of a civil servant. We can now follow the mockery and disgrace of the said judge. Partly also as a kind of compulsion to investigate the matter. However, this is no excuse for shaming.
DEMOKRACIJA: “In the world of the blind, the king is the one who sees (at least) with one eye,” right? [Erasmus of Rotterdam] Why did you tweet this thought?
KADIČ: In terms of the media, Slovenia is a field tailored to the transition left, and the violence perpetrated by this current is bordering on civil war. On TV Slovenia, for example, a group of journalists who, under the pretext of journalistic activism and trade unionism, are literally intimidating colleagues around them so that no one would dare to report on topics that are not to their liking. Why have they not reported for so long about e.g., Masleša and his diploma? Because they did not want to. What about the scandalous revenues of Golob and his team at the top of the state (!) company? The same. On Radio Slovenia, for example, there is no such dilemma at all. Why not? Because there are no such right-wing “apostates”. While serious European and world think tanks report remarkable successes, the mentioned pearls of journalism constantly paint a kind of dark Mordor from The Lord of the Rings to us instead of a democracy. Just a cursory glance at the reports of the government’s communications office on RTV’s reporting, which have been made public, should worry us. What is going on in the judiciary? I prefer not to continue… I hope that in the pre-election period, people will really listen to the programmes, think about the content, and vote accordingly. Otherwise, we are waiting for a return to a state that I can no longer want for this country.
Edvard Kadič deals with communication and personal development. He works as a consultant for strategic PR, marketing, and public speaking. Due to the nature of his work, he closely monitors domestic politics and the behaviour of politicians, so he also actively participates as a political commentator in the shows Ura moči (The Hour of Power) and Slovenija izbira (Slovenia chooses) on Planet TV, and in the show Komentar (Commentary) on Nova24 TV.