Sunday, October 21, 2007

Quiet before the storm?

The incumbent president Zatlers after meeting the PM on Friday announced that Mr Kalvitis convinced him the ability of the existing government to govern the state. Basically the same words were reiterated by the former president Guntis Ulmanis in his Latvian TV evening LIVE news: 'Mr Kalvitis is a young person who must admit his mistakes, reevaluate his behaviour vis-a-vis Mr Loskutovs and continue governing'. It shows that both presidents HAVE NO CLUE what legal principles and responsible governance means (Mr Kalvitis breeched the law AGAIN and it was underlined by Prosecutor General requesting PM to explain why did he do so). The governing gang of Latvia Ltd. continues best governance practices of the CPSU. The latter actually never accepted itself committing mistakes, because it was the 'vanguard of the most progressive part of the humanity'. It is very sad, that the Soviet inertia has blurred Latvian citizenry' ability to comprehend how the representative democracy really works, and foremost, what does it mean for MP or minister to take responsibility for his/her actions.

The gang of Latvia Ltd. TRULY believes that there is democracy in Latvia (''all roads to hell are covered with golden cobblestones'' says old Latvian prowerb)! The reason why they believe in it, is because their political advisors (PR geeks actually:) keep repeating it to them, and because without knowledge about fundamentals of Western liberal democracy (just seeing the facade of it in numerous foreign visits demivered to them by official translators), they instead of cognisizing it have only evaluated workings of the liberal democracy to follow the arguments of Almond & Verba (Civic Culture, 1975:16). Just to mention pronouncements of two MP's after the demonstration in front of the saeima is enough to underline my argument. It was Union of Greens and Farmers (ZZS)member Janis Strazdins who argued that the demonstration was organized by opposition funded by foreign spies who actually wanted to taint the good name of Latvian democracy. Other ''pearls'' came from the Head of the Saeima Internal Security Commission Mr Jaundzeikars (LC/LPP) and composer Imants Kalnins (TB-LNNK). The former accused the crowd in front of the Saeima for being merely idle and suggested them to better go and start working. The latter suggested that demonstrators in front of the Saeima is a sign that it is beneficial to some foreign power to project Latvia as a country where democracy does not operate properly. Such pronouncement are not news anymore and make me reckon, that the majority of Saeima members should be simply sent back to school and learn the basics of how modern democracies work.

So, we actually can name Latvia dictocracy, because constitutionally (on paper) Latvia is a functioning democracy. However, from the point of view of contents (norms, values), there exists a dictatorship of oligarchic wannabe aristocrats popularly called also oligarchs in Latvia! Discussions within elitist pocket parties barely take place due to the lack of knowledge about basic precepts of their ideological platform. Instead, party members blindly follow dictums of their founders which obviously caused discontent among broad and liberal swaths of Latvian citizenry, and that eventually brought the folks in front of Saeima this very Thursday.

The ones who pull the strings in parties have regrouped and incumbent president announced that next week shall be hard for the Latvian government. Next Thursday the Saeima wants to pass the budget. Opposition Reconciliation centre (SC) and New Era (JL) parties have announced that they would not support it, and coalition gangsters have accused opposition in irresponsible opportunism. If the budget is not going to be passed nothing tragic would happen, just to look how Belgium works for example today. The budget voting should be used as a trigger for the vote of no confidence of the existing government. To unbundle the existing coul de sac the option for the incumbent president would be actually to disband the parliament.

Valdis Zatlers has reiterated that he wants to become the president for all of Latvians (his election breached norms of democratic governance though). If there are members of presidential chancellary who could deliver him such message it would be good. While disbanding the parliament he would establish his place in Latvian history books and also avoid the country dissolving in front of his eyes. Issues at stake for the president are rather simple - either he shall be remembered as a statesman who had a courage to stand up against the nomenklatura clan and so free Latvian citizens from vestiges of crony capitalism, or he would be mentioned in annals as a corrupt doctor who did not have courage to stand up and so allowed the country once called Latvia to go down the gutter. Choice is yours Mr President!

P.S. For those of you considering my appeal to the incumbent president overblown I would remind to follow latest announcements of the PM and reaction of foreign media about Latvia. First, just month ago the PM has openly stated that Russian and Latvian cultures are traditionally similar, that Latvian and the US relations could be reasessed, and he would not allow resignation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mr Artis Pabriks) prior finalizing the Russian-Latvian border agreement (I would suggest that Artis Pabriks quit the People's Party after such an insistence of the PM). Second, apart from media in the Baltic Sea area, International Herald Tribune,,, Reuters none of the Continental European (except, British media and international credit agencies (except Bloomberg) have come up with Latvian news yet. What are they waiting, for the storm to happen?


mel said...

My fear is that any temporary fix will be just that -- temporary. As I have said many times, the poison is in the system. What if Kalvitis does resign? Who would replace him? Other compromised politicians under the Ventspils thumb?

There needs to be a wholesale review of the Latvian political scene. The electoral system gives Latvia nearly no chance for a small and stable coalition. So every time it is just people trying to tolerate each other. It made for great comedy, especially some of Slesers's antics, but it is disastrous for Latvia.

Sad, not sure what can be done. Pabriks may have made mistakes, but he's the only person in that government that has any credibility (and that's diminishing too).

Again, as I said, sad...

Baltic said...

If Kalvitis would not resign then it seems that Cappucino weekly Thursday demonstration shall convene in ever increasing numbers, until Kalvitis will GO!

Rumours are spread that the new post of PM is proposed to Artis Pabriks. Also rumours are abound, that with his decision to step down as the minister of foreign affairs he secured his ambasadorial position in someinfluential country, but so giving his place to the grand master of Latvian political intrigues, servant& bureau chief Maris Riekstinsh.

Lets wait till the end of this week, because opposition is REALLY coordianting their work and both JL and SC have announced that they would not vote in Wednesday's budget vote FOR. Loskutovs execution is proposed for the Thursday session, although legally they can do it only on November 7 (15. days after governments decision to suspend him). So, president decided to convene Saeima emergency session on Friday. Lets wait and see, OK! It is interesting, and I guess that new election and the broken spell of oblivion is in the air, cause LNT even alloved Repse to talk in morning TV news (so the indegnous business community is already changing sides, good!:) And there are GOOD news from POLSKA after all, encouraging indeed!!!! Cheshk liberalna Polska!!