Friday, February 1, 2008

Almost TGIF

Usually folks are thankful to "Allmighty" for Friday evening because it signifies the end of the working week. I have long lost this feeling because work seems to be permanent, and for example, while one may have free days off during the week, one may also have very busy weekends. Anyway, while I should be happy for the very Friday evening I am working on abstracts for future conferences. Such activity is rather fun, and one may wonder why I should not be happy about this very Friday?

Because it is Friday evening and almost all day Latvian media was mulling through repercussions of the New Era (JL) party split. They did not have time to touch other issues [forget about world outside Latvia:-)] while there was barely a media channel touching this issue[JL split] outside Latvian borders (I did not check on Russia:). It is very traditional in Latvia to focus on internal developments, and the excuse was probably the fact that JL is the largest opposition party in the Saeima after all. In the meantime characteristics of the lagest opposition party might be misleading, because Latvia has one of the lowest party membership rates in the EU, and also the effectiveness of JL as a the viable opposition force could be questioned (though law establishing Mandatory Income and Property Declaration law was passed symbolically prior prominent members left JL).

Journalist Sallija Benfele ( had a perfect blog entry in Latvian about the Phyrric Victory of the Peoples Party (TP) emanating from the split of JL today. There is this electrified feeling of change among commoners in the air, but due to the winter I suspect that the whole enthusiasm of folks would gradually subsume.

It is Saturday morning already and most probably the upcoming weekend would not bring anything new into Latvian politics except already useless reflections (instead of dissecting reasons for lack of civic participation) upon changes dans le parti oppositionaire majeur:) Bon fin de semaine (weekend) a tous!


Pēteris Cedriņš said...

I would love to see you go out on a limb and make some predictions, though (or, rather -- because!) everything seems so unpredictable now. Though nothing much happens on the weekend, we at least let things settle in our minds... and I have to ask: will this really matter, do you think? Is there really space in the spectrum for a "normal" (more normal?) rightist party (what did Ozoliņš say, "iznāktu kāds Tēvzemes laiks vai Jaunā tēvzeme")? When Sandra says she is looking for her domubiedri -- does she mean she wants to start her own party? Neither Kristovskis nor the (centrist?) Štokenbergs are close enough? I'm trying for the optimism you exhibit at times of late -- but I honestly don't understand, and have never understood, the relationship between the party structures in Rīga and in the municipalities. I mean -- I understand the pitfalls of being in the opposition in a region or city in this horribly centralized country -- but what is the actual relationship at a party level? One thing I am very weary and wary of is yet more knights (of whatever gender) on white horses.

Baltic said...

I guess that Kristovskis' Jaunā Tēvzeme:) would consolidate clean and dissatisfied members of the political class. The fact that there will be competition for ideas is good, because also governing coalition members would have to really legislate (next sociological ratings will be essential, and shall give us an answer, whether the trust lost in TP, LC/LPP, ZZS, TB would be recuperated, and more essential, would JL continue their ratings to slump)

The inner party structures are ossified and JL was offering an alternative, and you saw what happened:) If you ask me for causes for that - its the combination of the totalitarian legacy and education entrusting everything in patriarchal leaders. Th fact that 22 or about members had to leave the party, because they could not access the funds is SIMPLY SICK and by and large shows how ridicule and subservient is the latvian political class - no moral principles!!

There should be an aproar about the sickness and lack of transparency in the system, but in latvia [savējie savējam rokā nekodīs] collective rights and interests are still prevailing over the individual ones, unfortunately...

No white knight needed, but even in new political formations there is a need after charizmatic persons who ACTUALLY KNOW the nuts and bolts of the liberal and puralist democratic system, thus they could show an example also to the post-totalitarian members of the present political class:)