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,
Romania’s Royal House now gambling its historical role
Cristian BANUOne of the hardest “what if’s” in our recent history is “What if King Michael had been younger, or at least had a male heir?” Monarchy restoration chances are next to null, and they wouldn’t have been influenced significantly, regardless of how charismatic the King and his prospective heir had been. In this respect, I think a more adequate question is, “Is the Royal House permitted to get involved in politics?”
When reading the comments — some of them critical, some others violent altogether — one is tempted to think the answer is “No,” the King should have stayed in history books and mind his estate and old age. I find it odd that H.M. King Michael is subject to the same “interpretation pattern” as Marian Vanghelie or Traian Băsescu is. “He’s after something”. “He has a hidden agenda”. “He’s X’s man.” The very man, who has so far only proven elegance, uprightness, and a … royal distance from the pettiness of Romanian politics, is denied, out of hand, the right to be truly concerned with the degradation and destitution of His people. Ironically, this comes from self-professed monarchists. Prince Radu Duda’s candidacy is, I believe, not “against” someone, but rather targets the neutral electorate, those people who have no one left to vote for. At present, only the hardliners of political parties are active, totalling some 30% at the electorate at most. The open support expressed by H.M. King Michael rules out any covert political arrangement.
Another interesting fact revealed by opinion polls is the relatively close score for the runoff of the two candidates taken into account so far. When Traian Băsescu set out in the 2004 campaign, the difference from Adrian Năstase’s score was a lot larger. Although the wear-out rate is slower at present, some people are fed up with the incumbent president. And this is deepened by his excessive media coverage, which facilitates a change -particularly since the performance of his government is pathetic and will further deepen his downward trend. Indeed, the president still stands at around 40% in approval rates, but this is a percentage out of a rather slim part of the electorate still interested in politics (30%, perhaps 40% at most). This leaves an independent candidate with a huge potential electoral pool to tap into.
There’s no telling how much of this H.R.H. Prince Radu will manage to win over, but he does stand sound chances, both in the rural and in the urban environment, and more importantly, in Traian Băsescu’s own electoral pool. According to some polls, 16% of the people favours monarchy, therefore this is a prospective electoral hardline group for H.R.H. Prince Radu, which is by no means significant. In a possible runoff with Traian Băsescu, he would take over more of the Liberal electorate than Mircea Geoană would. The latter, just like Crin Antonescu, has a major downside: a limited electoral pool. Their chances to attract the undecided and uninvolved are very slim, which is why I believe H.R.H. Prince Radu stands better chances to make it into the “final” against Traian Băsescu (should he run) or against Mircea Geoană.
Looking back, I think His Majesty’s move has been planned. H.R.H. Prince Radu has long been trained for something like this. His not being entirely “noble” (though I don’t think this was a deliberate choice) makes the idea of his running for president less inappropriate. It may be too soon – hence the large number of negative reactions – but the Royal House of Romania is running out of time. With a return to monarchy out of the question, there is one way for it to get involved in the domestic politics. Building a political party is a complex endeavour, and a lot more inappropriate for a royal house. On the other hand, a head of state is closer to the role traditionally played by a monarch. There already is the Bulgarian precedent of a King democratically elected (I know, the context is different, but it is still a precedent).
I have no doubt that H.M. King Michael feels guilty for choosing the exile instead of the martyrdom in 1947, and pushing Prince Radu to the forefront is a form of trying to pay his debt to the nation that he abandoned. The Royal House of Romania is now gambling its historical destiny, which it entrusts to Prince Radu. It may end ridiculously, or it may once again become Romania’s civilising agency, as it was under Carol I. It is a move of the utmost courage, which well deserves our respect.
