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Poll
Question: Who would you vote for? 🇸🇰🗳️
#1
🌹Smer
 
#2
🟦PS
 
#3
💬Hlas
 
#4
🌫️Slovensko
 
#5
✝️KDH
 
#6
🟩SaS
 
#7
🦅SNS
 
#8
🟫Republika
 
#9
🍀Szövetség
 
#10
🟪Demokrati
 
#11
🤲Sme rodina
 
#12
❌Other
 
Show Pie Chart
Partisan results

Total Voters: 16

Author Topic: Slovak Elections and Politics | Fico the Fourth 🇸🇰  (Read 84059 times)
Antonio the Sixth
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« Reply #975 on: April 07, 2024, 04:15:03 AM »

Is there a particular reason for the massive surge in turnout? Have Slovak politics polarized a lot following the political crises of the 2020s, or is there something specific to the candidates that drew people to the polls?
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Estrella
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« Reply #976 on: April 07, 2024, 10:12:36 AM »

Meanwhile in America


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Estrella
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« Reply #977 on: April 07, 2024, 10:12:47 AM »

Is there a particular reason for the massive surge in turnout? Have Slovak politics polarized a lot following the political crises of the 2020s, or is there something specific to the candidates that drew people to the polls?

It's polarization. The Kuciak murder boosted opposition turnout and demotivated Smer voters in 2019, especially in the runoff. Same thing happened in 2020. Then Matovič's incompetence and Heger's support for Ukraine boosted Smer and far-right turnout in 2023 and again yesterday. On the map, many of the highest increases in turnout were in areas where Smer, Harabin and Kotleba were the strongest, now and five years ago (let's put it this way, Hlas ministers parading around with Hitler-saluting neo-Nazis didn't exactly hurt Pelle with ĽSNS voters). Pellegrini's belated but all the more enthusiastic pro-Russian and anti-LGBT turn was a masterstroke: it got him voters who wouldn't otherwise care about the election, but saw the need to protect Slovakia from Ukrainian Nazis, NATO warmongers, gender propaganda or whatever. Hungarian turnout also increased (Orbán's state TV openly campaigning for Pelle in the last days couldn't have hurt) and Hungarians now vote just like Slovaks in areas with comparable economic situation and urbanization. It's why I chose to compare this election not to last time, but to 2009, when a Fico-adjacent candidate won by a similar margin and with a vaguely similar, yet in some ways very different map.
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AustralianSwingVoter
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« Reply #978 on: April 07, 2024, 10:22:50 AM »


Slovak opposition be like
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Antonio the Sixth
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« Reply #979 on: April 07, 2024, 10:32:58 AM »

Is there a particular reason for the massive surge in turnout? Have Slovak politics polarized a lot following the political crises of the 2020s, or is there something specific to the candidates that drew people to the polls?

It's polarization. The Kuciak murder boosted opposition turnout and demotivated Smer voters in 2019, especially in the runoff. Same thing happened in 2020. Then Matovič's incompetence and Heger's support for Ukraine boosted Smer and far-right turnout in 2023 and again yesterday. On the map, many of the highest increases in turnout were in areas where Smer, Harabin and Kotleba were the strongest, now and five years ago (let's put it this way, Hlas ministers parading around with Hitler-saluting neo-Nazis didn't exactly hurt Pelle with ĽSNS voters). Pellegrini's belated but all the more enthusiastic pro-Russian and anti-LGBT turn was a masterstroke: it got him voters who wouldn't otherwise care about the election, but saw the need to protect Slovakia from Ukrainian Nazis, NATO warmongers, gender propaganda or whatever. Hungarian turnout also increased (Orbán's state TV openly campaigning for Pelle in the last days couldn't have hurt) and Hungarians now vote just like Slovaks in areas with comparable economic situation and urbanization. It's why I chose to compare this election not to last time, but to 2009, when a Fico-adjacent candidate won by a similar margin and with a vaguely similar, yet in some ways very different map.

There's certainly something weird about Slovak and Hungarian nationalists getting along... But I guess that goes to show how surface-level the "nationalism" actually is. At the end of the day, for both Orban and Fico, it's all about consolidating power, and it's always easier to deal with a fellow autocrat as a neighbor than with someone who can be held accountable by their citizenry.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #980 on: April 07, 2024, 10:54:47 AM »

Unintended consequence of the Pan-European Security Umbrella. Irredentism is rendered as truly and genuinely performative, and so all kinds of associations that were once unthinkable for very basic practical reasons are not.
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Antonio the Sixth
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« Reply #981 on: April 07, 2024, 11:21:45 AM »

Unintended consequence of the Pan-European Security Umbrella. Irredentism is rendered as truly and genuinely performative, and so all kinds of associations that were once unthinkable for very basic practical reasons are not.

I was actually just thinking that. In a way, there's no greater triumph for the EU than to force even its fiercest opponents to think in its own terms.
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Estrella
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« Reply #982 on: April 09, 2024, 02:41:30 PM »

Fico announced that some austerity measures might be coming up. And by 'some austerity measures' I mean that he stood up on a press conference of the Minister of Finance and said that nobody would notice if he fired 30% of civil servants and ministries would actually work better. Now, this is probably unavoidable – extra taxes on cigarettes and soft drinks aren't gonna do much about the 6% deficit – but I love the utter shamelessness of doing it three days after the election. And, of course, there's the added benefit of being able to replace key employees with loyalists, like his Minister of Culture did when she appointed her friend, an economist mostly known for ranting about transgender ideology, as the director of a children's theatre.

