Numerele anterioare2, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 32, 34, 35, 36, 38, 39, 41, 42, 43, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71,
Who won and who lost?
Cristian BANUTo be able to answer these questions, we must first define the framework of reference within which we operate: the 2004 electoral results, or the expectations before the ballot. Things are simple only as far as the President goes. The referendum was a full-fledged failure, and was followed by one of Traian Băsescu’s most embarrassing public appearances. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Traian Băsescu stutter so much, circulate unverified information, leave sentences unfinished and laugh hysterically.
Calling for a referendum was a political mistake, since the Government had already en dorsed a uninominal vote bill and the dispute now focused on nuances too abstract to understand.
The President might have at least used another question, e.g. “Choose between my uninominal version and Tăriceanu’s,” in which case he would have had a clearly defined opponent and the Government would have been forced to participate. But he didn’t, and found himself all alone. Moreover, he blocked the Government’s bill and in the forthcoming elections he will be labelled as “the man who blocked the uninominal system” by the other parties — and they won’t be too wrong either. Even if he promulgates the current bill (which I doubt, as this would mean he admits he was wrong), the damage is already done.
His second mistake was that he continued to rely on demagogy. OK, so “the others” are evil, corrupt, incompetent. But where is the alternative? Sorin Frunzăverde? Marie-Jean Marinescu? Emil “Yes, Sir!” Boc? Adriean “The Kerb” Videanu? Elena Udrea? Elena Băsescu? Moreover, PD did absolutely nothing to stand apart in this campaign. They posed as the “prize winners’ class” and waited for their class master to do everything. Even worse, the President didn’t even come up with a bill to compete with the Government’s draft law. I think this is the first battle in which Traian Băsescu comes empty-handed before the electorate.
A third mistake was the deferral of the referendum date. Basically, everybody thought he only requested the referendum in order to campaign for PD without breaking the law (which is not true, but you can’t fight the public perception), given that he announced it after the Government had committed responsibility on the bill. The referendum thus became not a political move, but a fad, and the mobilisation could not be efficient since there was no imminent threat and the debate was too abstract anyway. It would have been a lot more reasonable for the President to coagulate a group around his version, to organise public debates on his group’s and the Government’s versions and only then to call for a referendum and ask people to choose between the two. The voting system is a delicate issue, which ought to be discussed by experts. The others will get tired of it anyway, since they can’t grasp the fine points. So once again the President acted demagogically.
The predictable — albeit unexpectedly severe — failure will deprive Traian Băsescu of yet another rhetorical tool, the “return to the people.” After the lost the “corruption” topic, after he lost the “political class reform,” he now loses the “people” as well. The hurdles he is facing are a lot more serious than meets the eye.
A look at the parties now. PD won, if we take 2004 as a reference term. It was officially confirmed as Romania’s leading political party. But it’s a pyrrhic victory. In terms of the expectations created by previous opinion polls, PD reached 75% of its target. However, if we add the unhoped-for PLD percentage, we get the expected score. Should PLD retain its aggressiveness, the PD share will further shrink, and I don’t think the Democrats will be happy about it. Basically, the same conflict that destroyed the D.A. Alliance will resurface in the presidential camp. PD pays the price of its lack of involvement in both the EP and the referendum campaigns. I find it hard to believe that PD deliberately stepped back to help PLD reach the electoral threshold. It doesn’t make sense.
Obviously, PLD had the advantage of a leader pushing party scores up (essentially their 8% are close to Stolojan’s maximum electoral potential, about 11% in 2000), unlike the Democrats’ dull list. PLD is thus confirmed as the surprise of this election, and in my opinion problems in the presidential camp will only deepen, as the two parties will be unable to win over any electorate other than Traian Băsescu’s supporters, and will therefore be forced to share a shrinking cake. On the whole, Traian Băsescu’s parties got less than poll-induced expectations and too little to secure access to Power.