I believe H.R.H. Prince Radu truly stands a chance; he is by far the best candidate, particularly if the role of the presidential institution is well understood from now on. By separating the presidential from the parliamentary elections, the President’s role in domestic politics is significantly reduced (anyway, Traian Băsescu went a long was to proving that not even a player-president can truly exert power). This enables the presidential institution to concentrate efforts on representing Romania abroad, given that since Emil Constantinescu’s presidency our country has played no part in international politics.
The meeting in France is in no way different from the ice-cream offered to Adrian Năstase by Berlusconi or his being received in the Oval Office. The French want to sell us a nuclear power plant, and Traian Băsescu willingly joins the list of Sarko’s eccentricities, next to Ghaddafi. Five years ago he was thundering against the “payout” given to the French; today, he offers to pay them himself, only to rescue a piece of a disastrous foreign image, particularly since French presidents have some experience in washing political corpses (as did de Gaulle for Ceaușescu, or Mitterand for Iliescu).
Surprising as it may seem, H.R.H. Prince Radu’s candidacy helps the Democratic Party, which has got cold feet at the idea that “big daddy” is no longer running. Should Mircea Geoană or Crin Antonescu win the election, this may bring about a shift in the parliamentary majority in favour of PSD-PNL. Should H.R.H. Prince Radu win, any attempt by PSD to change the status-quo becomes risky. Traian Băsescu’s and his party’s only problem is, in this case, the exit strategy. While Traian Băsescu has already announced several times that he might not run again, PD suffers from the lack of a candidate able to at least go through the motions of competition. This, and the fact that it has not yet identified a PD candidate, explain why a decision on Traian Băsescu’s candidacy is yet to be made. If Traian Băsescu really wants to take part in the race, I see no reason why he should defer making this announcement — the surprise would be for him not to run, and if he does the suspense won’t help him. On the contrary, it would enable some of his supporters to look for a new candidate.
Although his candidacy benefits the Democratic Party and Traian Băsescu, I don’t think H.R.H. Prince Radu is part of a scenario, but rather he was the right man at the right time. Without him, another independent candidate will have certainly emerged (most likely Mugur Isărescu) who would have certainly been the Democrats’ man. I don’t see the Royal House of Romania as part of a scenario that includes Traian Băsescu as well. In this respect, a possible scenario – one that has been largely discussed lately – points to an agreement between Mircea Geoană and Traian Băsescu on the president-prime minister positions. A form of non-combat is also Crin Antonescu’s nomination by PNL. Antonescu is a “weak” candidate, whose 20 years in politics stands out in the number of missed Parliament meetings and in a rather unconvincing performance. In fact, the Liberal Party as a whole seems flooded in hopeless mediocrity. While in the opposition and benefiting from the huge blunders of the ruling coalition, PNL would have been to get fresh impetus and to outperform its parliamentary election score. But polls indicate that, on the contrary, the party is going down, to some 13%, an under-achievement that marks the failure of the party’s new leadership.
We are yet to see whether Mircea Geoană’s candidacy is “for real.” In principle, Mircea Geoană would make an honourable president, but he is far from having persuaded the public that he stands on his own feet. And, between a president “guaranteed” by Marian Vanghelie and one backed by H.M. King Michael, I believe there can be no hesitation …
H.R.H. Prince Radu is the only one who can stand up to Traian Băsescu in the final debates in the runoff, and he may win precisely thanks to the distance in culture and civilisation between the two. (When I think about a possible Geoană-Băsescu or Antonescu-Băsescu debate, I can’t stop laughing.) The moral marsh in which the Romanian political class seems to be swimming paves the way for something else. The increasingly violent response to mass media frauds, the ever pettier media coverage, the compromise of certain intellectuals or the performance of politicians suggest that everything is ready for something else. The current political class has proved its incompetence for 20 years. There can be no hope for better within it. Long enough they have proved that they don’t know, they don’t have solutions and skills. Naturally, H.R.H. Prince Radu is not the salvation, the hope – these are in ourselves. But he may be a beginning.
By Cristian BANU
Publicat în : English de la numărul 67
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)