Ivana Marić: Do We Even Need Elections?

After we have completed the fabricated story of war and realized that there will be none of that, the leaders of the national parties are now forced to devise a new crisis and a new war, in order to capture the public’s attention. However, the urgent need to draw citizens’ attention to the poor economic situation, the complete absence of reforms, and in particular the numerous scandals and trials involving high-ranking political officials. Until they come up with something better and more original, they are trying to scare us with threats that there will be no general election in October. Yeah, so?

It is as if something significant is changing in the elections in BiH. Do elections make sense when citizens have been voting for their executioners and those who are leading them and the state to ruin for thirty years? It is as if the leading parties are not stealing the elections through well-developed and well-established electoral engineering and an entire army of party mercenaries in charge of election fraud. It is as if the election results reflect the will of the voters, not the vote counters. It is as if tens of thousands of voters are not selling their vote for anything, and that is precisely to those parties that have put them in such a bad economic situation that they have to sell even the few rights they have, and thus their dignity. It is as if many deputies, elected by the citizens, are not sold after the elections, to those who were most criticized during the election campaign. It is as if those we choose will think for themselves and do the work for which they are paid, and not listen to the orders of the leaders and look only at their own interest. It is as if decisions on the most important issues will not be made by presidents and diplomats of other countries, but by those we have chosen to represent us. It is as if the voters will choose politicians who will be honest and moral and who will fight corruption, and not again the same politicians who are involved in numerous scandals and who are being tried for crime. It is as if there are much better politicians than the ones we currently have, and not just their pale copies who will become like them because we do not have the rule of law, and our moral system is disturbed. Then why spend our time and money on elections, when it will not bring us anything good anyway.

With this state of citizens’ consciousness, we might be even better off without elections, because the ruling parties could continue to steal money from citizens in peace without having to prove who is a bigger Serb, Croat, or Bosniak and without having to invent conflicts and wars and raise national tensions, fearing they would lose the next election. So, everything would be the same, but the nations would hate each other a little less. Maybe then it is better to leave this and this kind of government for the next thirty years, until the people stop falling for their scams and learn that democracy means obligations, not just rights. Until then, we could usefully spend the hundreds of millions we throw at the elections.

What Have the Last Elections Brought Us?

There were also elections for the level of the Federation of BiH. Many representatives remained the same, and we got some new ones, but we hardly hear that any of them are doing anything. The ruling coalition has remained the same, only the DF has now joined the longest-running coalition of the SDA and HDZ. The government has not changed and we have allowed the ignorance of the election results and the tacit agreement between the SDA and the HDZ to continue its work illegally and go unpunished. We have also allowed the government to be led by the Prime Minister, against whom the indictment for participating in the ‘Respirators’ affair has been confirmed. His deputy is also on trial in the same case. We also bear the silence that we did not get a new president and vice-presidents of the Federation, but that the performers of these functions illegally extended another term. For the first time, all the people’s clubs in the House of Peoples were completely filled. It is less important that for some of the delegates, their mother did not even know that they were Serbs, Croats or Others, because those places were easier to get than a place in the Bosniak Club. Instead of power being the foundation of democracy, it has turned into a political circus full of acrobatics, fraud, immorality, abuse, trials, threats and corruption. And we chose all that in the previous elections, and we will do the same in the next ones.

There were elections in Mostar as well. This city has been a city of chance for twelve years, and it remained so after the elections because the situation did not improve even after the elections. For years, the SDA and HDZ have refused to agree on electoral changes, denying Mostar citizens their right to vote. The people of Mostar did not protest much because the national parties, by constantly raising national tensions and spreading hatred towards members of other nations, anesthetized their need for democracy. The people of Mostar did not mind that the two parties are cooperating very well in sharing the election spoils from 12 years ago. You would expect the citizens to punish those who made a mockery of that beautiful city. But no, the people of Mostar have shown that they do not need elections because they have left the city in the jaws of the same people who crippled the city. The SDA and HDZ ruled Mostar together after the war, during a twelve-year suspension of democracy, and are still ruling now, after ‘historic’ elections. The only positive thing about these elections is that Mostar got a couple of deputies who are fighting with all their might for their fellow citizens, ignoring numerous criticisms and threats.

Home of Losers and Home of Yes-men

There were also elections for the state parliament. We reconsidered whom to give our vote to and who could best represent our interests in parliament, and then we chose worse than to vote blindly. We have chosen climate leaders who do not have their own position but are waiting for the leader of their people to tell them how to behave, what to say, whether and how to vote, whether to boycott the parliament and when to return to it. We got invertebrates, whose main task is not to offend anyone, because the mandate passes quickly and it is never known who they might need if they lose their jobs. Among all that scum, there are a couple of MPs who are really fighting for the interests of the citizens, and not primarily only for their own interests.

