It's not just the economy, you fool!

2023-08-21 15:43:00, Opinione Ardi Stefa

It's not just the economy, you fool!

There have been months, especially before the elections, that the debate was focused on the results of the votes, on how the results that the ballot boxes would produce would be. What would be decisive: the ruined economy or the successive scandals of the government and its high officials.

With this dualism, which was presented in every meeting as a dilemma and as an alternative, the opposition tried to shape a kind of populist attitude, which I could call: the apotheosis of the cynical party militant.

In other words, a reasoning based on the logs of television debates, the logs of cafes, but also the manipulation of public opinion by the media close to the government, which tried to convince us that even if a government violates the Constitution and undermines liberal democracy, this it is not a big problem, because the citizens are mainly interested in the economy, that is, in their "pocket", that is, the salary they receive in the administration, so... let's talk about other things, - was their conclusion .

The cynical attitude of the left is joined by a line of reasoning from the "right", which fell into the trap of following and responding to the position, claiming that the scandals of this government belonged to the category of issues that only concern the educated elites of the middle class , and it is not about the poor who are crushed by poverty. According to the above reasoning, if the opposition wants to reach the masses, it should first deal with the burning problems of the poorest citizens and not with the scandals.

Understanding electoral motivations in terms of an "interests or values," "rationality or emotion" dilemma tends to put complex human nature (social and electoral) on the Procrustean bed. Rather, political behavior is shaped by a variety of factors, not always easy to analyze, let alone predict.

Since strong party and ideological identifications have broken down, among other things and because in matters of the economy, citizens do not distinguish radically opposite policies between parties, but only some differences, perhaps important, but not essential; many more voters are mobilized than in the past based on criteria of personal values, lifestyles and sensitivities that are not directly related to materialistic issues, that is, to the economy. Of course, the economy continues to play a dominant role, but we are wrong if we think that it is the only one that mainly shapes developments.

This is why votes need attention in how they are read. Let me give a simple example. Suppose an election is held to vote on what kind of society we want: Matriarchal or patriarchal. And we also assume that 65% are answered by the mother and 35% by the father. How would you feel if you saw a newspaper headline: "Dads are done! Albanians love their mothers! Society must urgently be matriarchal"!

No doubt you would think that such a conclusion is wrong because you were not asked if you love your father, how much you love him, or if you would mourn if you lost him, but you were only asked in comparison to your mother and “ her role" in society.

The last elections of May 14 in Albania proved the value of the above reasoning. For weeks, the right-wing opposition had a divisive rhetoric to itself, because it was panicking. The re-establishment with the revolution it said it had started predicted a "democratic tsunami", which never happened.

Responsible citizens were in a panic, when they were not indifferent. Many predicted a deep defeat and argued that the defeat would be due to the wrong agenda of the Democrats of both parties, but especially the Reestablishment agenda that was submitted to the LSI to the detriment of the Democrats.

While it was expected that the Democrats would come out and focus on the immediate issues (poverty, the ruined economy, depopulation, cities without a plan, drinking water shortages, abuses of people's money and taxes even at the local level) the right was more taken with themselves, the lynching of those who were on their side until 2021, than with the real opponent, which was the government.

While the democrats in appearance focused on the real issues (in which the citizens were most interested), because in fact they focused on the war within the species, the socialists without programs and projects focused on the average citizens, not forgetting the electoral slaughter.

The socialists invested in the opposition piece by piece, making the citizen, where he saw the lack of an opposition governing alternative, choose the salary and job security in the current administration, despite the fact that he might be against it. In the end, the "Revolutionary Tsunami" turned out to be a bubble.

Despite the dissatisfaction of the Albanians with the scandals, corruption, poverty, depopulation, education and health on the ground, inflation and galloping unemployment, the socialists colored the map of Albania blue with real votes, but also bought or blackmailed!

The main explanation? Different layers of society voted with different criteria.

And the blue coloring of the map by the socialists put the opposition in an even deeper crisis, from which it will hardly come out, except in the case of the creation of some other new opposition force, in which none of the old white coats!

In our case, which may be unique in the world, poverty, depopulation, scandals of incendiaries, arrests at the highest levels of the government can constitute news, which in a normal state would have thrown the government to the ground, but in Albania it is not the number 1 issue in people's daily lives, but it raises the awareness of many citizens.

Despite the desperate efforts of the opposition and the government to make people forget them, the issue of protecting democracy remains a primary issue for many citizens and voters, and when the time comes they will neither shut up nor forgive

In addition, let's not forget that since December '90, in our country the demand for bread has been inseparable from the demand for freedom, democracy and independent justice./ CNA

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