“The serious shortcomings made in creating the electoral system, and even more in the electoral practices, are to be credited for the situation of the society and the political system overall. The very electoral processes are not isolated from all else in the social-political and legal order. On the contrary, they are at the same time both a consequence and cause for the positive or negative conditions in the general life of a society and state”, said Xhabir Deralla at the beginning of the presentation of the analysis and recommendations resulting from CIVIL’s election monitoring for the 2021 Local Elections at CIVIL’s event “Local Elections: Lessons Learned”.
Deralla reflected on the part of the public, and particularly the political parties for the responsibility for the difficult situation in the critical areas of society and politics.
“Both the public and the political parties often outline the responsibility of the very political parties for these conditions. Certainly, every political party finds the responsibility in another political party, and every so often in all other political parties in the country. It’s always someone else to blame for the difficult situation in critical areas in society and politics.
The smaller political parties, usually rightly, speak of the system being unjust, that they don’t have access to resources and the media. Their criticism usually comes down to the conclusion that the system is created and maintained in a way that defends the interests of the bigger political parties. For the big parties to remain big or to become even bigger and for the small ones to remain small, to merge into the big ones or to dissolve.
That’s not far from the truth. In fact, the same tendencies can be seen in other areas of the order as well. The same goes in the economy, and in life.
What is generally “forgotten” is the fact that smaller political parties also bear responsibility for the situation in this context. Smaller political parties have a serious part, even bigger than their proportions, in corrupting the system”.
In regards to thepromotion of the political system, the democracy and democratic institutions, Deralla points out that chances are small, given the existing political culture and legislation and the manners of implementation that we have in our country.
“Clientelism, chronyism, political parochialism, trade with influence and many other phenomena often start and end precisely in the bargaining between political parties, where smaller parties have a big role. Small in size, but big in influence. Unfortunately, that influence often is used for narrow party and personal interests, and not for imposing ideas, projects, strategies and determinations.
The political system, democracy and democratic institutions will never have even the slightest chance of advancing with the existing political culture and legislation and manners of implementation that we have in our country. Hence, we cannot expect neither respect for human rights and freedoms, and in this context, neither the right to vote, which is one of the fundamental human rights”.
“We must not neglect neither the responsibility that other stakeholders in society have. The role that some civil society organizations and some media play is infamous. More specifically, political and other centers of power abuse the opportunity for civic organization and public opinion making through the media.
Together, in different ways, they participate in degradation of the electoral system, and thus also of democracy. This contributes to insufficient understanding, and even rejection of the basic principles of democracy, strong distrust in the institutions and complete disregard of human rights and freedoms among a greater part of the citizens.
May those who have more sensitive ears forgive me, but it seems that various stakeholders in society and the state, starting from the political parties, ending with the citizens, in this context – the voters, are in some kind of sadomasochistic relationship. They are constantly torturing each other and enjoying in it. No social or political force has yet been found that will put an end to this endless torture. Such calls usually remain to echo in a society without a political, electoral and media culture”, says Deralla.
“In our political processes and decision-making processes, there is a lack of vision and strategy. Moreover, there is a lack of honesty and awareness on the universal benefits of democracy. There is a lack of understanding that all are winners in a well-arranged, fair and just democracy, resistant to destructive influences from the outside. Therefore, our society and state, are actually left to the elements, and not to plans, ideas and strategies. Hence, too much power is concentrated among individuals or small groups of powerful people in whose hands political parties and institutions are just tools for achieving narrow goals.
The biggest winner of the long-term strategies, well-devised and even better implemented in an inclusive process, are the citizens”, concluded Deralla at the end of presentation.
Camera: Atanas Petrovski
Editing and realization: Arian Mehmeti
Photography: Goran Naumovski
Translation: N. Cvetkovska
This post is also available in: Macedonian