Monday, July 21, 2008

Upgraded August 2 referendum scenarios (updated)

After "Latvijas Fakti" polling data was published last Saturday I went through the figures, and here is the table and upgraded "three scenarios".
Due to the fact that the referendum takes place in the middle of summer it is hard to predict that the very high participation rate (over 70%) during constitutional referendums would be emulated. The Eurobarometer and other polls show dissatisfaction among broad swathes of society, however Latvians are still rather optimistic about their long term future. It is almost impossible to guess, whether the optimism about the long term future is based on ignorance, or assumptions that after "possibly successful referendum" business in Latvia will start going uphill? My realist scenario is based in weighing participation rates during parliamentary elections and last referendum in July 2007. Therefore, the voters turnout would be very much determined by the successful AYE campaign, and thus the final number of AYE voters might shoot either over the 713 300 mark, or stop just below the 700 000 mark.

Photo: Delfi

It is Monday evening and another Latvian politician said something that makes me shout out loud again - douze points! In his interview the Speaker of the Parliament and member of Aivars Lembergs pocket party "Latvijai & Ventspilij" (L&V) reiterated, that although electors should have the right to participate in the referendum, the ominous amendments 78 and 79. of the constitution lack substance, because they give an unqualified number of people rights to dissolve the parliament. Mr Gundars Daudze underlined: "that if parliament can be dissolved by 1/4 of electorate while ignoring the 3/4 majority, then it is very undemocratic, because the majority must concede to minority, thus those amendments are not good for the interests of the Latvian state".
First, it seems that the speaker of the parliament has not really read those amendments. Second, the speaker has no clue what constitutes relations between parliamentary majority and minority. Thirdly, Mr Daudze seems to forget that he got into the parliament only with meagre 1102 personal votes (2284 (+) -1182 (-)), and if not the L&V electoral union with Greens and Farmers, former anesthesiologist would not even be close to represent anyone. And finally, I hope, that Mr Daudze does not really think like someone who said "l'etat c'est moi".


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