Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

POLITICIANS KICK AROUND THE PUBLIC OPINION AGAIN

Harsh experience has proven that politicians listen to sociologists only when they say pleasant things or when they feel injured by them. Once politicians enter the parliament, they never listen to those who elected them, either. And recently, politicians proved they fail to listen to each other, as well. That is why we can only fondly hope that sociologists will manage to draw their attention to the latest public research data.The political crisis in which the country fell after the draft cabinet of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and the Movement for Rights and Freedom (MRF) failed has no analogue during the fifteen-year transition period, sociologists say. Considering that nearly two months after the elections there is no government yet, it is quite natural for the sociological agencies to find out that the public opinion is going close to the point of social intolerance towards the political elite. The fact that the country was flooded three times in the hot political months broke the camel's back.A few of the latest researches announced for the first time last week show that people want the political parties to be replaced. Both the ruling and the opposition ones. The deepening of the crisis results in deepening the social discontent towards everybody - this is probably the most important conclusion from the researches. During the crises in 1991 and 1994 and the one in 1997 which led to elections ahead of schedule, the discontent was directed towards the ruling of one political force, sociologists remind. These crises led to protests and to the change of the political ruling. The blame for the failed ruling was fixed either on the blue or on the red party.This time, undivided by political sympathies, the society blames everybody in parliament both for the ugly scenes during the failure of the first mandate and for the blocked negotiations when the second one was about to fail. For the first time the Bulgarian society is not so divided by political passions as the members of the parliament are divided and confronted. Of course, sociologists take into account that a certain percentage of the people are still guided by political prejudices when blaming asthe main culpritthe coalition between BSP and MRF. Others, representing the left electorate, of course, do not approve the spontaneously formed opposition of five parties which demonstrated unity of action when spoiling the mandate of Sergey Stanishev. Future surveys will probably prove that this blame will quickly be diluted in the common one, since that opposition gave no more examples of united actions.The only political force that sought the opinion of both sociologists and political scientists during that political crisis was the National Movement Simeon II (NMSII). Its members met with representatives of the guild only one day after they started working on the implementation of the second mandate for establishment of a government. Two weeks ago the sociologists were firm that elections before the term set were the worst variant for the country right now. On the very same day the BSP leader Sergey Stanishev announced proudly at the Buzludzha peak that the left wing was not afraid of elections ahead of schedule. However, the elections will not change significantly the situation in parliament. After them the politicians will have to work in almost the same configuration, sociologists warned. Back then they refused to make analogues with the election before schedule in 1997, because they said it was clear then that the configuration in parliament would change. After a voting ahead of schedule, however, the establishment of a government by the 41th National Assembly will not be easy at all.Both sociologists and political scientists advised the yellow party not to enter government setting negotiations with premised names and positions but to try to seek joint decisions. Sociologists underlined that the public attitude is in favour of a coalition between BSP and NMSIIand that the solution of the government setting problem should be found in the interaction between these two forces without ignoring the MRF. The socialists and the members of Ahmed Dogan's party neglected these recommendations probably because they suspected the sociologists used their imagination rather than cite real public attitude. It's curious to see in the next surveys whether the society will show sensibility towards the political improvidence and will not direct the blame towards the double coalition. But that the latest surveys already prove that. Despite the demonstration of an undestroyable union between the politicians from MRF and BSP, the ruling coalition of the two parties is evenly unwanted by the red electorate and the supporters of the ethnic party. During the two weeks in which the collapse of the second mandate appeared on the horizon, the perspective for parliamentary elections ahead of schedule grew ever more real. Neither the political observers nor the sociologists ignore that possibility, despite the self-confident statements made by BSP, MRF and the Bulgarian National Union that on the third attempt Bulgaria would have a new cabinet.At present, neither political scientists nor sociologists are firm in their forecasts about the results from a possible election before the term set. They only agree on the idea that the new elections will give more seats in the parliament to the Attack movement and probably to the Democrats for Strong Bulgaria. It is normal for the guild to be cautious in making forecasts since the country is still in the epicentre of the political crisis without knowing whether setting up a government or organising new elections is the best solution. Moreover, there is always a danger that each of these alternatives lead to agony that has no analogue in the period following 1989. Approximately 48% of the Bulgarian citizens consider elections ahead of schedulean inevitable solutionAbout three million and three hundred thousand people will probably vote during these elections, according to the latest research by the Scala agency. This is slightly fewer than half of the people allowed to vote. It turns out that in case of an earlier vote the electoral activity will be lower than the one registered on June 25 (56%). And that may be just another premise for the country to stammer instead of progressing towards an EU membership. When the country remains at the door of the union and the economy shows signs of suffering from the crisis, the society is going to point the culprits. Even though the forces now presented in parliament act as if this does not refer to them. And although the country is not yet facing elections, sociological surveys already show that the leading parties are losing both votes and mandates even if there are only six parties in the new parliament. The forecast that the coalition established by Mozer, Sofiyanski and Karakachanov will be left outside is no longer a surprise even for its leaders. In fact, they are struggling for a third mandate exactly because of the few years they would spend in parliament. And in the political life as a whole. Speaking about them, we should not forget to mention that the above cited sociological researches do not include the ones made by sociologists who favour the Bulgarian National Union. One of these sociological agencies printed something of the kind in a newspaper. The survey was uncritically and uncomplainingly cited by a national radio station, too. Every second Bulgarian, these sociologists say, wanted Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to return the mandate in order to give way to the so longed program government. Probably this is meant to suggest that respectively every Bulgarian citizen wants Georgi Parvanov to give the mandate to the Bulgarian National Union and more precisely, to Stefan Sofiyanski. According to the same research, the rating of Krassimir Karakachanov grew up to the sky in 24 hours once he said he was ready for a partnership with Ahmed Dogan. The research gives no answer to the question whether Karakachanov has become so popular among his own electors or in a narrower circle of voivodes.

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