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Romanian opposition must dump the personal from the political

The most curious reason for last month’s impeachment of the sitting Emil Boc Government by the opposition Liberals (PNL) and Social Democrats (PSD) was an attack on Prime Minister Boc himself for his lack of personality

November 2010 - From the Print Edition

A lack of personality? Is it a pre-requisite of the head of Government to be a person full of personality? Can a Prime Minister be removed from office for failing to be an all-round great guy?
It could be argued that the country should replace Mr Boc with a captain of industry or a Nobel Prize Winner in economics, but I seem to have got this wrong - the country needs someone with personality - someone fun - who entertains us while the country stumbles through a second year of decline.
Why not approach Jamie Oliver? He is full of personality - a delegation should fly to his London restaurant, eat up a three-course meal on expenses, and then make a proposal to the chubby-faced chef: ‘Would you like to become the next Prime Minister of Romania? Please, Jamie, the country needs you.’
The censure motion itself was a disservice to many intelligent past and present members of the PNL and PSD - where were the speech-writers, the policy-makers and even the comedians, when someone was writing what could have been a crucial historical document? What was the core purpose for which the motion was launched? It was only a series of complaints, rather than one strong and irrefutable reason for dismissal.
The motion kicked off with a personal attack on the Prime Minister, detailing that he was responsible for the “collapse” of the economy, living standards and a war on the private sector – but failed to illustrate how Romania has been at the mercy of the international financial crisis and state overspending before 2008.
Another key complaint was criticising the Government for raising VAT from 19 to 24 per cent last summer, which was not in Boc’s original plan in 2009. But the Boc Government did not want to introduce this measure - it was the only choice for the leadership after the Parliament - urged by the PNL and PSD - rejected a reduction in pensions. It was forced upon the Government by the PNL-PSD and now the PNL-PSD were trying to use this as a reason for kicking the Government out of power.
There was also empty-headed unjustified statistics such as Boc had taken the country ‘ten years’ backward’ and comparing Romania to the ‘Congo’ - the kind of arthritic discourse delivered by a senile old men at bus-stops.
There was also an appeal to the public’s appetite for believing the country is run by a shady group of ‘interests’ - which the leading Democratic Liberal Party (PDL) is also often guilty of invoking when trying to justify tough legislation.
The motion attacked the Government for their opportunism and their unity in a single objective – the maintaining of power at any price at the purpose of using public resources to satisfy the interests of their political clients – but it offered no hard evidence of what was exploited and by whom - this was a detective without a victim or crime, but with the handcuffs already locked around the wrist of the guilty party.
The country needs a debate. Protesters need to be heard. The exploitation of Romania’s resources by clients of the Government needs exposure with water-tight proof. The Boc Government must be held to account. But not by an opposition which does not seem to understand the difference between opposing the Government and deposing the Government.
The censure motion was an insult to the well-meaning people who have a strong argument against the austerity measures. They need rigorous intellectual backing from an opposition supporting their claims to a fair deal.
The motion did not ask for a debate - it had decided the sentence must happen before the trial began and was ready for the axe to fall on Boc and his criminal absence of personality. But it failed. This time.

Michael Bird



COMMENTS
There are 2 comments:

Ionut: on 2010-11-08 16:50:20
"The country needs someone with personality - someone fun - who entertains us while the country stumbles through a second year of decline."
What our county needs is a good old Romanian gypsy who can do a better job than what we have running our country. Gypsies have fun personalities entertaining the locals while they drunkenly stumble down Bucharest streets. Then everyone can happily look forward to more years of decline with a smile and distinct Romanian personality.

Edwin T: on 2010-11-02 12:25:54
Well said Mr. Bird! The politicians in Romania seem to prefer to ridicule eachother in the national and international Press as well as in the Parliamentary Chamber.

This deservedly gives Romania an international reputation of a barely functioning demoicracy and acts to scare away FDI at an ever increasing rate.

Romanian entrepreneurs and private sector business people are flaberghasted and exasperated at what to do.

 
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