Sunday, May 19, 2024

Give us a solution and not elections!

Author: Sefer Selimi Jr. 

Scheduling the date for early elections in April 2020, set in motion the party engines, announcing a long pre-election campaign and most likely fierce to gain future power.

If all goes well, North Macedonia will be re-elected as a NATO member, which has been one of the two strategic priorities since its independence from Yugoslavia. President Macron’s French veto on the opening of negotiations was a strong punch for the second strategic determination, membership in the European Union. This punch is most likely to be dominated by pre-election rhetoric and narrative from all sides, trying to score politically with the help of the ”blame game”. However, all this master narrative runs the risk to divert from the focus the crucial debate on the vital problems that citizens face and emphasize on the race between choosing FOR or AGAINST the Government.

Although we cannot escape the same, the opposition parties, especially the opposition political parties among the Albanians, should not fall into this trap as they have fallen for years. The opposition is in urgent need to change its opposition activity and its offer with which it approaches the voters. The installed concepts by the parties that dominated the political scene for the past 20 years produced the same result, installing an eternal power and opposition, so they must think about how to be not only the substitutes for that eternal opposition, but a real governing alternative that will draw the Albanian voter out of the two-decade-old status quo.

Escape from party clientelism – Victory on foreign ground is always much more difficult, so escaping from political clientelism should be the first battle that the Albanian opposition has to win with a political mindset. The political offer must be based on equal chances, the fight against discrimination on any basis of affiliation, including party affiliation, the installation of meritocracy, and not on the basis of individual promises of employment in state administration by local party patrons, for tenders and access in the privileges that the power gives.

 

Real problems of the citizens – The massive escape of young people and citizens of this country is not just for economic reasons, but also for many factors that directly affect the general welfare, respectively individual welfare. It is easy for the opposition – identifying these factors and seriously approaching concrete solutions is an alternative program of governance. Assumptions, empty criticism and with no concrete solutions are the receipt to remain in opposition. The comfort of the status quo, even when it is harmful, is much more acceptable than the unknown future, so to challenge the same ordinary citizen requires predictability, the clearest and most pragmatic that it will be better than the present.

The vote against is not enough – So far the political concept of the opposition has been based on ascertaining the current situation by placing an endless emphasis on the bad. This is enough to create collective depression and often results in social dissatisfaction, which dissatisfaction if it fails to channel into political capital turns into a boomerang of social despair that benefits no one, not even the opposition. Man is guided by hope and hope is the only catalyst that can bring change. If the opposition fails to translate social dissatisfaction into hope for the citizens, it will be limited only within its own party camp to mobilize militants who have already a divided mind. The vote AGAINST will never be a ruling alternative.

From folk nationalism to pragmatic patriotism – the Balkans is known for its nationalism, which is largely populist, folkloric and manipulative. Singing a popular song to the public you may well be applauded, but this can only make you another stage performer who does not produce new social values. Responsible leaders do not speak for what the people want to hear, but speak for what the people need regardless of the public’s current preferences. Dissociation from folkloric nationalism that produces only separation and hostility and replacing it with pragmatic patriotism that addresses the real problems of citizens, based on the individual values as part of society and not privileges based on belonging, which has as an essence the political action the personal and professional integrity through individual examples, is the only path that the opposition must follow. 

A populist victory may bring them to power, but the slap of punishment is far greater than the current privileges the power offers. Democracy is the most difficult political system to come to with much despair from moment to moment, but its essence lies in the competition of ideas, concepts and visions. The mediocre political offerings may be a substitute, but not the change that the citizens desperately need

This time give us a solution and not elections!

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