By Peter Turčík
Think globally, act locally, says the old environmental slogan. Experience of Slovak politics at the local and regional levels over several election cycles confirms that all central and lower party structures have absorbed this credo and ignore the "higher principles" of politics in Slovakia.
Some examples from this year's municipal election campaign: In Tornaľa [in south-east Slovakia], Ján Slota's far-right SNS party has agreed with Béla Bugár's SMK party Hungarian nationalists to support a joint candidate for mayor. On the other hand, two "Christian Democratic and standard European parties" (the SDKÚ and the KDH) in Nový Zámky have teamed up with the SNS, Smer and HZDS (long regarded as non-standard parties) against the SMK. The goulash of coalitions at the local level is richer than we can imagine, and contains conflicting political traditions and lobby interests.
In the shaker of local politics, every conceivable party cocktail in Slovakia can be created. This is a strong and long-term signal to politicians at the national level to get to work on a new Election Act and to listen to the vox populi, which says that people want a majority election system that would allow them to choose personalities from their surroundings to serve in parliament, and not figures selected by party leaderships.
4. Dec 2006 at 0:00