New York – President Borut Pahor discussed electoral law, the role of elections in democracy as well as growing polarisation, freedom of speech and regulation of new technologies in a debate with some 50 doctoral students of law at Fordham University in New York on Wednesday.
Invited by adjunct Slovenian professor Jurij Toplak, Pahor talked about his experience of elections and democracy.
Asked whether an elected president should follow the wishes of their voters or their own conscience and persuasions, Pahor said politicians should have their own vision and follow their heart and dreams, while at the same time they must understand the duty and responsibility to persuade people with their vision and to lead them on the basis of trust.
Pahor was also quizzed about the impact of the pandemic and new technologies on voters’ electoral behaviour. He said regardless of how ballots are cast, the key was having trust in the legitimacy of elections.
The president also told the students he believed social networks could be used for good causes and new technologies should be learned about and used for the common good. He emphasised the freedom of expression as an undeniable fundamental freedom.
Pahor also discussed referendum as an instrument of democracy, including with respect to Brexit.
He said he had learnt from experience in politics you needed passion, courage and determination to follow your vision as well have the courage to lose, to stand up after a fall and to persevere and people will trust you.
Pahor was also received by the dean of Fordham Law School Matthew Diller and deputy dean Joseph Landau.