Sunday, July 06, 2008

People's Party and pragmatism in Latvian politics

Latvian sociologist Aigars Freimanis, about People's Party (the largest party in the current coalition) and its future:
Velkot paralēles ar "Latvijas ceļu", daudzi saka, ka TP tieši tāpat ir nogājusi sev nolemto varas ciklu. Man šķiet, ka TP tomēr ir zināmā mērā īpaša. Cilvēki, kuri tajā apvienojušies vai balso par TP, ir saistīti pragmatiskām saitēm. Tās ir daudz stiprākas nekā ideoloģiskās. Lūk, šis faktors rada to īpašo situāciju, kad cilvēki nospļaujas, lamā no panckām ārā, bet tik un tā atkal iet un nobalso par... Tautas partiju. Vienīgais risks, ja kāds uz vēlēšanām uztaisa līdzīgu veidojumu, kas no jauna spētu ieintriģēt pragmatiķus.
A loose English translation:
Many say that the time for People's Party is up. But I think they are somewhat special. People who vote for People's Party do it because of a stronger-than-ideology pragmatism. They swear about it but then they again go and vote for... People's Party. Their only risk is if someone else creates a similar organization, capable of captivating pragmatically minded voters.
I am one of those pragmatically minded voters myself and I've had difficult time deciding for whom I should vote next. To put it very softly, the list of flaws for People's Party (or anyone else in the coalition) is getting longer and longer...

But then when I look at the alternatives... The main idea of a large part of opposition these days is that if we somehow got rid of Skele, Lembergs and Slesers, Latvia would turn into a paradise on earth. New Era Party looks clueless about how they would govern, except for prosecuting oligarhs. Stokenbergs "Society for Different Politics" is turning into the Society of Promising Everything to Everyone.

Only Kalniete's Civic Union looks a bit hopeful. And there's two years and three months until the next election...


hk said...

keep reading about economic situation getting worse, do you see this reflected in peoples everyday lives?

Latvian abroad said...

Somewhat. People who used to shop in higher-end grocery stores are now increasingly often going to middle-range ones. People who used to shop in lower-end ones are skipping some purchases.

There's a new cheaper bistro that opened a few blocks from my work. In a few weeks, they've developed lines throughout the day.

Several friends working in construction material stores say their business has nearly stopped.

There's not much unemployment nor bankcrupcies, though. The few high-profile layoff announcements that I mentioned a couple of months ago on this blog (Rebir, Lauma) are still about the only one and have not developed into a trend.

hk said...

thanks, for the comments. Analysts at goldman seem to be proponents of the gloom and doom scenario, it's difficult to dissern what's driving it

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