Re: After the bubble bursts, Analysis, By Lukáš Fila, April 5 - 12, Vol 10, No 13
In a democracy, it is said, voters get the leaders they deserve. All those who chose to abstain from balloting deserve no better than having Mr Mečiar, or his erstwhile sidekick Mr Gašparovič, installed as president.
Hopefully, Slovaks will have learned the painful lesson that pre-election polls are not election results, and that confidence that a given candidate will win (or lose) is no excuse for not exercising a hard-won civic right.
The voters of the US were forced to accept a similar lesson in 2000, when the lack of a mere handful of voters prevented the nation's chosen candidate [Al Gore] from prevailing.
While it will be difficult even for Mečiar, assuming he is ultimately elected, to exceed outgoing President Schuster in obstinancy, incompetence, and politics of the ridiculous, Slovakia will be burdened by the recollection abroad of the county's former premier. Schuster, at least in the eyes of the world, was unknown and harmless.
There may be a bright side, however. Putting Mečiar in the palace will at least get him out of parliament. And hopefully next time Slovaks are asked to go to the polls they will remember the smug grin of the man who drove the country to ruin and isolation, and ended up yet again on top due to profound civic apathy.
Maybe next time Slovaks will vote, and prove that they do indeed deserve better.
Washington DC, USA
13. Apr 2004 at 0:00