Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Kotleba and Trump may lead us back to being better citizens

There is no mystery to defeating populism, extremism and stupidity. Democratic systems have built in solutions to people like Kotleba and Trump — elections.

(Source: Sme - Ján Krošlák)

Last year after Marian Kotleba’s party received 8 percent in parliamentary elections I wrote an opinion piece arguing that along with shock and disappointment, we might find opportunity in the result. At the time, Kotleba gained support from 200,000 people, including an alarming 23 percent of first time voters. Young people comprised a good part of these new voters, but many others were people who generally choose not to vote — meaning they were people previously not paying attention to politics who had started to do so.

“[Kotleba] has now governed a region for three years,” I wrote. “Next year he is up for reelection. Voters in Banská Bystrica could go a long way to stopping his momentum. If he had a chance to govern and did a bad job, it is hard for him to argue that he has solutions for Slovakia’s ills.”

In fact, in losing last week’s regional elections in a landslide Kotleba showed he is even better at mobilising opposition than he is new voters. With the election turnout at 40 percent, it was nearly double the 24 percent when Kotleba was elected regional governor in 2013.

A similar pattern emerged in the United States this week, during several key state elections.

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

Annual
subscription

29 €
Buy
You save 17.80 € compared with monthly subsription
Quarterly
subscription
9.90 €
Buy
You save 1.80 € compared with monthly subsription
Monthly
subscription
0.98 €
Buy
Price is only for new subscribers for their first month. All other months are standard price of 3.90€

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

Topic: Election


Top stories

How did Communism happen in Czechoslovakia?

For the 40 years, Czechs and Slovaks would celebrate February 25 as Victorious February, even though the enthusiasm of most of those who supported Communists in 1948 would very quickly evaporate.

Prime Minister Klement Gottwald (right) swears an oath into the hands of President Edvard Benes on February 27, 1948 at the Prague Castle.

Cemetery with a remarkable creative concept Photo

The shapes of tombstones were prescribed until 1997

Vrakuňa Cemetery in Bratislava

Being young is harder than it used to be

The failure of older generations to sympathise with youth means politics are primarily a contest of who can hand out more gifts to old people.

Young Slovaks have problems finding proper jobs.

Historian: After 1948, Czechoslovakia was paralysed with fear

On February 25, Czechs and Slovaks mark 70 years since the rise of Communism in their common state. Historian Jan Pešek talks about the coup and its aftermath.

Demonstration in Prague, Wenceslas' Square, on February 28, 1948.