What would a presidential election in Slovakia look like if religion wasn’t involved? We will have to wait one more presidential term – at least – before we might see.
Experience to date shows that in Slovakia, which is supposed to be a secular republic, the (often only pretend) religious feelings and (again, mostly pro forma) adherence to the values that the Roman Catholic Church (or, occasionally, other Christian churches) holds sacred can be a decisive factor in elections.
Of course, electors do not vote solely for candidates who proclaim the same religious values as themselves, but that doesn’t stop many candidates from acting as if they do. This is why, five years ago, we witnessed Smer leader Robert Fico (then prime minister, but running for president) revealing to his putative followers that he had all along been a Catholic, properly confirmed. He even reminisced about his boyhood times in the church.