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Reader feedback: The past is another country

Editorial, The SMK: A party apart? Volume 10, Number 43, November 8-14

I can't resist trying to answer the questions in the editorial.

You write that it is surprising that the KDH didn't support the SMK when the "Slovak coalition" came up. Have you forgotten the great Komárno statue scrap? The KDH (Christian Democratic Movement) tried to block the SMK (Hungarian Coalition Party) from the European People's Party for years just because Cyril and Method weren't commemorated on Komárno's main square.

The KDH actually gets a double whammy from the SMK. On the one hand, the SMK takes the votes of god-fearing country folk in the south that ought to belong to the KDH. On the other hand, the KDH has to fight the SNS (Slovak National Party) for the religious right vote in the north of Slovakia. Being soft on the Magyars does not go down well among us mountain folk. All in all they have very little incentive to come out for civil rights.

The editorial also asks why the Magyars are able to unite but not the Roma. The answer is probably something to do with the regional concentration of the Hungarians, while the Roma are spread all over the country. The funds, infrastructure etcetera that the Hungarians have been able to bring to southern Slovakia means that even people outside the Hungarian minority are thinking of voting for them, though the uneven implementation of education cuts might yet hound them from power.

So I have this recommendation for our new "Smer Social Democracy" party. Stop trying to take votes from the SNS. OK, maybe you'll get 6 percent (assuming they don't notice your support for gay rights) but you'll squeeze the other protest parties out of parliament and all their votes will get split between you and Dzurinda's block. Take up the theme of minority support and you can take 3 percent from the SMK. That is 3 percent out of the current coalition and the SNS will probably still get into parliament and take a greater percentage. So you not only increase the new party's chance of being recognised by other social democrats in Europe but you are more likely to be in the next coalition.

Please let go of the past. You know it makes sense.

Roger Heyes,

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