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Srbija 2020

Low Stakes Game

Did you notice how they no longer hold our attention?

Elections in Serbia used to be raucous and joyous popular battles. And when I say used to be, I mean last time we had them. The Fate of the Nation was at stake. The choices we made at the polls would determine our Destiny. Our Place in the Universe depended SO MUCH on who we chose. Naturally, the rhetorical warfare of invective and slander was part of the game. OUR GUY was better by far, but, in order to see that, we had to show and be shown how the OTHER GUYS were Evil and Pernicious and even a little Smelly.

Hearing news from the political front today is, on the contrary, annoying and grating, like fingernails on the national chalkboard. Today we roll our eyes when we listen to the whining of the splintered democratic block leaders. It does not seem to matter as much which of the babies in this daycare center is crying the loudest, which ones will not share their toys, which ones want more milk, and which ones just have full diapers.

Few believe any longer that Voja, Boris, Bozidar, Velja, Ceda, or Mladjan will put more food on the table, raise the standard of living, restore national prestige, make sense of the tax system, foil the oligarchs, lower inflation, raise salaries, revitalize industry, or reorganize the public sector. We trust them mostly to rename the streets of Belgrade and raise fines for not wearing seatbelts.

The specter of a Radical government, once a force that unified the democratic voters by Fear of the Alternative, has grown faded and tattered as we have watched them take the big numbers in every post-2000 election but only half-heartedly fight to wrest the reigns of power from the squabbling heirs of DOS. Somehow we have the feeling that they will be sitting on the opposition benches again this time, watching a weak and infantile minority or a just-barely-majority, rife with internal discord over coalition compromises, squeak by and inflict the same non-governance of the country’s affairs on the people.

We are complacent. They are loud but also complacent. We will NOT get the government we deserve, but whatcha gonna do?

If this sounds cynical and jaded, there is a very specific reason for it. It is because this IS cynical and jaded. It just seems to me, in my position of disenfranchised foreigner (i.e., without a vote) who has CHOSEN to live here and therefore opted to take whatever comes along in terms of a government, that the stakes have never been lower. The future government of Serbia cannot – no matter who does it – create a Serbian utopia just because it sits in the big chairs. So far, the battle seems to be more about chairs than the game that is actually on the table. My jaded and cynical view tells me that once the chairs have been divvied out, the game on the table will be played according to the same seat-of-your-pants strategies that we have come to expect of our standard players.

On January 22, when we wake up in the morning, we will discover who we have chosen in the papers. We will tell ourselves that we KNEW it all along. And 40 days later, we will have our brand new government which looks eerily a lot like the old one.

Whatcha gonna do?

numbers, please!

...has grown faded and tattered as we have watched them take the big numbers in every post-2000 election

We used to watch them before as well.
And they already won parliamentary elections once
Take numbers into account, please. There is no turbulence in electorate, whatsoever, the final result depends on "who stayed at home". And the rule is: if you do not go out and vote, the winner is who you do not like the most.

Waiving Rights

Your point is well taken and on target!

The fact is, when we start talking about the right to vote, I think it is often forgotten that it is a privilege rather than an obligation. Staying home on election day and waving your right to vote does not, however, mean that the ones you don't like will win. It means that you have forfeited your right to be part of the process, even if only to protest.

It means the outcome has nothing to do with you.

Voting options...

There is one option that I know is available in local elections in some European countries that I would like to see added to our voting slips:

*None of the above* (remember Bruster's Millions?:)

This would show how much of the electorate is unsatisfied with all present political options and, if the percentage was considerable, which I guess would be the case in Serbia, whether there is room for a new political option that would attract their votes.

A well-concieved political survey could subsequently try to reveal what kind of political option this part of the electorate desires.

This is how I voted a few

This is how I voted a few times... I simply added "None of the above".

Voting options...

The point is to have it on record, officially.

I agree.

I agree.

It's up to us... I will vote LDP.

Can you delete people from the lists..

like you can here in Norway in the local elections? You choose the list of your preferred political party, cross out the names of people you don't want, or add the names of others a second time, which gives their candidature extra weight. You can even add the names of people from an alternative party list if you wish.
As a point of interest, -Norway gives foreign residents the franchise at local level (but not national).


That is the difference between OPEN and CLOSED list in proportional elections. You can only vote for the LIST, and it is up to the party WHO will sit in the parliament (on any level).

Thanks :)