Café Riche: The triumph of democracy
What Reinhardt’s victory means for St.Charlie and its democracy
On January 1st 2012, a chilly dawn shone light on St.Charlian democracy, and the slumbering beast woke from its lethargic state and reared its head. It was a great day for the National Party, who doubled its share of the vote to this year’s 72%. But it was an even greater day for St.Charlian democracy.
I can already hear the cries: “There you go, you are biased towards the National Party” or even “The Observer will become a National Party newspaper”, as I can imagine a few idiots remarking. But before you drag me through the streets and throw tomatoes at me, consider the evidence.
Throughout 2011, St.Charlian democracy was neglected, disregarded and downtrodden. The elections were fraught by irregularities, the government and Parliament were unconstitutional, the merging of Home Affairs and Justice Ministries appeared to hark back to the beloved times of socialist police states. The Electoral Commission was first insulted and then its findings ignored, the Federal President decided to interpret the Constitution like a Dali painting and issue illegal decrees, and there was a serious risk until the very end that a mass of uninterested and piloted citizens would influence the voting process.
The telltale sign that this trend has temporarily halted was the Nationalist victory. After a year when practically nothing of note was done in St.Charlie, and where the leading Party delivered on just one its pre-electoral pledges, it was obvious to assume that a conscious citizen would have voted against the SCSP. Had the Socialists won again, then I’m afraid St.Charlie and its democracy would have definitely keeled over and died.
Instead, in an invigorating gesture, St.Charlians across all federations took their destiny back into their hands. They rejected the Party that was been the largest failure in government in St.Charlian history and asked for change. These are moments that make me proud of my country and our democracy.
The question now is whether the Nationalist government will deliver, and thus reinforce this trend. To be fair, the initials signs aren’t all promising. Just like the Socialists in 2011, the National Party did not publish a manifesto on the eve of the elections. While the government was formed on time, Parliament has missed the deadline for its first meeting, when its President is supposed to be elected.
This is mostly because there is still a question mark next to the names of the National party’s MPs: only Reinhardt and his deputy Bronisz are confirmed. A source close to the Prime Minister says Valentina Marchesi, a former Tor Pendente President, is first in line. Also probable are Nicole Vignaroli, a New Branson member of the Electoral Commission, and Riccardo Bertorelli, a Tor Pendente citizen; according to the same source.
Reinhardt has defended himself by saying he had a Sociology exam and was in a no-internet zone before that. This has been confirmed as true, but I hope this inactivity will not become a common sight as it was last year. St.Charlie cannot afford to head down that slippery slope again without it proving fatal.