Monday, October 29, 2007

Saturday Song Fest?

Today's Diena announced that all Latvian choir singers and conductors are asked to participate in the "national convent" of the Noveber 3, 2007. The planned mass rally gradually increseases signatories who assure their participation in the event, and it looks as if the scenario of the late 1980's and early 1990's is going to be repeated. It is not surprising because organizers of the November 3'd event are pretty much the same as during the early 1990's.

The event would also continue the action started by Trade Unions. The latter started to collect signatures (10 000 signatures needed) for initiating amendments in the constitution, thus allowing also 1/10 of the citizens to initiate possible dissolution of the parliament. So far Trade Union representatives have announced, that they have collected a bit more than 2000 signatures, but it seems that the saturday event would allow to fulfill the required benchmark.

The event itself would be a massive demonstration with ethnic Latvian opposition politician's and intelligentsia speeches and joint repetition of the traditional Song festival repertoire. As I already said before I would wish to see also Reconciliation Centre party members if not as organizers then at least active participants of the event this coming Saturday. Without Reconciliation Centre party representatives, speeches about democratic governance and rule of law would be half baked, because it would exclude part of Latvian citizenry.

If the event would gather more than 10 000 participants it would give the incumbent president a food of thought for decisive action, because pollsters show that the rift between governed and governors in Latvia is insurmountable. NOBODY even discusses negative aspets about the existing government (old Latvian prowerb says "that you mustn't talk negative about deceased"), and the PM himself would be in Washington DC during the event to take place this Saturday.

So, we should have a simple Song Festival a'capella or it would initiate maturing of the Latvian civil society? I am not so optimistic about maturation in thus short time, because the level of education about basics of democratic participation has not significantly changed so far (just look on the constant number of 30% or so swing voters prior all election in Latvia). It means that without understanding, that just to be against the existing governance style, is not enough for more rational governance style to be eatblished in Latvia. If citizens should continue to be passive and allow more ambitios to be their representatives it would merely replace the existing elite. The maturation of Latvian citizenry is at stake here. I very much hope that the event in November 3'd would not stay in the memory of its participants as a spontaneous Song Festival, but it would consolidate reform minded citizenry and thus enable the same reform minded citizens to cognisize that they must take part in running the demos for making participatory democracy to work.

P.S. The 2008 budget should be passed in the second and final reading on November 6, and it seems more like mission impossible, and would most probably seal the fate of the existing government. The public radio just announced that the Saeima legal commission has decided, that it should be the government and not Saeima, that would need to pass their judgement about the fate of the head of the Anti Corruption Agency, Mr Loskutovs after all. Huh, huh, and the vicious circle continues:)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It saddens me to see it all come down to this. I really do not want to see on CNN the reports of some "cappuccino revolution" in Latvia that causes kalvitis to resign under public pressure outside on the streets. There's so few people that can replace the idiots in the Saeima, how would new elections work? Are there 100 good people in politics? I don't think so...