The Slovenia Times

Referendum Roulette: Still Spinning?



1st fact: Important win for PM Janez Janša and the Conservative pole

The result of the family referendum is definitely a big win for Prime Minister, Janez Janša. If we ignore the fact that, at this moment, it is obviously easier to mobilise the conservative part of the population, we can conclude that Janša has somehow gained the general political credibility that he was lacking after he took over the government despite not winning the last election. The Prime Minister will definitely try to capitalise on this result. Inside the coalition he will have a good excuse to exert further pressure and control over the unpredictable Lista Virant which, as a liberal party contrary to the largest government party, SDS, strongly supported the new Family Law. He can also take an even tighter grip on the ongoing instability in the Pensioners Party, DeSUS.

2nd fact: suprising passivity and ignorance on the Left and in the Centre

We cannot ignore the fact that 70 percent of voters did not show up for the referendum. Excuses about the weather being "too good" and current political confusion on the left, are just not sufficient to explain the disturbing ignorance of the majority of the population in Slovenia. It seems that either people are just fed up with everything or the left is depressed after they were unsuccessful in forming a left-centre government. Even more disturbing would be to discover that people just don't care if their direct rights or issues are not "on the table"

3rd fact: serious risk for government austerity plans and reform efforts

Experience from this and previous referendums shows that the new government could fall in the same trap as the Pahor government. If the current legislation and constitutional framework are not changed or at least modified, we can expect a flood of new referendum proposals regarding the planned austerity and reform plans of the new government. The first response from the Trade Unions regarding the proposed austerity measures show that the Unions, however irrational they are at this moment, are able to block the urgent and logical decisions of the new government and Janša could easily end the same way as Pahor, trying a lot but delivering nothing or very little.


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