The politics of reality TV

It is not known where we are burning more than real and difficult problems. But, despite this, our politicians persistently deal with everything except what they should

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Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

We all know that both Republika Srpska and BiH are deeply in crisis. We are burdened with a whole series of fundamental problems. For example, the Serbs, along with their neighbors the Bosniaks, are one of the poorest nations in Europe. And that situation is going to get worse: inflation and prices are constantly running rampant while wages have not risen for several years - and it's clear that they won't for the foreseeable future. According to economists, our purchasing power is even 30% lower than 4 years ago. It is a drastic impoverishment. We are also the furthest behind on the road to the EU out of all the countries in the region. According to some estimates, at this rate, it will take at least 40 years to reform the country to be ready for Europe. It is additionally bad that we have fallen into some form of semi-autocratic regimes, where democracy, as well as the rule of law, is quite shaky. Etc. Etc. Hence, it is not surprising that we are faced with a real exodus from these areas, mostly of the young population - which is perhaps the most important national problem we have and something that requires urgent and serious handling. All in all, it is not known where we are burning more than real and difficult problems.

But, despite this, our politicians persistently deal with everything except what they should. They persistently impose topics that essentially do not exist and deceive both themselves and us with various nonsense for one-time daily political use. According to the well-known scheme "We defend ourselves, they attack us": 1) he blows some nationalist-populist smoke bomb; 2) immediately activate the "defenders" on the other side; as well as 3) "patriotic" minded "analysts" on the regime media; and 4) gossip while analysts analyze non-existent problems and peoples are divided into camps.

Let's take a look at some of the typical bluff-political topics we've been talking about in the past few days.

1. Srebrenica resolution

The President of Serbia is the world champion in this type of political performance. A typical example of his skill is the way in which he turned one, objectively completely unimportant resolution, such as the one about Srebrenica, into a national topic no.1. The government in Serbia, under pressure from the EU, had to repeat the elections and again organized them in the good old semi-regular way, and easily swept away the disunited Serbian opposition. But who will deal with such trivialities as the credibility of elections, while the "hateful Bosniaks", with the support of the "even more hated West", are working on our heads and want to declare us a genocidal nation? In reality, of course, all this has nothing to do with common sense or the truth: "genocide nation" does not exist as a wording, the legal effects of the resolution are non-existent, etc. But who cares what the resolution says and what its real effects are? It is important to beat it 24/7 until the elections are over.

The epidemic of redundant resolutions and accompanying hysteria did not stop there. So the Montenegrins retaliated with a double blow: the resolution on the genocide in Jasenovac in a package with the one on the "Serbian genocide against Montenegrins". What to say?

The champion title in pointless resolutions was still taken by Denis Bećirević - an undisputed empty-nester: during his visit to Rome, he did not find anything smarter to offer the Parliament of Italy until - pay attention now: to adopt a "resolution in support of the independence and sovereignty of BiH". Italy is the country where Alan Ford was born, so we hope that they interpreted this incoherent stupidity, not as a state policy of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but as a personal tribute to that legendary comic.

2. "Conference"

The fooling around about non-existent nonsense continued with the all-Serb and all-Bosniak assembly, and the Montenegrins will probably join this folly with their own version of the "assembly".

It is below the intellectual level to engage in the analysis of the "Declaration" that was adopted on that occasion - it is a typical populist rant about anything and everything. Of course, our poor National Assembly, a prime example of an institution persistently engaged in thrashing empty political straw, hastened to adopt that "historical" document. This very fact is the best proof that the "Declaration" should not be taken seriously: who can normally believe that NSRS would deal with something that is planned to be implemented?

A characteristic example of the bluff theme brought to us by the All-Serbian National Assembly is the "dramatic" problem of January 9. Someone made a call to switch to "Sretenje" or whatever, and our silly opposition immediately undertook the redundant work of defending January 9 against the non-existent "treason of the foundation of Srpska". Proving, for the umpteenth time, that they are incapable of not kicking any populist ball thrown at them by the government. And so for days we listened to the discussions of great Serbian patriots about a topic that doesn't actually exist.

Although the "Declaration" does not have, nor is it intended to have, any real effect other than to dumb down the public, Bosniak politicians, obviously equally prone to wasting time on nonsense, hastened their counter-parliament and set out to defend themselves against the mirage these days. -threats that don't exist.

