Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ding dong!
Who is there?
Ditch Zatlers!
Dill blossoms.

For the most part, there are two ways of playing “ding dong ditch”.

One of the ways is to ring the door bell and run. When the homeowner opens the door and sees no one, perhaps even walks around the house to make sure, the kids break out in loud laughter and run like hell to wherever they came from .

The other way is to ring the bell, and when the owner opens the door, he finds himself facing Ra-gana, the old Halloween witch, who screams: “Trick or treat!” The word “trick”, if taken serious, means: “If you don’t give me candy, I will whack you with my broomstick” .

More dill blossoms.

There is also the Zatlers’ way. You go to the door, ring the bell, and when the homeowner opens the door, he, Zatlers, surprises me and says (not really, but in my/ our imagination): “I suggest that the time has come do dismiss the Senate. On the 23rd of July, there will be a Referendum, when you can vote and tell me and everybody whether you agree with me and everybody or no.”

When the ding dong (me and you) heard Zatlers message, he-she yelled “Līgo! Līgo! I love you, Zatler. Right on! Out with the crooks! Līgo!”

“Good,” says Zatlers and closes the door.

The ding dong then says to him-herself: “This is wonderful! Those lawmakers have been stealing and selling Latvia off bit by bit to foreign banks. Here, I am near telling Latvians to lease Riga to China, so that after selling off Latvia, we are not asked to yet thank them. At least if China leases Riga, say, for a century, Latvians will be debt free and start a new life. In return for our liberty, we are ready to start out with a straw roof in a forest home, and nothing much more than a coconut or two to chew on. ”

However, your thrill quickly evaporates.

At the edge.

After knocking on every door on your street and telling every homeowner what you have just been told, the whols street awakens and whoops it up, or as the Latvians are wont to say "go Līgo".

However, after closing the door, Zatlers goes eats his supper, and goes to sleep. In the morning, after he wakes up, Zatlers has breakfast, speaks with his press secretary, who then goes out on the front porch of Zatlers apartment. Thence she announces to reporters standing around in the yard waiting for Zatlers to make some further thrilling announcement.

Zatlers’ Press Secretary announces that Zatlers is forming “The Zatlers’ Reform Party” (ZRP) “Zatlers is the first and until now only Latvian politician since Latvia renewed its independence, who has decided to take such a radical step by opportuning the people to activate themselves and not permit [the Saeima] to repeat earlier mistakes.”

Zatlers Press Secretary goes back into the apartment and finds the former president is fast asleep on the couch. She awakens him and asks: “Anything else, sir?”

“No. Thank you. That was great. We are on the roll now.”

“Yes, sir, I understand. However, should we not now get together a band and march down the streets of Riga and byways of Latvia and trumped and get out the vote for the July 23rd Referendum?”

“I do not believe so,” answered the new political hero. “We are not populists.”

Climbing up my legs.

“But, sir, it was the populists who thrilled to your message. You should take your advantage and fire them up to go and VOTE!”

“I do not wish to repeat myself again,” said the New Hero. “I am not a populist. I believe that populists are communists, or fascists, or chauvinists, and who knows who else. They are no better than the crooked Saeima.”

“Who then will be the voters?” asked the Press Secretary.

“Latvians, of course.”

“Well, yes, sir, however, what if all Latvians—except government employees and media people—are populists?”

“That cannot be. Latvians do not like populists. No Latvian ever says a positive thing about them.”

“But, sir, I read that without populists there cannot be democracy. Besides, you are moralizing. Moreover, here is one Chantal Mouffe , a political scientist, who writes that “….moralization of politics leads to the emergence of antagonisms that cannot be managed by the democratic process…. It is clear that when the opponent is defined in moral terms, it can only be envisaged as an enemy, not an adversary. With the ‘evil them’ no agonistic debate is possible.” [See: "The ‘End of Politics’ and….]

“She is a Marxist. The two things that Latvians like least are Marxists and Populists. When in Latvia, we must think like Latvians do. I am a Latvian. Few Latvians are ever Marxists. It is for sure that no Latvian can be a Populist.”

“Alright, sir, however, there is no campaign going on in Latvia to turn out the vote on Referendum day, July 23rd. We are missing out on a great opportunity to stir the Populists, the (presumed) majority of Latvians. Not since the rebirth of Latvia, sir, has anyone been as brave as you. Lead on, sir! Lead on! Time is wasting. Make noise, sir! Trumpet and repeat the reasons for the dismissal of Saeima.”

“I cannot do so until after the Referendum vote happens.”
In the wink of an eye.
“Why not, sir?! Do you think that selling off Latvia to foreign banks is only a ‘mistake’? Perhaps the Latvian people think that it is more than a mistake. What do you say to Ernesto Laclau , who insists that “…populist discourse does not simply express some kind of original popular identity; it actually constitutes the latter”?  How will you ‘reform’ without knowing what the popular identity of the Latvians is, sir?

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