2008-01-03

Calculation: Plus ça change

The decision by DSS to offer its support to Velimir Ilić rather than Boris Tadić in the first round of Serbia's presidential elections means the following:
  1. DSS has decided to continue its long-term campaign to discredit itself.
  2. Ilić will get between 10 and 12 percent in the first round, which will indicate the number of people who support DSS plus the half percent or so who support him.
  3. This will lead to a panic at the end of January, with international media splashing around headlines claiming that Toma Grobar "won" the first round with his 30-35%.
  4. Koštunjavi will demand major concessions from Tadić for support in the second round, and since Tadić is a fool, he will provide them.
  5. Tadić will be reelected against the same opponent he faced the last time around, by a larger margin than before.
  6. Koštunjavi will continue to exercise power well out of proportion to the popular support his party enjoys, and Tadić will continue to fail to exercise even the power he has.
If these predictions are wrong, you will know in just over two weeks.

A reservation: Look at the comments to the story linked above, and you will find an interesting alternative theory -- that by pumping the Ilić candidacy, DSS is engaged in a fiendishly clever effort to split the potential vote for Nikolić into three camps, with some going to Ilić and some going to SPS candidate Milutin Mrkonjić. This presumably leaves a clearer path for Tadić, who has only LDP as serious competition for votes from the liberal camp. It is plausible, except that it requires attributing cleverness to DSS, and assuming that their leadership has less affinity for SRS than the evidence suggests. Another alternative theory suggested in the comments is that DSS has now made it easier for Tadić's supporters to vote for him, but that might just be some cheap rhetorical point-scoring.

1 comment:

Dejan said...

My theory is: nevermind the foreign journalists who often talk about victories in the first rounds of elections, but if Ilić takes over some of Tadić's votes, it will make Nikolić look scarier and more powerful. The flaw to that theory is that I don't know if Ilić can really take Tadić's votes.

There is also a theory that is probably most realistic: Ilić is an irrational guy without connection to reality, and he thinks he can sell himself good. Many people in the turbo-folk coalition (NS - DSS) strongly believe that they represent the median population of the country. Perhaps that's even true.