Monday, February 11, 2008

Good bye ...

My plane to Istanbul is departing in six hours. Latvian weather is now very similar to the political landscape out there, it is murky. Dissintegration of the Fatherland Union (TB/LNNK) party takes place in earnest, and today 39 members of the party left the flock, for example. Different media channels were arguing whether TB/LNNK had actually 2000 or only 500 members. For the country with the 2,37 mlj population party membership ratio to the size of population is very poor. I do not have the comapartive data with me, but if I am not mistaken them Mr Daunis Auers from University of Latvia is expert on this particular issue, and would have to come back to the exact numbers soon.

Anyway, while TB/LNNK is in agony rest of the Latvian old guard political "establishment" stays calm. It feels as if it is "quiet before the storm", becuse rumours ar whirling all around about this and that, or former and present politician being caught or smeared, but nothing is official yet. Latvians are no different from other nations in Europe and they love gossip. The difference is, however, that other European citizens with their love for gossip at least try to preserve their liberal democratic regime. It feels as if Latvians do not really care about the future of their state, beause the principle - I hate politics because its dirty by definition and I dont care and dont understand it is thus overwhelming in average discussions in public transport or local municipality, that it is just becoming too much to bear after a while:)

Last Friday Riga New Theatre (Jaunais Rīgas Teātris) director Mr Alvis Hermanis had an excellent essay in KDiena. In his esseay he convincingly argued about the shallowness of the traditional culture dicourse in today's Latvia, and about the widspread myth on the exceptionalism of latvianness. Rather pointedly he brought out the verbatim quoting of some foreign visitor in Latvia who noticed already during the early 1990's, that, "Latvians have this exceptional ability to believe into two totally contradictory issues at the same time". It is 2008 - and how far the old guard Latvian political elite have led the common Latvian?

Commoners still very much belive here, that while entrusting the night watchman duty of the representative democracy to "right people (labieši)" once in four year political cycle everything will be solved in their Latvian motherland, BUT, of course WITHOUT their own involvement because politics is dirty by definition...

Latvians are behind their Baltic cousins in many ways, and symbolically also in celebrating their 90th Anniversary. Lietuva shall celebrate their 90th Independence Day in four days, and Eesti in less than two weeks, congratulations!!!!

Latvians must wave good byes to the political old guards first. While Latvian political culture witnesses transformation from Weberian traditional to rational - legal authority, I am sitting into the Airbaltic jet and flying down South to work on my dissertation research. Update of my blog would continue alas not at such a fast pace anymore. Blog entries would become more anlytical and would probably have also some flavour from the Sea of Marmaris.

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