This score sentences them to Opposition, given that in PSD the anti-presidential side seems more powerful and a PSD-PNL-UDMR alliance would total 42%. In the forthcoming elections, 20% of the votes will be re-distributed, and the trio may get a comfortable majority. Also, the growth potential is rather low. With every passing day Traian Băsescu loses mature and informed voters, who will most likely turn to PNL. In exchange, he may take over the anti-system electorate from Vadim, Becali and Gușă (about 10%). In fact, a solution would be to have the vote pool “segmented,” with PLD targeting the urban, informed, right-wing electorate and PD strengthening its anti-system, nationalist and “vigilante” rhetoric to make up for the 10%.
PSD also boasts a score above expectations, which will soothe the Năstase-Iliescu aggressiveness (already damaging to the party), but will hardly change anything. The party lacks coherent leadership (Mircea Geoană has criticised the referendum, although he campaigned for the presidential version, if only at a rhetorical level) and a clear position in any of the camps. If the swinging goes on, some of the voters may well migrate to PNL as the only certain anti-presidential alternative. As indicated by the mediocre post-election statements, party leaders don’t seem to be aware that PSD lost its status as the country’s largest party, which means measures adjusted to the new status will be hard to take.
While PNL got a lower score than in 2004, it only lost 3% of that electorate, quite a performance for the only party affected by electoral erosion and coming under attacks from all sides. Of course, as compared to pre-election polls, there is a 3% increase. At present PNL is in a relatively difficult situation. Bringing disposable people in the governmental team may be OK at a certain stage of the war (with PNL under cross-fire, appointing major personalities was hard to do—look at the low blows dealt at Dăianu in the campaign), but from now on it becomes risky. The problem for PNL is not Remeș’s black pudding, but the very fact that someone like Remeș is a Cabinet member.
PNL’s score, quite decent under the circumstances, may be a sound basis for further growth. But for this to happen, the necessary Government reshuffling should bring competent people into the Cabinet, at least in sensitive areas (Public Health, Education, Finances, Foreign Affairs). There are already two examples of positive replacements (Meleșcanu as MoD—utterly surprising, to my mind, I would have expected media to badger him every day—and Ludovic Orban in the Transport Ministry).
Many have equated PRM and PNG, which is a big mistake, as the electoral pools of the two parties have different profiles. With all his flaws, Vadim Tudor is educated, intelligent, and has first-rate writing skills. Although viewed by “refined intellectuals” as “garbage,” many of the “România Mare” features are well written. This is why Vadim Tudor has attracted the more educated voters, primarily including those who stood to lose (in social terms) from the Revolution: teachers, former Securitate members, military or militia staff, middle-ranking civil servants. Adding to these were former communist activists and those disappointed by the regime change, alongside individuals seduced by the nationalist-communist mythology and the conspiracy theory. This electorate will inevitable decrease through attrition. The Ardeal nationalist area will be appropriated by the Democratic Party, deeply rooted in Transilvania at present, very likely along with some of the PRM MPs.
Gigi Becali, on the other hand, is the political offshoot of the kitsch, low-class masses. Such voters are not reliable, and their social involvement is minimal. While many voiced support for Becali (“he rocks, dude!”), from here to bothering to go to a school to cast their votes there’s a long way. Becali himself is a much too shallow character to cope with the media coverage he has had ever since 2002-2003. With Traian Băsescu already tired, although he is slightly more solid than Becali, it was self-evident that the shepherd couldn’t have handled it forever. The 4% who bothered to vote for Becali’s party will most likely end up back in PSD, where they let from in the first place.
This election turned the electoral competition into a three-party battle (as PLD and PD share the same electorate). Still, there were close to 20% “dead” votes, which will not happen in the ensuing elections, when the share of wasted votes will be a lot smaller. The 2.6 % of PNȚCD and the 2.4 % of PC will very likely go to the Liberals, Vadim’s votes will go to PD, and Becali’s to PSD. In 2008 a competition is expected to begin between PSD and PNL over the headship of a possible ruling coalition, in which PNL, although having fewer votes than PSD at present, starts from pole-position.
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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)