Jason Miko: “The majority”
On Saturday, so-called “speaker” of parliament Talat Xhaferi was quoted as saying “I will not beg any one, least of all Ivanov. It is my legal requirement to wait for 10 days. I don’t have to plead with any one. From the 20th onwards everything will depend on the will of the majority in Parliament.” He said the same thing the day before, on Friday. The day before that, last Thursday, SDSM basically said the same thing, invoking “the majority.” On May 1, Hoyt Yee, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the American Department of State told the media “…it is very important for the leaders to find a way to allow the majority in Parliament, the coalition of members of Parliament that have a majority…” In fact, over the past few months, Macedonia’s Albanian parties, Zoran Zaev and SDSM, and the international community have all used the phrase “the majority,” as a rationale to form a government. Fair enough. But a few points are worth considering.
First, I take the long view in life, for many reasons. In fact, as a man of faith, I take an eternal view of things: “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal,” 2 Corinthians 4:18. And, if there is one thing I have learned from my work in Southeastern Europe over the past quarter of a century, it is patience. I know that whatever the current situation may be that this too, shall pass. What is will soon pass and what was will come again. Assuming that SDSM and their Albanian partners from Tirana form a government, how long will it last? “Not forever” is the truest statement one can make. “A very short time” is probably more accurate. At one point in the past, VMRO-DPMNE had enough members in parliament – a majority – so that they did not need a coalition partner from among Macedonia’s Albanian parties. And that could happen again, though both SDSM and their partners in the international community will work hard to make VMRO-DPMNE a shell. But that probably will not happen and, in fact, VMRO-DPMNE will likely learn lessons and come back stronger than before. After all, it is VMRO-DPMNE, and not the successor to the Communist Party of Macedonia, SDSM, that guarantees Macedonia’s future. It is the same in America with the Republican Party; that’s what conservative parties do – they conserve the nation for future generations. Communists, leftists and progressives do not – they are merely interested in personal satisfaction and instant gratification in the here and now.
Second, SDSM and Macedonia’s ethnic Albanian parties may have “the majority” in parliament, but it is a fact that the true majority of Macedonia’s citizens did not vote for them. Out of nearly 1.8 million registered voters, SDSM and their three partners received about 670,000 votes. And that, boys and girls, is not a majority of 1.8 million. It is also a fact that the majority of Macedonia’s citizens do not want a Tirana Platform, nor do they want the SDSM platform of higher taxes….which will destroy the country. Macedonian Albanians have endorsed and highly support the Tirana Platform for the simple reason that it is designed to benefit their community and their community alone. And something in this is very interesting: the Tirana Platform does nothing to create private sector jobs but the latest poll from the International Republican Institute states that most of Macedonia’s Albanians are interested in job creation, meaning there is a huge disconnect between Macedonia’s Albanian leaders and their constituents – this bears watching.
Third, the cast of international characters that are currently working to undermine Macedonia and its name and identity – both the US and EU ambassadors currently in Macedonia plus the very colorful cast of charters jetting in from the EU and the Obama-run State Department, will not be around much longer. They will go on – they hope – to bigger and better things, richly rewarded for their work (some will not, but will, in fact, lose much). As for them – they don’t care about Macedonia and never have. They care about their jobs, their reputations, their pensions, their place in history. Fair enough. But that is a shallow life.
Fourth, this obsession with “the majority” in fact, reminds me of the “tyranny of the majority,” which bases its right to rule on numbers and not on what is right or excellent. And when you take a look at the SDSM platform by itself, you can see that, in fact, it is not right or excellent. It is, instead, a typical far-left platform out of touch with the majority of Macedonians making promises that will, in fact, do great damage to the economy, raise unemployment, damage the traditional family, and hurt Macedonia’s relations with her neighbors. And that is without the Tirana Platform which will do nothing to help Macedonia and will, in fact, work to undermine the sovereignty of the country.
Finally, the latest poll from the International Republican Institute, points, yet again, to the fact that SDSM has far less support than VMRO-DPMNE, both country-wide (27% for VMRO-DPMNE and 17% for SDSM), and at the local municipal level (28% for VMRO-DPMNE and 16% for SDSM). Prior polling going back years shows similar numbers which point, once again, to the fact that SDSM does not enjoy anything near a majority. That their public relations machine keeps spitting out “the majority” simply goes to show you how desperately they want you to believe it.
Jason Miko, US analyst and long term observer of the situation in Macedonia and in the Balkans