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The PSD motion—an attempt to reposition the party in the political arena?
Mihaela ENACHEIn spite of the parliamentary recess, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) announcement of a no-confidence motion against the Tăriceanu Cabinet set the Romanian political arena on fire.
The goal of this somewhat unexpected move was subject to speculations, as most of the political class expressed distrust as to the determination of PSD to actually go through with it, particularly given that the party is hardly prepared for a new electoral race.
In spite of the parliamentary recess, the Social Democratic Party (PSD) announcement of a no-confidence motion against the Tăriceanu Cabinet set the Romanian political arena on fire. The goal of this somewhat unexpected move was subject to speculations, as most of the political class expressed distrust as to the determination of PSD to actually go through with it, particularly given that the party is hardly prepared for a new electoral race.
Generally, a motion of censure may be triggered by larger-scale reasons, having to do with the instability of the political class, but in this specific case it is closely tied to the tensions within the main opposition party, PSD.
Political instability is a very general cause, in the sense that it represents the context which favours a number of destabilising moves. It is mostly generated by the Government lacking parliamentary support. This made the Government vulnerable and, implicitly, it strengthened the Opposition’s indirect role in the governance.
Recent developments in the political life led to a highly ambiguous configuration of the political arena. After the Democratic Party (PD) stepped out of the Government, the line between Power and Opposition became rather blurred, and relations between parties became erratic.
Ruling jointly with UDMR, the National Liberal Party (PNL) doesn’t have enough political strength and parliamentary support to cope with an increasingly robust and diverse opposition. The decision on the parliamentary cooperation with PSD was pragmatic, based on a number of common objectives, including the hostility for PD. Although never officially admitted, the cooperation between the two parties was a fact. The relationship between PNL and PSD gradually worsened after the Tăriceanu 2 Cabinet was formed. This happened primarily as the Liberals failed to appoint PSD members to local public administration structures, in exchange for the parliamentary support that this party was granting to PNL. PSD expected a number of benefits in exchange for the support given to the Liberals, such as allocation of funds to its elected representatives in the local administration.
On the other hand, PNL is the target of a large-scale negative campaign coming from PD, as regards its cooperation with PSD, and at the onset of a new parliamentary session the threat of legislative isolation is a rather bleak prospect.
PSD needs to clarify its political position
As I was saying, there is no doubt that the key reason for the PSD plan to table the motion of censure is closely tied to its internal situation. In other words, any move by PSD as regards its relation to Power may be seen as a response to changes in the power ratio within PSD. The main opposition party has so far failed to set up a team and to come up with a coherent plan for the next electoral competition. Internal reform pressures on the party over the past few years generated tensions and conflicts between groups which have different views on the process.
One may state that the main strategy of PSD since it lost Power in 2004 was to undermine the D.A. Alliance and to claim the unfeasibility of cooperation between PD and PNL. With or without the intervention of PSD, this divorce did take place, but the main opposition party had no clear strategy to define its position as to the split. As we have also seen at the referendum on Traian Băsescu’s impeachment, the main opposition party seems unable to outline a long-term strategy for itself, nor can it predict moves and reactions in the political arena. In fact, the clash between PSD groups is reinforced by the divergent views as regards the party’s strategy with respect to PNL and PD. Taking shape in PSD are at least two major trends—one supports the cooperation with PD, the other pushes for a dialogue with PNL. Those who favour the cooperation with PD hope for a future governmental cooperation, after the 2008 elections; the current dialogue and cooperation with PNL is aimed at short-term advantages and benefits. This conflict—deepened by the leadership crisis—expands as the forthcoming electoral year requires a consistent position of PSD in the political arena. The underlying cause of the tension within PSD is the lack of firm leadership and of a clearly defined relation as to Power. The indecision between various strategies and the absence of clear-cut coordinates in the relationship with power and opposition parties fuel the insecurity and frustration of both local branches and central structures of the party. Facing tremendous pressure coming from both PSD groups and local branches, Mircea Geoană resorted to makeshift solutions, but he doesn’t have a long-term strategy. PSD takes a highly ambiguous position—it cannot fulfil its mission as the main opposition party, but neither can it act as a party in a ruling partnership. We can safely state that decisions regarding the PSD relation to PNL or PD have been the result of the influence of one or the other of the groups in the party.
