Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

SLOVAK WORD OF THE WEEK

Revolúcia

IF THERE was ever a terrible time to be starting a revolution in Slovakia, it’s now. Have you noticed the freezing cold? But if tens of thousands take to the streets despite the weather and the omnipresent lethargy, you know something is happening.

IF THERE was ever a terrible time to be starting a revolution in Slovakia, it’s now. Have you noticed the freezing cold? But if tens of thousands take to the streets despite the weather and the omnipresent lethargy, you know something is happening.


There is even talk of another November Revolution.


However, there are several important differences, even if you don’t count the fact that Novembers tend to be much warmer than Februaries. First, in 1989 it was easier to identify the enemy. The communist regime was a fact. And it was felt in every conceivable aspect of life.

Today, the main opponent seems to be political corruption as described in the Gorilla file. The problem is that no one can be sure just how much of that document is accurate. And even assuming it is true in its entirety, no one can be sure just how much of the 2005 reality survived until 2012. And even if it did – who exactly is to blame?

Which brings us to another key question: what should the street demand? If you live under an oppressive regime, it is usual to ask for its demolition and free elections. But what do you demand in a democracy? This is why protest organisers are struggling to come up with a set of clear aims.

They ask for a thorough investigation of Gorilla. But that can really be done only by an independent judiciary. They ask for a change in the political system. But democracy already has standard mechanisms to make that change happen, if the majority so desires – referenda, elections, petitions, all of which are in place.

The problem is that not enough people seem to care. Asking for reform of the financing of political parties, or the appointment of the elected general prosecutor are meaningful requests. But they can hardly electrify a crowd.

More pressure on politicians, more interest in public affairs, more talk about ethics in politics and business, these could all become positive results of the current protests. But the last thing Slovakia needs is a revolution.

Top stories

Mendoza: A news story can change the world

Every journalist has the responsibility to take a story beyond their daily beat, says Martha Mendoza, one of the team of four women who won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for their “Seafood from Slaves”…

Martha Mendoza

Czech television recommends Islam is a hoax

Here is the overview of the hoaxes and fake news that appeared on the internet over the past week.

Former MP František Gaulieder killed by train

Former MP František Gaulieder, who once was illegally excluded from parliament by HZDS and its chairman, was killed by a train near the village of Trnovec nad Váhom (in Nitra Region) in the early hours of March 25.

František Gaulieder back in 1996 hwen he was excluded from parliament.

Slovakia beats Malta in World Cup qualification Video

The Slovak team beat Malta on March 26 evening at the Maltese stadium in Ta’Qali in their third consecutive winning qualification match.

Slovak rejoice after scoring a goal in Malta, March 25.