On the uses of SRS

My post-election wrapup has now been posted at Open Democracy. A little polemics, a little prediction, plenty to disagree with.


Dejan said...

Eric, I read the article you wrote there, but am commenting here to get your full attention :)

You noticed well that 70% of the populus did not vote for SRS. Aside for the Socialist Party of Serbia (which is insanely funny with their leftist campaign), nobody else in these elections was far-right. However, the foreign media presented this as a huge victory for the radicals.

I was only disappointed that Radicals won in Belgrade, which was traditionally not that far right. However, our democratic votes got split between DS, G17+ and LDP.

That was the agreeing with you, now disagreeing: SRS is changing their attitude. Between you and me, and the rest of the people reading this :) they are slowly but surely approaching EU officials. Everybody is afraid of them forming the government, and since Seselj is out of the game, everybody is making an attempt to silently give them opportunity to cooperate.

SRS realizes that they have tough competition in DSS. Both parties are nationalist, both support Greater Serbia (SRS aloud, DSS only wants "justice" for Republika Srpska), and both have no widely known corruption affairs behind them.

DSS has an advantage of bringing "stability" to Serbia, being both pro-EU and anti-EU at the same time, and bringing this awful Constitution to the light of the day, pitching it as the most important thing ever.

So, SRS should be worried. They still got the momentum in these elections, but if Kostunica, in any possible way, manages to become a PM again - SRS will loose a lot of votes in the near future.

Eric Gordy said...

Hi Dejan -- I agree that this is the big question for SRS, either they will find a way to function with the other parties and internationally or they will disappear. I also have a sense that their support is not only class based, but also generationally based, so as time goes on they would decline. Today there was a little item showing Stratfor agreeing (http://www.b92.net/info/vesti/index.php?yyyy=2007&mm=01&dd=23&nav_category=418&nav_id=228903), which is disturbing since they have yet to be right about anything.

I guess what makes it tough to see the change in SRS is happening is all the false starts. Nikolic seemed at first to be on his best behavior, but then he slips. They start controlling parliamentary procedure and appearing to be professional, then out comes Zoran Krasic. It makes it look as though they are not really capable of changing, even if they know they have to.

The one fact that didnt make it into the article, but freaked me out: SRS outpolling DS in Belgrade!