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Ceturtdiena 18.01.2018 | Name days: Antis, Antons

Your say: «Democracy? Thumbs down!»

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Author: Janis Ezitis

Our power owners have mastered the art of presenting black as white to such an extent that now people unknowingly accept open lies as solid truth. For example, Saeima’s decision to give up the modern practice of electing a number of State officials through the method of anonymous vote is presented as the great achievement of democracy.

From now on members of the Saeima Presidium, ombudsman, State office, Constitution Protection bureau, judges, General Prosecutor, the head of the Corruption Combat and Prevention bureau, the head of the Central Election Commission and a number of other officials will be chosen through an open election. Democracy is nowhere near here. It is completely the opposite – we are returning to totalitarianism.

As an example, now right after the election, the General Prosecutor will have access to the information of who voted against him. But in all fairness it is likely that no such people will remain in the Saeima. Who would want a dusty folder to be taken from the shelves and for someone to base another scandalous case on it?

You would say that an honest man has nothing to fear. Naive words! The principle of – all we need is a person, we will find an appropriate article for him, is still popular in our post-soviet era. My old acquaintance, let’s call him Martins, once wrote a complaint on the chief of police of his area to the higher authorities. A libel case was initiated against him for his evil slander. And of course the case was entirely fabricated and my acquaintance managed to avoid trouble, almost…

During the investigation the Court scheduled a psychiatric evaluation for him, and the poor guy spent Christmas and New Year in a “healthcare” institution on Sarkandaugava, located between Tvaiku and Aptiekas streets. After his return from his health checks in this psychiatric Centre, Martins became morally and physically twitchy, and stopped writing complaints. I would just like to note that, if you really want, the reputation of any disloyal deputy can be undermined – it is quite simple to do.

The cancellation of the anonymous vote is frequently backed up with the combating corruption argument. Bold lies yet again. Now «money bags» will have an easier and cheaper and more efficient way of forwarding their candidates to important posts. It is now unnecessary to buy the majority of deputies, instead it is enough to “come to an agreement” with the head of the faction. Back in the days deputies could counter the corrupt party administration. Also the most cunning public servants got used to accepting money, and voting as they pleased during anonymous voting.

Anonymous voting gave the deputies the opportunity to vote according to their conscience. Although it is no secret that some of the deputies’ conscience came from the depths of their wallets. But I give my preference to the opinions of 100 deputies, than to party political leaders, who occasionally are not even present at the voting on Jekaba Street, but still manage to influence the vote of their faction.

Some people are probably naïve enough to believe that oligarchs no longer have power. Well, yes, Skele and Slesers have been banished from the Saeima, because people do not like scrooges. However, Aivars Lembergs still stands firmly on his feet.

It is funny though that, the dogs are sent to pick on those who are constantly in the view. Right now the rich men who mix this rubbish have received a lot more power, but they do not enter the fray themselves. They mostly act as sponsors for the ruling parties.

But with the coming of Zatlers into the politics, democracy is more active. It is obvious that with the appearance of money bags, less important «little bags» and «rag bags» can also voice their opinions. «Take a good look at what’s going on in the government! Advisors and their wives, lovers and bodyguards form the government. When did something like this occur before? At least back in the day the oligarchs came up with the rules, but this is a whole new level – they operated with scale, looked farther. But these grew, looked at what the oligarchs were doing, and wanted to do the same», – Latvian businessman of Chechen background Bislan Abdulmuslimov shares his opinion.

He is seconded by Janis Jurkalns: «Different «show offs» – are ruling. And this showing off has no difference between an important post, gifted to the son of a personal driver, and a minister’s post, gifted to some Spruds.»

The attitude towards the authors of these words can be different, but knowing how close they are to the political kitchen it is hard not to trust their words, which are circulating in the internet. Yes, it is unfortunate to know that from now on, the public candidate with push the button which was whispered into the ear of the political Fuhrer by some show off.

The mechanism of an open vote would have worked during the election of high ranking public servants, if only at least half of Saeima was elected not according to party lists, but as individuals, individual deputy candidates. This can be done by introducing 50 Saeima posts as part of a proportional system, or by creating singe-mandate constituencies. This way the electorate would be able to torture the deputy with questions like: «Why the hell did you vote (or did not vote) for Maizitis?»

This kind of parliamentary election system exists in Lithuania and Estonia. Latvian political elite constantly receives recommendations from representatives of the European Union to perform a reform of the election system. And as odd as this may seem Europeans express far more care about the wellbeing of simple citizens, than the local bailiffs do. This was especially clear during the budget discussions, when our politicians rigorously denied the propositions of EU representatives to introduce a progressive tax and decrease the reductions of the social sphere, thereby increasing the load on the rich part of the society.

It is clear that the existing political elite will resist the changes to the election system down to their last breaths, because that would allow people who are independent of them to legally enter the Saeima. This would mean the fall of the parties which are distant from the populace. Because as long as the voting in Saeima is dependent on the position of the thumb of a raised hand, the decision about open election of high ranking officials is nothing but a mockery of democracy. After tasting power, party bonzes now want to drop the closed procedure of the election of the President of Latvia and that of the Judge of the Constitutional Court. Goodbye democracy! All hail party dictatorship!


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