Sunday, December 14, 2003

Better Than Expected?

First few weeks after the election, Ivo Sanader is giving much better impression than expected. Explanation for that can be found in Croatian media – many professional pundits are "adjusting" to new reality and start to praise the man who have been demonising only few weeks ago.

Another reason is objective – Sanader won elections with very tight margin; with exactly the same results and Ivica Račan (Ivica Racan) marginally more interested in keeping power, he wouldn't have reasons to call this victory at all.
That left very few options for Sanader to form the government – HSP as coalition partner was unacceptable for his European cheerleaders; HSS as coalition partner was unacceptable for HSS rank-and-file; that left only ethnic minorities and pensioners as a base for something resembling stable parliamentary majority. That, if not anything else, would have moderating influence on HDZ government.

But the most pleasant surprise comes from Sanader himself. He seems to continue with election campaign, only this time it is directed towards people who were voting for someone else. The idea is to overcome possibility of parliamentary gridlock and blackmail by appealing towards general public with the idea of "consensus politics".

So, the arrogance that used to be characteristics of HDZ during the "good" old days is luxury Sanader simply can't afford these days.

Sanader instead tries to win hearts and minds of the former anti-Tudjmanist people. He gave two interviews to Slobodna Dalmacija, and both interviewers – Djermano "Ćićo" Senjanović (Djermano "Cico" Senjanovic) and Zlatko Gall – were generally regarded as people of left-wing political persuasion. There he repeated views that were indistinguishable from the views of any Croatian politician who had ran against former Tudjmanists in 2000.

However, if Sanader wins over people outside his natural political base, it wouldn't happen because of his rhetoric or charm. He simply seems to be more confident politician than Račan (Racan) and, this, more than anything else, is why he is going to be acceptable to the Croatian left. And, since Sanader's political platform – apart from ideological rhetoric - is carbon copy of Račan's, the only difference is in the way it is put in practice. Sanader, unlike Račan, gives impression of actually doing something while in power.

Only the future would show whether that "something" is going to be good or bad. First signs point to the former.


Post a Comment

<< Home