Montag, 21. Mai 2012

Why people didn't vote for Tadic

1. It's fashionable
Criticizing the government is a favorite pastime, not just for intelligent people. The not-so-smart-ones by and large support the most fashionable option, and in this case it was Nikolic. We gotta hand it to his campaign advisers (some Israeli agency) for profiling him as the contender that's about to win.

2. "I don't want to vote for the lesser evil anymore" argument
Well, as far as stupid arguments go, this one is right up there with "things can't get any worse, so what the heck", and you already know how I feel about that. If you don't understand that politics is inherently evil (unless you live in a place like Norway), you don't have the faintest idea about what politics is like. These are not the people who want to get elected for your benefit - it's theirs that they worry about! The choice you have is to steer it slightly to a direction that you feel is right by choosing one of the candidates. You only have one vote, use it!

3. They bought into the "white ballot" spin
Well, whoever thought of this (probably the Israelis), knew exactly who they're gonna hurt. An act of citizen's revolt is typical of democrats not of nationalists. Hence, this hurt Tadic significantly more than it did Nikolic. In the first round there was over 4% of invalid ballots, most of them with doodles, and in the second round, as I mentioned in another post, there was 39,000, and Tadic lost by 33,000 votes. (

4. Poverty and corruption
It's not a secret that things are bad. It's just that people act like they aren't. But, people are getting more aware that they can demand changes, so they finally did something about it. People wanted change and didn't care about the other option. Naturally, since the only other viable choice was Nikolic, he was the collateral winner. It's hard to believe anybody in their right mind would think Nikolic can do more to fight poverty and corruption than Tadic. They both suck at it, by the way.

5. Rise of the Pirates
They didn't enter these elections, but there's clearly something on the horizon resembling a Pirate Party in Serbia. They were rather active in promoting the white ballot scheme. Honestly, depending on the people that run it, I'd also be inclined to vote for them. Only because I think it's a movement beneficial for the society (again, depending on the actual program they adopt in Serbia), and that all the traditional parties are part of a political system that needs to be changed.

6. Because Kostunica told them not to
I saw this in the news, and thought "wow, some people really work hard to resurrect the old bat". Kostunica, for those who don't know, is the guy who was our PM until 2007, and now he's openly against EU. The only one that's crossed the threshold of 5% that openly says so (I'm hinting that we don't really know anything about Nikolic's policies, but have reasons to doubt his dedication to the EU values). This reason is as bogus as they come, but because the turnout was so low, even his support mattered.

7. Some people just hate everything he stands for
There are many impoverished people in Serbia, some of whom might be called transition losers, who have personally suffered from the transition towards market economy and EU, and to them Tadic is the devil. It's not about Nikolic's program being sounder than Tadic's, it's about making Tadic pay for what happened to them. Of course, the whole privatization process in Serbia was extremely corrupt, so their grudge is fine. What's not fine is the fact that Nikolic isn't any better.

8. The intellectuals didn't vote (because they had better things to do)
Finally, I hear a lot of accusations against the intellectuals, and the elites in general for not taking a more active role in the election. I'm not the bandwagoning type, but if there's something I agree with it is that the civil society and the intellectuals are not doing their job. We now have a person who didn't finish a University as our president (I can't really say he "finished" a University, can I?). What did the intellectuals do when debating this issue? They said "it doesn't really matter if the president has a degree or not". Well, if there ever was a wrong time to be politically correct, this was it. Most of all because his degree is fake, but also because majority of people in Serbia already have poor education, and now the message they get is that they don't need education, because apparently, even without it one can become a president. Then, there's also the fact that Nikolic won't resign, even if he's faced with proof of his wrongdoing in regards to obtaining the degree. No way Jose, after all this trouble to get there! Resign?! Never! But then this starts a downward spiral - he won't take responsibility for his previous actions, nor will he in the future. The next step is accusing others for your own mistakes. I dread thinking where it goes from there.

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