Kata Marijan- Krželj
Its 2:20 pm. Day after the elections. Earth is shaking in Livno and Kupres…4.5 on the Richter scale. The tremors passed almost unnoticed amidst the usual critical post-election talks on the number of votes won by the individual candidates, who fared well, who sold/bought the votes, how nothing really changes, how we’re back in ’92…and today, again, the same discussion.
If we perceive elections as the only mechanism of political participation of the citizens, we can calmly pack our things, as less than half of the citizens attend the elections.
Who got elected? I honestly don’t care nor do I care what political party he hails from, for both old and new representatives and mayors can act with more responsibility IF WE DEMAND IT. The problem lies with us, not “them”. “They” lie to us; “they” stole from us for years on end…because WE ALLOW IT. Civic indolence in a term of passive acceptance of a lousy and nontransparent work of the municipal services and low levels of the provided services is the greatest obstacle to the progress of the local government level.
It would be far better if no one would attend the elections, and inform ourselves on our rights and competences of the municipal councils and administrations instead, and then demand those rights, with solidarity and consistency. Then it would hardly matter who was elected for they would know from the very start that they will be held accountable for their actions. In the words of Aleksandar Trifunović: “We are the ones who should yell and protest against the government, and not the other way around. For this is our country.” (Buka 8.10.2012. //www.6yka.com/novost/29254/aleksandar-trifunovicizbori-2012-pobjeda-glupana)
The municipal governments are closest to the citizens and it is here that we realize most of our rights; this more than just roads, parks and street-lights. In their essence these rights encompass everything that constitutes our living standard for “our country” is first and foremost our local community. As long as we accept, or permit the irresponsible behavior of our local governments they will remain deaf to our needs. If the local level is one that carries most significance for our everyday lives, it is precisely the place we should be most informed, most active, most vocal.
Let us explore, inform ourselves, react and protest. Let’s pay more attention to what they do and how they spend our money. Let’s initiate quality public debate, outside of the bars and markets. LET’S RESHAPE OUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT. Well informed and active citizens, and not the local elections, are our strongest weapon against irresponsible municipal government.
Attendance of these elections is not as important as our involvement in the following period before next elections. For we really do have, and will continue to have, municipal government we deserve. The choice, as always, is ours.