The decision to back the Tăriceanu 2 Cabinet was aimed at preventing early elections, but also at securing positions in the local and central administration. Since the impeachment referendum, Mircea Geoană’s position in PSD has gradually declined, and pressures by branch leaders have grown stronger. It is a proven fact that local relations are very diverse, depending on the relationships that local PSD branches have with either PD or PNL. A solution was found at the time: to support the Tăriceanu 2 Cabinet, in exchange for administration posts and for a number of budgetary allocations for certain counties. As these promises have not been kept, the internal tension deepened and the need for actions to clarify the position of PSD in the political arena has become critical.
As far as PSD is concerned, taking PD out of the ruling coalition was a strategically wrong decision. Not only did PD present itself as the victim of a PNL-PSD plot, but it also managed to publicise and vilify the de facto alliance of the two parties. Moreover, PD has tried, for the past few months, to compromise and downplay PSD’s status as the main opposition party and struggled to define itself to the public as a genuine opposition party. As such, PD skyrocketed in opinion polls. Even when in Power with PNL, PD had relatively satisfying scores, a direct consequence of President Traian Băsescu’s approval rates.
One may say that with its recent moves in the political arena, PSD has placed itself in a very ambiguous and inefficient position: it is both in the Opposition (but unable to derive benefits in polls) and in Power, through the inconspicuous cooperation with and support to PNL (but it fails to derive any benefits from it either). Consequently, we may infer that by tabling a no-confidence motion, PSD does mean to remove the Tăriceanu 2 Cabinet and is seeking to change its position in the political arena. As he announced the tabling of a motion of censure, Mircea Geoană meant to herald a change and to re-channel the attention of PSD groups from internal issues to the relations with the other parties. The main opposition party obviously needs a new move to clarify its position in the political arena. Should the motion pass and the Government be brought down, the new Cabinet may be headed by a PSD or a PD member. In both scenarios, the PSD position in the political arena will be clarified, one way or another: it will either be part of a ruling alliance, or it will be able to act as an opposition party. If PD took over the government leadership, it would take responsibility for the governance and implicitly it may be expected to fall in opinion polls. But without doubt, in any of the governmental formulas chosen after the removal of the Tăriceanu Cabinet, PSD would be able to reconsider its status in the political arena and do away with the current ambiguity of its position. Moreover, the consistency of its position—either Power, or Opposition—may ease out the internal discontent and turmoil generated by the lack of a firm position in the political arena. With PD taking leadership of a possible new government, PSD would have an opportunity to criticise a ruling Democratic Party in the next electoral campaign. Once in Power, PD would be forced out of a space which secured it media and electoral benefits, namely the Opposition.
Another element to be considered is that the motion criticises the activity of the right-wing government as a whole, i.e. of the Tăriceanu 1 Cabinet, hence the reserves PD has as to backing this motion. Under these circumstances, the motion stands slim chances to pass, and the significance of the PSD no-confidence motion is essentially symbolic. Specifically, on the one hand PSD means to prove to its electorate that it cooperates with neither PNL nor PD, and on the other hand it means to warn the Liberals that it is high time they kept their promises.
We may thus conclude that, regardless of its outcome, the no-confidence motion is aimed at clarifying the status of PSD in the political arena, as party leader Mircea Geoană seeks to enhance the credibility of his position, both within PSD and among the other political parties.
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Revolutia din decembrie 89: Pacatul originar, sacrificiul fondator este prima carte dintr-o serie de sapte volume dedicate ultimelor doua decenii din istoria României. Nu am pretentia ca sunt detinatorul unui adevar politic, juridic sau istoric incontestabil, si sunt gata sa discut si sa accept orice documente, fapte sau marturii care pot lumina mai bine sau chiar altfel realitatea. Educatia mea stiintifica si religioasa m-a ajutat sa cercetez faptele în mod obiectiv, eliberat de ura sau intoleranta. Recunosc însa o anume încrâncenare în ceea ce am scris venita din durerea unui om care a trait în miezul evenimentelor si se simte lovit de acceptarea cinica a crimelor, abuzurilor, coruptiei si minciunii, sau de indiferenta la fel de cinica cu care sunt înca privite de catre o mare parte a societatii românesti.... Am scris aceste carti de pe pozitia victimelor mintite sau speriate, care nu-si cunosc sau nu-si pot apara drepturile. Le-am scris de pe pozitia milioanelor de români cinstiti care cred în adevar, în dreptate si în demnitate. Emil Constantinescu (text preluat din Introducerea cartii).
