Monday, 14 July 2014

My thoughts on the recent Slovenian parliamentary election

Ladies and gentlemen, whilst the drama of the 2014 FIFA World Cup final (which Germany won, as I expected) was going on yesterday, the European nation of Slovenia had an early parliamentary election, which produced some interesting results.

Firstly, I am impressed with the United Left coalition of Slovenia, as I was worried that given polls from last month they would not secure enough votes to enter the Slovenian National Assembly, which has a 4% threshold for parties. As it turns out, the Slovenian electorate did make some left turns after all- United Left managed to win 6 seats out of 90 with 5.9% of the votes cast, giving the anti-capitalist left representation in Slovenia for the first time in decades. Notably, they also polled more votes than the Social Democrats of Slovenia, who like so many of their counterparts across the world (especially our own Labour Party back home) have just become soft neoliberals rather than actual social democrats. One downside is that the Slovenian Greens did not make a pact with them, which could have given them some representation (it works for the Portuguese Greens)-on their own, they only polled 0.5% of the votes cast in that election, well short of the 4% threshold. 

It is becoming clearer that Green Parties across Europe need to unite with left-wing/far-left anti-capitalist (and therefore genuinely socialist) parties to boost their chances of overthrowing the un-green, free market capitalist parties who dominate Europe-and they need to do it as soon as possible, especially with TTIP and worse besides looming across most European nations. 

As with the previous Slovene parliamentary election which took place in 2011, another party sprang from nowhere to win the largest number of seats in the assembly-the party in question being the Party of Miro Cerar, a centrist alliance rallying around Mr. Cerar's personal popularity. It won 34.6% of the votes there and 36 seats. Meanwhile, Positive Slovenia, which in 2011 won the most votes in Slovenia from a standing start, collapsed completely, falling from 28.2% and first place to a derisory 2.96% and ninth place, losing all their seats in the process. I do not believe that I have seen such a similar collapse anywhere in European elections of late-the fall of the Civic Democrats in the Czech Republic last year does not even come close. My belief is that their votes went to Miro Cerar's party and another splinter group, the alliance of Alenke Bratusek, which by itself won 4 seats with 4.34% of the vote, and thus I believe the dissolution of Positive Slovenia will come rather soon.

Despite the fact that this party's leader, Janez Jansa, had been jailed for two years for corruption whilst serving as Prime Minister of Slovenia, the centre-right Slovenian Democratic Party, SDS, only lost 5 seats, still leaving them with 21 and second place in the poll. Some of their votes may have gone to Slovenia's Christian Democrats, New Slovenia, who coincidentally won 5 seats. The Democratic Party of Pensioners of Slovenia also performed well, increasing their seats from 6 to 10 in the new assembly. 

Who knows what coalition will form in the Slovenian legislature this time around? I can at least in any event trust United Left to oppose the coalition, whichever form it takes, because as usual it will inevitably be pro-capitalist.

Disappointingly, the Verjanem list of Igor Soltes, despite winning enough votes to secure a seat in the European Parliament earlier this year, won no seats, and polled only 0.78% of the votes. The Pirate Party of Slovenia did not manage enough votes to enter the Slovenian assembly either-they only polled 1.34% of the vote, continuing the disappointment of the pirate politics movement which has been happening regularly over the last few years despite their expansion across much of the world. Finally, both Gregor Virant's Civic List and the Slovenian People's Party lost all of the seats they each won back in 2011, with their vote shares falling to 0.63% and an agonizingly close 3.98% (just 0.02% short of the 4% threshold!) respectively.

I hope this is a useful psephological analysis to all of you.





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