The Slovenian Presidential campaign is well underway, but it’s quite remote from the main public discussions. The relations with Croatia (now went suddenly quite silent), the “SOVA affair”, the Ministers leaving (or being encouraged to leave), high inflation and discussions with the retail sector…all of these issues are of course more interesting than a campaign among basically 3 men contesting for a merely “representational role”.
The last study published in the (still) most largely distributed serious (!) daily newspaper Delo, has revealed two basic things:
2. It would make little difference which of the two “left” candidates faces Peterle in the final round.
So, quite surprising news. After a very fast start, Peterle is losing ground, although on a very small scale. He probably reached his limits and cannot get more than this. It doesn’t do much harm, if he stays at the same level. He would still win against both TÃ¼rk and Gaspari, but interestingly enough within the “risk” margin. Which means, he has actually became beatable. In the first round he would get approximately 2% more than either TÃ¼rk or Gaspari, in the second round he would win by a slightly larger margin.
While I still hope to see some interesting discussions, the campaign is obviously much more about personalities than beliefs. Which in the case of a Presidentially “representative” role fits certainly more than in a normal parliamentary campaign, where candidates should have quite clear opinions of very practical matters. Currently style and values count more.
Secondly, there is another issue with Peterle. One of the best read blogs in Slovenian, Razgledi, has published interesting statistics on parliamentary activity of our Members of the European Parliament. Peterle, who appears very often as “the” Slovenian MEP (as former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister he rightly gets more attention perhaps), is actually the least active… Taking into account parliamentary questions, submitted resolutions, reports…Peterle comes last out of the 7 Slovenian MEPs. True, he is very active all around the hemicycle, hosting numerous events and numerous groups from Slovenia. He is also the Vice-President of the European People’s Party.
I have done something similar in the past (thanks to Joan Marc as well). I have checked the voting pattern of the MEPs on the “Waste Directive” in the first reading in the European Parliament. Peterle is a substitute member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and as such should be aware of the importance of such a directive. And I received a Press Release after the voting in the Plenary from his office welcoming the positive improvements. A few minutes later I was sent the document with the explanation of the voting (that are regularly posted on the EP’s website). Peterle was not in the plenary during the vote.