MINTEA CEA SOCOTITOARE
de academician Mircea Malita, Editura Academiei Române, 2009 În volumul de eseuri Mintea cea socotitoare, aparut la Editura Academiei Române, acad. Mircea Malita formuleaza în crescendo o serie de întrebari grave ale timpului nostru: Daca omul este rational, de ce se fac atâtea greseli în economie
sau în politica?; Daca rationalitatea nu e de ajuns, care ar fi rolul întelepciunii?; Din viitorul imprevizibil putem smulge portiuni, daca nu certe, cel putin probabile?; Ce si cum învatam pregatindu-ne pentru viitorul nostru?; Este în stare omenirea sa îsi vindece crizele?; Ne asteapta oare un dezastru final? s.a. De-a lungul anilor, acad. Mircea Malita a staruit asupra acestor teme în lucrari recunoscute, însa acum o face raportându-se la dinamica realitatii imediate, inspirat de cuvintele lui Dimitrie Cantemir: socoteala mintii mele, lumina dinlauntrul capului. Eseurile sunt structurate pe patru parti - Mintea senina, Metaforele mintii, Mintea învolburata si Privind înainte. Finalul este de un optimism lucid care tine seama de potentialul de rationalitate si imaginatie al mintii umane si, fireste, de generatiile tinere care îl pot valoriza benefic.
Această carte de poezie este seismograful de mare sensibilitate care înregistrează cele două întâlniri ale sufletului, deopotrivă cu URÂTUL care ne schilodește ca ființă, ca neam, dar și cu FRUMUSEȚEA sufletească nepoluată ce stă ca o fântână cu apă curată pe un câmp plin cu peturi și gunoaie nedegradabile. Ce poate fi mai dureros decât să surprinzi această fibră distrusă de aluviunile istorice încărcate de lașități, inerții, apatii, compromisuri devenite congenitale ale românului? Vibrația versurilor, directețea lor, simplitatea dusă până în marginea cotidianului paradoxal n-au efect distructiv asupra tonusului moral al cititorului, ci produc neliniștea cea bună, cum ar spune Sfinții Părinți. Citești în revolta și durerea poetei un mănunchi admirabil de calități: o demnitate neînfrântă, o fiziologie a verticalității și, mai ales, o inimă creștină, o inimă din ceruri, cum ar spune poetul latin. Căci, în această inimă din ceruri, există lacrimi deopotrivă pentru românul umilit, distrus până și-n visele lui, dar și pentru copilul din Gaza, cu sufletul și trupul chircite sub șenilele tancurilor unui război ce tinde să devină mai lung decât viața lui, ale unui război-viață, lacrimi pentru copilul evreu ce nu a putut fi salvat de la deportarea bestială, lacrimi pentru Tibetul sfâșiat. Și toate acestea fără impostura unui ecumenism sentimental, ci izvorâte din acel suspin curat românesc ce face esența lacrimii creștine. (Dan Puric)
ISLAMUL SI SOARTA LUMII - Fundamentalismul islamic ca ideologie politica de Virginia Mircea "Islamul si soarta lumii - Fundamendamentalismul ca ideologie politca invita la o reflectie mai adanca asupra porceselor lumii contemporane. Judecata critica si independenta a autoarei a produs o lucrare de o veritabila investigatie stiintifica, exact la momentul in care tema tratata deseori fara solutii si perspective ocupa scena din fata a politicii si problemelor mondiale. Cititorii o pot aseza cu satisfactie in bliblioteca lor de referinta. Vor fi mult ajutati in intelegerea evenimentelor care ne sesizeaza in prezent si intr-un viitor in care tema nu se va desprinde de mersul lumii contemporane." (academician Mircea Malita)