3. Komšić and the Venetian Commission

Željko Komšić, another champion of such forums for wasting time and doing nothing, thought to ask the opinion of the Venice Commission on the topic of ethnic criteria when electing judges of the Constitutional Court. The extent to which this is stupidity can be seen in the simplest way if we look at what the Constitution prescribes regarding that election:

The Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina consists of nine members. a) Four members are elected by the House of Representatives of the Federation, and two members by the Assembly of the Republic of Srpska. The remaining three members are chosen by the President of the European Court of Human Rights after consultation with the Presidency.

b) Judges will be prominent lawyers of high moral standing. Anyone who meets such qualifications and has the right to vote can be appointed as a judge of the Constitutional Court. Judges chosen by the President of the European Court of Human Rights cannot be citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina or any neighboring country.

So, we see that our Constitution nowhere even mentions the ethnic criterion as relevant for the selection of judges. Komšić would have done much better if he had asked the Venice Commission what this unusually flexible wording "lawyers of high moral standing" meant, which allowed judges to become individual characters with very modest legal knowledge and moral standing, but with the appropriate party pedigree. However, it is already a serious topic and who is crazy to deal with it when they can thrash empty straw and mislead the public with an assessment of a non-existent criterion.

4. "Peaceful disengagement"

The populist circus continued with the latest announcement of the independence of Republika Srpska. A real compilation of the hits of the RS government can already be published about this. Let's just remember the "Declaration" of SNSD from 2015 with the charming title: "Republika Srpska - Free and independent future and responsibility". Of course, the policies adopted in that Declaration were never implemented, nor were they attempted to be implemented, for the simple reason that they were never intended to be implemented. But they did their part. Therefore, it is not surprising that the topic of "disassociation" is again being addressed - with an emphasis on "peaceful". Of course, this is nonsense without any foundation in reality: international law does not recognize unilateral secession, so a "peaceful" (ie legal) secession of Republika Srpska is possible only with the consent of political Sarajevo. It is not necessary to comment on how realistic it is. But, despite this, our irresponsible politicians will spend a few months dealing with this nonsense. The ink on the "disassociation proposal" has not even dried yet, and the "patriotic" hysteria of defending BiH against the non-existent secessionism of the RS has already started in the Federation.

5. Ready for home

Of all the populist bad taste that our politicians are showering us with these days, the nastiest is this campaign of cheap kitsch Serb/Bosniakism that was recently led by proven heroes and peacetime veterans from both "our" and "their" sides - assuring us that they are ready to lay down their lives and themselves and their loved ones on the altar of "our things".

Unfortunately, we as a society have reached such a low point that our leaders do not hesitate, not only to threaten war, but it is not beneath their honor, taste and education to drag their own children into the political mire in which they wallow. Disgusting. In politics, the end may justify the means, but for normal people there should still be some limit.

The village is burning, and the grandmother is combing her hair

We could continue this series ad infinitum - anyone can do it themselves by simply flipping through the daily press. As much as these and similar follies act as a benign political cooperative to mislead the people, they are in fact not harmless at all. There is no doubt that our political elites are having a good time and making fun of contused citizens, still managing to buy absolution from responsibility for the disastrous state of the country with "patriotic" performances. However, turning the country into a populist dembeliya is not free: the real problems remain unsolved - for the simple reason that no one even deals with them. While our leaders in the security of peace prove who is the bigger hero, attack political windmills and implement non-existent plans, the train departs. While we perform meaningless performances, Ukraine and Moldova begin negotiations with the EU, prices in markets rise, and the exodus continues. However, the worst thing about this practice of political reality shows is not only the regression, but that such practices constantly maintain a kind of state of emergency in the country and bad blood between people. With all the risks it carries: the combination of problems swept under the carpet with constantly fueled frustration towards "those others" is a combustible matter. The populist perpetuum mobile, however, cannot last forever, and, as history teaches us, it is often terminated in some kind of drama. Bearing this in mind, the irresponsibility of our political elites is truly astounding, as is the persistent indolence of the people, who continue to tolerate such behavior, resigning themselves to fate, with true Eastern fatalism.


Bonus video:

(Opinions and views published in the "Columns" section are not necessarily the views of the "Vijesti" editorial office.)