Thursday, August 19, 2010

Full or partial entries of my blogs may be found at LatviansOnline  + Forum Home + Open Forum – The-Not-Voter. If you copy this blog for your files, or copy to forward, or otherwise mention its content, please credit the author , , or  

I suggest you look at the links imbedded in these blogs or at the end of the blog as an integral part of my argument.

25 Latvia’s Leaders Reveal Lack of Guts

Right on the heels of the 24th post of THE NOT-VOTER, which provided a link to President Valdis Zatlers statement to the media that he does not know who to vote for, there appeared in the magazine “ir” an interview with a former president of Latvia, Vaira Viķe-Freiberga, in which she stated that “I was the mother of the nation for eight years, I served for eight years. If the people trust me also today, I thank them for that, but my aim was that they should take responsibility for themselves.”

One may indeed agree with VVF that some of the electorate perceived her as some sort of “mother of the nation”. On the other hand, if she perceives herself to have been such, she identifies the hubris of the national leadership, which for twenty years has served the nation without showing any guts. Incidentally, I identify “guts” or gutsy leadership as leading by example. While VVF may have been the better looking talking head among the post-Soviet presidents of Latvia, she hardly led by example. Perhaps one cannot blame her for that, because her knowledge of the Latvian people was superficial and her tours to the countryside were ceremonial tours de force.

Now in the wake of these (G. Ulmanis, V. Viķe-Freiberga. V. Zatlers) muted (self-censoring) presidential wonders, comes Laila Pakalniņa and offers more lighter than air intellectual grub at "ir", a magazine that serves as the mouthpiece of “Vienotība”, a grouping of right wing reactionary political parties.

Writes Pakalnina: "Man gan šķiet, ka Latvija pirms vēlēšanām sen nav bijusi tik vienkāršas izvēles priekšā. Tieši tā un ne sarežģītāk – starp nenoslīkt un noslīkt, starp jā un nē, starp Rietumiem un Austrumiem, starp neatkarību un atkarību.... Tik vienkārši. Ja vien kādam laime nav dzīvošana PSRS un cerība uz savas valsts atkalpārdošanu Krievijai. Tik vienkārši, ka nav jāmeklē iespaidīgākā reklāma, skaistākā programma un mīļākā partija. Vien principiāli jāatceras, ka Latvijas neatkarības atgūšana, tāpat kā zaudēšana, bija ļoti konkrēts process – tikšana vaļā no Krievijas. Tāpēc Latvijas neatkarība vienmēr ir un būs ļoti konkrēta – visupirms neatkarība no Krievijas."

(My rough translation: “It seems to me that Latvia has not faced such a simple choice before elections for a long time. Thus and no more complicated than that—between not drowning and drowning, between yes and no, between the West and the East, between independence and dependence…. It [the choice] is so simple. Unless one has a secret wish (? laime) to live in the USSR and hopes that the nation will again be sold to Russia. It is so simple, that one does not need to look for an advertisement, the most beautiful program and dearest party. One only needs to remember that the regaining of Latvia’s independence, as much as its loss, was a concrete process—to rid itself of Russia. This is why the independence of Latvia is and will remain concrete—above all independence of Russia.”)

We are of course independent of Russia are we not? So, why are we drowning nevertheless?

My suggestion is that all of the above have a reactionary vision of the future of Latvia and are full of dread to try see Latvia as a nation that in the future includes all of its present inhabitants. As long as such reactionism is given to carry a chip on its shoulder, Latvia will for ever be a flounder rather than a fish that breaks water.

The mush that passes for thinking among Latvia’s political elite is one of the reasons why I have been suggesting that the only vote in the upcoming elections is to NOT-VOTE. Incidentally, among the earliest NOT-VOTER supporters is Thomas Jefferson, who argued for nullification, i.e., the right of the citizenry to nullify everything from laws to governments. The basis for Jefferson’s argument is that it is the people who are the sovereign, with government acting on their behalf only as long as the people not NOT-VOTE and de-authorize it.

Asterisks & Links of Interest
Compulsory voting in the EU Parliamentary elections
The abstentionist elephant
Electronic polls
On the Meaning of Voting
British Government Attempts to Bracket the Constitution
Ground Zero for Thought
Why Forced Positive Thinking Is A Lot Of Crock?
The Trap

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