01 May 2008

Parade, Passion, Potential--Cui Prodest? (EN)

You're scheming on a thing that's a mirage
I'm trying to tell you now it's Sabotage
May Day--most Eastern Europeans in former Communist countries celebrate International Workers' Day, indulging with grill and beer in the great outdoors. For those who can't afford either of the three, mayors, parties and/or other political organizations (mostly of the left) throw a party with live music in the parks. A lot nicer and palatable now than the pre-1990s compulsory marches/parades hailing the Party and its "wise leadership." Coincidentally, the electoral campaign kick-starts today, as Romania will hold local elections on 1 June--a good time to talk about corruption, wouldn't you agree?!?

One month ago, a decision was made that donors financing political campaigns no longer need to justify the origin of their money or disclose the interest/motivation of their donations. Romanian press and society (except for some bloggers, kinda late!) turned a blind eye, having no trust in the utility of such documents: Authorities didn't quite manage to convict smaller fish for more visible evidence, so who's gonna bother with "big fish" and convoluted interest-schemes?!? Or was the NATO summit so overwhelming and successful in narrowing everybody's attention span?!? I guess it ain't all that nice to talk about corruption in the wake of elections, after all...

Last weekend, we celebrated Easter in the Orthodox rite. Perfect timing for parties to turn donations from the rich into charity for the poor, in the wake of the electoral campaign. "Conveniently," the Good Week fell outside the official campaign period, so Easter offerings could not be construed as electoral bribery. What if so many candidates are under criminal investigation for corruption-related actions or decisions?!? They all managed to "buy" popular redemption and electoral salvation for their political objectives. Under these circumstances, who am I--regular sinner--to talk about anti-corruption, reforms or other things I do not properly grasp?!?

At least, political parties in Romania are in the best position to absorb policy assistance for their own development, government reforms and overall democratization. How much time should we wait?!? Probably 2-3 electoral cycles, allowing time for today's students to become tomorrow's leaders--such as those from my alma mater. With their genuine approach and understanding of transparency and integrity, such students may play a boat-rocking part in reforming politics, sharing their personal examples and becoming role-models without parades or charity... So the window of opportunity for talking properly about corruption and integrity ain't open yet?!?

Things like these make me think UNCAC implementation has no chance in 2008 Romania. Elections are no longer a good time to talk about corruption :( There's nobody to listen, nobody to talk to, nobody really interested, nobody willing to make the proper decisions--I mean among public officials, don't get me wrong! But the public at large is quite absorbed with the mirage--panem et circenses :( While those of the public who cares, however, are split along political aspirations, and only mimic dialog, not being able to reach common ground :( Unless we stop the sabotage, we'll soon find ourselves crying for help, shouting out "Mayday, Mayday, Mayday!!!"

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