The opposition’s panicked “shooting” into the dark and at their own knees

Luka Mesec (Levica), Marjan Šarec (LMŠ), Tanja Fajon (SD), Alenka Bratušek (SAB) (foto: STA)

In the past couple of days, quite a few people have criticized me. Many have warned me that for more than half a month now, you have been visiting my website, just to find nothing new there. You are right. There are several reasons for it, and lack of time is the main one.

The last couple of weeks were marked by the panicked “shooting of the opposition into the dark or in their own knees,” the experts on the political situation would say. The opposition must always be critical of the coalition. That is the golden rule of democracy. I know very well what it is like to be in the opposition, as I was part of the opposition ranks for three slightly shortened terms – shortened due to three early elections. We never spared the coalition, but we have adhered to certain unwritten rules, such as that at the beginning of the term, the opposition gives the government the so-called hundred days of peace, and we have never been as vulgar and rudely aggressive, as some members of the current opposition are. We also never called for or participated in anti-government demonstrations. To immediately rule out the possibility of controversy with some pro-left trolls, let me write that the rally of the opposition parties on June 2nd, 2016, was a rally for a better Slovenia, and had no purpose in overthrowing the then-government, which is the opposite of what today’s cyclists and their political supporters are doing. The fact that the current opposition, which is simply accustomed to power, does not know how to function in the opposition, can be seen from the moon, even without using binoculars. I will write about a few examples of this.

The first such case is the interpellation of Minister Zdravko Počivalšek. Those of you who keep up with politics are probably already aware of the contents of the interpellation and its outcome. Of course, this was never about the removal of Zdravko Počivalšek. They knew that they do not have enough votes to remove him, even before they wrote the interpellation. Of course, this was not even a question of pointing out the alleged irregularities in the work of Zdravko Počivalšek; this was so much more. The authors of the interpellation, working with the dominant media outlets, sought to overthrow, or at least sully the entire government, and Janez Janša in particular. Of course, it would have been useful for them if they could have found at least one thing that would actually burden him. This could be repeated for the next two decades, at least. As you were able to see, the central issue of liability was reduced to who called whom and who sent whom an e-mail with an offer to supply medical protective equipment. From Marjan Podobnik to Matej Tonin and Urška Bačovnik Janša, and Anton Travner, they were all “guilty,” simply because they sent e-mails that the providers of protective equipment had wrote to them, to the places where the competent authorities were deciding on purchasing the protective equipment. I “self-reported” myself, but was not publicly included in this list, as I sent some e-mails regarding the purchase of protective equipment that I got, to the decision-makers. The whole thing went south for those who proposed the interpellation as soon as it was publicly announced that the then-head of the SD party, Dejan Židan, also intervened. Of course, he had done nothing wrong, just like the others, but the dominant media immediately removed his name from the list of the so-called “intermediaries in the wrong.” The result of the interpellation was clear, with only 37 members voting in favour of the interpellation. The opposition’s shot into the dark.

It has long been clear that the opposition cooperates perfectly with the dominant media outlets, especially with the show Tarča (target) from the public television. When they realised that they had shot in the dark with the interpellation, they had already “reloaded their rifles,” preparing for a new attack on the government. Tarča’s employees went looking for the so-called “death lists” in the nursing homes. Namely, they wanted to show that the doctors in nursing homes had made certain lists of the patients, deciding which nursing home resident would have been helped in case of contracting the virus, and which would not have been helped, or, more precisely, who would have been transported to the hospital, and who would not. This was supposed to be a horrific topic, presented in the show Tarča, and at the same time, Levica had already submitted a request for an extraordinary session of the Committee of Health and the Committee on Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, in the National Assembly. The accusations of Minister Tomaž Gantar were terrible. Following the orders that came from his Ministry, the doctors in nursing homes were supposed to create the so-called “death lists.” And there is only a short step from Gantar to Janša, the Levica party was thinking. Just like the show Tarča, the request for an extraordinary meeting of the two committees turned out to be a shot in the dark. The “instructions” that the Minister supposedly sent to the nursing homes, which the opposition members were so desperate to get to, was never found, and around 25 representatives of the doctors, their associations, as well as the nurses and their associations, the director of the nursing home Šmarje pri Jelšah, as well as the mayor from the same town, and many others, told the opposition MPs the simple truth, than can be summarised in the following sentence: You are lying, you are accusing us of wrongdoing, and you are abusing those seriously ill for your own political ambitions – you should be ashamed of yourselves. The only former Minister on the side of those who proposed the meeting of the committees was dr. Dušan Keber. Wondering why? Take a look at the ERAR application, and you will see that in 2017 alone, in addition to his pension, he received a hefty 32.000 euros for advising the then-Minister of Health. Of course, he is not advising the current Minister. If he were advising him, though, and for that amount of money, he would have probably defended the current Minister as well, but since he is not, it makes sense for him to wish for a new left-wing government, new advisory contracts, and new fees. The session was adjourned shortly after 10 p.m., and those who proposed it, the members of the Levica party, left with their heads hung low. Another, even bigger shot in the dark, you could say, or perhaps even a shot in the knee.

And I am the initiator for the third shot in the dark, in the name of the government. Well, when I was writing the offer for cooperation with the opposition, I did not even know it. Namely, we offered the opposition the opportunity to participate in the preparation of laws, before they would be discussed by the government, so while the laws are still being formed. This attempt worked in the 2004-2008 term, because at the time, as the representative of the government, I coordinated with the opposition on the preparation of the laws in a similar manner, and we made it work, in more than 60 percent of cases. Therefore, we sent this offer to all the opposition parties and the two representatives of the national minorities. I am not sure if you understand me. We offered the opposition parties an opportunity to participate in the drafting of laws before they would even be discussed by the government. Such offers are very rare and more of an exception than the rule in parliamentary practices. Jelinčič’s SNS and the representatives of the national minorities responded positively, while LMŠ, SD, Levica, and SAB, were not cultured enough to even reject the offered proposal in writing. They did not respond to our written offer at all, but their representatives happily explained to the mainstream media that they do not intend to cooperate with the current government. However, we can all see them participating in the protests, calling for the fall of the government. And if they are not actively participating, they are publicly encouraging and supporting the protesters. If you ask me, this is a shot in the knee.

You might think I am sad and disappointed. But I am not, by no means, because we have an opposition which shoots into the dark, or at their own knees.

Dr. Vinko Gorenak