We did not vote for the House of Peoples, but those to whom we gave support delegated to the House of Peoples those who did not receive the support of voters. Thus, that home turned into a haven for election losers and cowards who did not even dare to go out and deal with their rivals. Some delegates managed to get through, who is really doing their job for which they are paid, and do not stare at leaders waiting for the next order.

After we completed both houses of the state parliament, one big nothing happened. We had to wait a year for the SDA, HDZ and SNSD to agree on the division of the spoils. After the process of forming the Council of Ministers was completed, the dismissals of directors of institutions and public companies began. Then they voted on the budget to provide money for salaries, especially salaries for the army of voters housed in the state administration, then money for national teams, luxury cars, exotic travel, drivers, advisors and assistants. And then again one big nothing. During the pandemic, we also forgot that we have state power because everyone got into their mouse holes. Dodik’s guard, which started the blockade of state institutions, made sure that they didn’t have to do something after the pandemic passed.

And the complete structure was not able to meet any of the 14 conditions set by the EU for obtaining candidate status in a couple of years. For all those years, instead of returning, we had people leaving. For all those years, we had constant price increases and job losses, instead of economic progress and the opening of factories and new jobs. In all those years, we have failed to send a single corrupt politician or shady entrepreneur behind bars. Basically, we might have done better if we hadn’t had elections and left the old composition of both the parliament and the Council of Ministers, because there were at least a few active MPs and ministers in that composition, unlike this one where we ask God not to do anything, because with every move, they only bring shame and harm us.

Members of the Presidency vs. Leaders of the People

There were also elections for members of the BiH Presidency. We have chosen members who appear in the media only when they shoot, quarrel or threaten each other or turn that institution into a circus. We have chosen members who are not cut by anyone and who serve as ikebana that someone sometimes invites somewhere, where nothing important is happening. Self-proclaimed leaders of the people are talking about all important things. This problem is made even greater by the fact that other countries invite self-proclaimed leaders of the people to meetings, instead of official representatives elected by the citizens.

In the end, everyone decides on BiH except those we elected, because they do not want to reach an agreement, but transfer their work to others. Erdoğan and Vučić, Plenković, Milanović, Orban, Russian and German foreign ministries, American and EU diplomats are talking about BiH, and the Croatian foreign minister even mentions that he received a guarantee from Russia for changes to the BiH Election Law. Is there any need for BiH to have its own institutions or is it enough to leave three self-proclaimed national leaders and actually hand over complete power to them, since it is obvious that they already have it?

After all that, the logical question is, do we need elections at all? Why should we elect government representatives when the fate of BiH is decided by other countries through three national leaders?

What is democracy?

Bosnia and Herzegovina is rightly placed on the list of hybrid democracies, which means that we have democracy on paper, but not in reality. Democracy guarantees us freedom and many rights, but it also implies many obligations and taking responsibility for our actions and decisions, especially election decisions. Use your brain and don’t let criminals deceive you for decades. Use your right to vote, but not to earn BAM 50. Instead choose someone who will allow you to earn much more, on your own and in a dignified way.

If you want better government then you need to vote for better politicians and not for corrupt politicians and nationalists. If you want corrupt politicians to be sanctioned then you need to stop admiring them, making up excuses and voting for them. If you want a strong opposition, then vote for honest and strong oppositionists, and not for those who have been sitting in parliament for decades without results and who have merged with the ruling party so much that you can’t even tell them apart. If you want change, it has to start with you. Change cannot happen by itself, but each of us must change in order to pass it on to the collective.

What is certain is that the ruling coalition will keep our attention until the elections with new threats, spreading fear, constant skirmishes, false conflicts, imaginary hatred, accordions, illegal holidays and proving who is the greater believer. For them, that is the only way to win the elections, because they have no results. You have the right and obligation to stop such politicians, to punish them for all the evil they have done, to show them that you know better and not to fall for their fictional stories about national conflicts that cover up their crime. See how the leaders of your people, their families and associates live, and then turn around, look at how you and your families live and everything will be clear. Don’t vote for corrupt politicians, millionaires who only pretend to care about the poor and their people. Use the elections to choose people who are similar to you, who have similar problems, who are honest and moral, and who will know and want to fight for the rights of citizens. There are few of them, but it is enough to begin with. Only in that case it pays to have elections, everything else is just a hoax.

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