The parade of mannequin politicians and quazi-leaders that is the Serbian parliamentary election campaign will, as the leisurely press conference featuring President Tadić announced on Wednesday, culminate into the presidential one, coming to the theater near us in the next few days. I haven’t commented on the campaign mumbo-jumbo yet. What is there to say, anyway? Economist Nebojša Katić said it best when he warned that Serbia’s economic dire straits and its IMF bondage may produce an electoral outcome in which, in fact, losers can turn out to be winners. Katić claims that whoever wins will end up in an unenviable, and ultimately untenable, position of having to enslave Serbia to IMF even deeper. Even if not one serious contender talks about this issue openly and honestly, I am glad Katić pointed toward the true winner, well ahead of the poll, well ahead of the count, rendering both effectively meaningless.
On the other hand, Serbia is not isolated in this ominous economic predicament – practically half the world have fallen victim to the IMF global domination schemes we are forced to call “free trade.” Nor does the Serbian campaigning style of parroting surreal and deeply condescending pitches make its political scene weird in comparison to other “democracies.” Barrack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy insist they were successful in their presidential terms, too, and that they must continue steady on their course. I guess the Americans and the French still live well enough not to bother to check their respective presidents’ exclamations for accuracy. Obama and Sarkozy can afford to sound nonsensical to those who listen, since their main opponents are ideologically empty suits as well, and the race to the bottom continues: people that decide to get out and vote if the weather is nice will try and elect the lesser evil. However, Boris Tadić, a standup comedian of a recent renown, had to add a twist to the otherwise boring and half-hearted spitting contest. Indeed, it has been a meek competition in seismic positional shifts, cheap bartering and brazen declarations of utter falsehoods.
Before the twist, it was typical Serbia. The ruling party that criticizes corruption and failures of the past years as if someone other than itself was at fault. The key coalition partner of socialist-nationalist-opportunist fame prone to interchangeable outbursts of militant rhetoric against foreign security threats and military actions against own people. The marginal, yet ambitious and openly anti-Serb one-man party of irresistibly incoherent declamations on issues unrelated to Serbian realities. On the other side of the blurred center line, there is an agreed upon clear-cut favorite, the opposition party that have never run in an election before and whose position on every issue is ambiguous and often only slightly differing for its ruling nemesis. Then, the twist.
Patiently waiting for the last moment, President Tadić, in a hilarious move that didn’t even faze the ever-enduring people of Serbia, maneuvered into resigning from his post, or, as he called it, “shortened the term.” He played this, apparently constitutional, “game of thrones,” so he could call the presidential election alongside the parliamentary election, and run in it. A twist, indeed. Why didn’t Obama think of this while he was ahead in polls? Oh, yes, the U.S. Constitution does not provide for the ridiculous option of resigning as a head of state as a method of electoral maneuvering. Once you resign, you are out. The question is: why did Tadić do it? Some analysts think he is sure of his party’s victory – and his own, subsequently - after the initial public polling and he wants to secure another four-year term while he’s ahead. Others, like Željko Cvijanović of Novi Standard, think that, on the contrary, Tadić is concerned after the initial polling and aims to give his party a boost.
The twist does add to the dynamics, but it also adds to the sad state of the Serbian political reality. Maneuvering is the word of the day and it has no boundaries. All the public polling is rigged and the results swing back and forth so much that the pie charts resemble political cartoons rather than real statistical public opinion indicators. Political programs, let alone ideologies, are inconsequential for the most part. Not that Obama and Romney, or whoever ends up running on the Republican ticket, have serious programs or subscribe to principled governing outside the will of the country’s elites. Francois Hollande, Sarkozy’s main opponent, is a lifelong party apparatchik with no particular political views outside his party line.
France and the Unites States do not, however, face dismemberment; they do not face a proclamation of their own partitioning from within; they do not face choices that practically endanger their bare existence as independent nations; Serbia does. And the Serbian president is playing a game, after recognizing Serbia’s partitioning and while actively preparing for another one. Maybe Marseille is a segregated crime cartel, but Kosovo is a criminal state in which organ traffickers hold Serbs prisoners with the help of the Serbian president. Maybe a half of Southern California’s population is foreign-born, but it is not actively planning secession like Vojvodina or the so-called Sandžak. Serbia is facing the loss of territory and the loss of independence. Real debates about the real issues are held outside of the mainstream, outside of the decision-making process. Boris Tadić has become a spokesman for the Italian Fiat instead of being a spokesman for Serbia. With the exception of Vojislav Koštunica’s DSS, the newcomer Dveri, and the Radicals, occasionally, no one discusses real problems facing Serbia. No one posits their politics against the real issues. Serbian partisan politicians are in a permanent search for a job, for the highest bidder. Their statement must always be measured in honesty, vague in accuracy, overly optimistic and plausible to the audiences. But hard choices take strong leaders to make them and the Serbian people are faced with a serious lack of options and a serious deficiency in the ability to recognize such leaders.
Comedic talents and gamesmanship aside, Boris Tadić is not a true, genuine leader that can facilitate the democratic process in the direction Serbia needs to be led in. He has only proven to be a mannequin, a model for a conformist politician, conformist to anti-Serb interests, that is. He and his cohorts have buried Serbia under the rubble of failed economic policies, public indebtedness, dependency on foreign interests detrimental to the well-being of the Serbian nation, corruption on all levels, blatant mismanagement and general ineptitude in public administration. It’s not even only Tadić; the entire political structure run by the Democratic Party and its allies has been nothing but a conglomerate of corrupt and undemocratic globalist apparatchiks, making counterproductive and counterintuitive decisions and serving interests that openly run their anti-Serb agenda through a web of NGOs and civic groups. The seemingly founded accusations of rigged public bids are rampant, including major projects, but the lack of transparency, the limited freedom of information and the investigative mechanism controlled by the regime discourage or suppress the rare whistleblowers, like in the recent case of firing of anti-corruption inspector-turned-whistleblower Ljubiša Milanović. All in all, Boris Tadić sits atop a rotten pyramid.
The change is overdue. Serbia deserves a new leadership, patriotic for a change and democratic in fact, not in the name only. Let us hope the twist of Boris the Comedian will be the last humiliation of Serbia he orchestrated and that it will twist his way out of power.