Extremists and the others

THE MEAL that the angry voters served Slovakia for its Sunday breakfast is unappealingly brown and the country will have a lot of trouble swallowing it.

(Source: TASR)

Smer’s hateful campaign that made use of people’s fears of otherness and suspicions towards refugees has backfired in the worst possible way. The Slovak parliament will now include extremists, anti-system forces, while so-called standard parties -- including the ruling Smer -- were left staring at the results with their mouth agape.

The considerations whether or not it will be possible for opposition parties to form a government without the ruling Smer quickly turned into calculations whether or not there is a chance for a fairly stable government that would keep the extremist MPs on the margins.

Calling Kotleba’s supporters ignorant or blaming it on inexperienced first-time voters is however an easy way out for the parties that like to call themselves ‘standard’ and put themselves above extremists. They need to realise that they too hold their part of responsibility for the fact that Slovakia will have to eat its Sunday breakfast toast with a fascist brown spread on it – not chocolate or hazelnuts.

True, Smer did create an atmosphere “of fear and anger and then was unable to channel it”, as political analyst Pavol Hardoš said on the election night when the first exit poll results hit the screens. But the opposition parties, with very few exceptions, were no better. Radoslav Procházka looked at his party’s results with disappointment and said that they did not sufficiently define themselves against Smer. Indeed. Few politicians were ready to counter Smer's harsh anti-refugee campaign for fear of alienating voters.

And now it’s not just them, but the entire country that has lost. 

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