As the presidential campaign ended, the European campaign is starting up. Plain blue billboards with no identifying marks appeared all over Slovakia, with slogans such as "We don't need EU and NATO", "We can't survive without Russia" and "Ukraine is the enemy". Turns out they were put by... the Democrats as a part of a provocative anti-government campaign Tongue
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Estrella
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« Reply #983 on: April 12, 2024, 08:24:50 AM »

I think Fico is in some kind of quantum superposition where he simultaneously holds every single position on Ukraine it’s possible to have.

Quote from: Pravda
The Slovak and Ukrainian governments held talks in Michalovce on Thursday. The meeting resulted in energy memoranda, provision of civil and humanitarian aid and improvement of transport between the neighbouring countries. The atmosphere after the talks was friendly, with smiles, touches and hugs accompanying the prime ministers' meeting.

"You need to put aside fear, prejudices, bring people together, remove bureaucratic obstacles and you will find that difficult decisions can be taken," Fico explained. He believes that "bureaucratic obstacles and bureaucratic contrivances" are hindering the protection of Ukraine's sovereignty and integrity. On the issue of military aid, the government's position is unchanged. Commercial military cooperation will continue and Slovakia wants to help in demining Ukraine.

"The use of Russian military force was a gross violation of international law," Fico said, adding that he did not want to change anything about this and adding that Ukraine needed help and solidarity. The prime minister added that Slovakia wished Ukraine early membership of the European Union. According to the Prime Minister, this is a guarantee of perspective and development.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #984 on: April 12, 2024, 09:54:40 AM »

Say whatever else you like about him, but he really has mastered the art of Being A Postcommunist, which is not always easy.
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Estrella
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« Reply #985 on: April 20, 2024, 05:37:59 PM »

This week's Focus poll for TV Markíza:

TrustDistrust
Peter Pellegrini49 50
Zuzana Čaputová45 54
Robert Fico (Smer)36 64
Michal Šimečka (PS)29 66
Milan Majerský (KDH)28 61
Milan Uhrík (Republika)26 63
Andrej Danko (SNS)24 75
Richard Sulík (SaS)22 76
Krisztián Forró (Szövetség)22 59
Jaroslav Naď (Demokrati)21 73
Igor Matovič (Slovensko)15 84

This, along with election results, makes it clear you can divide the Slovak population (or at least the 60–70% who sometimes follow politics and vote in high-stakes elections) into four blocks:

◾about 30–35% (Smer, SNS, Republika, ĽSNS, parts of Hlas and Szövetség, various left-wing and far-right groups) who love Fico, love the government, agree with their anti-Western/anti-LGBT/anti-justice-system/anti-civil-society conspiracy theories and enthusiastically support everything it does, including unpopular anti-anti-corruption measures. A significant minority is very politically engaged outside mainstream media, on Telegram and such. Basically Trumpists.

◾about 20–25% (Hlas, Szövetség, Sme rodina, parts of KDH and Slovensko) who don't like Fico and his mafia but support the government for their promised welfare measures, social conservatism or a more moderate "yes to NATO but no help for Ukraine" foreign policy and above all see it as a lesser evil compared to liberals and Matovič. Basically the median voter.

◾about 15–20% (KDH, Slovensko, parts of Sme rodina, various minor centre-right and localist parties) who vocally oppose the government, strongly support EU/NATO and would rather eat glass than vote for Fico, but agree with the government on some issues not related to foreign policy or rule of law, such as welfare or various social conservative causes related to LGBT, drugs, hunting etc. Basically conservatives, both mainstream and populist.

◾about 25–30% (PS, SaS, Demokrati), the urban and suburban middle and upper class, plus the majority of, to use a South African term, "born free generation", i.e. post-1989. Basically liberals and progressives, very strongly pro-EU, pro-NATO and pro-Ukraine, supportive of LGBT rights (but cautiously so – something like half of PS voters oppose same-sex adoption), lower penalties for soft drugs and other moderate socially liberal causes. Centre-right on economics and big on fiscal responsbility, but with a small Western-style progressive minority. Obviously they think that Fico, Pelle, far-right and far-left are the second coming of Mečiar/Husák/Tiso, they're very politically engaged*, always vote and many have taken part in protests over the past months.

* this may have been a factor in some of the worst polling errors, but doesn't explain why every pollster said Korčok would get like 8% less in the first round than he really did, or that Republika would get in last year

In the news, Hlas and SNS are having a tiff over who should get the speaker's chair vacated by Pelle (Hlas says it belongs to them as a party, Danko wants it for himself after already having it in 2016–2020), austerity continues as the Minister of Health abolished the €150 yearly dental benefit, and activists organized a fundraiser for ammunition for Ukraine that collected €2.7 million (!) in just five days.
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Estrella
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« Reply #986 on: April 29, 2024, 11:09:51 AM »

Fico decided to dip his sticky fingers into pension funds, continues his purge of anti-corruption prosecutors, keeps up attacks on the Supreme Court and proposed something like the Russian and Georgian foreign agent laws. The debate has started on an SNS proposal that would proclaim all NGOs that receive at least €5000 from abroad to be "organizations with foreign support". This would include all sorts of Hungarian orgs bankrolled by Orbán that did GOTV for Pelle last month, so take that as you will. The pension issue is less emotional, but could have much bigger consequences.

First, some boring background. The Slovak pension system is divided into three "pillars". The first pillar is the compulsory pension insurance, a defined benefit scheme managed by the state-owned Social Insurance Company. It's funded by a flat rate 7% income tax and a ~23% payroll tax*. There's no single retirement age; it's calculated by a complicated formula that takes into account the birth year, sex, number of children and life expectancy. For example, my grandma would have retired at 61, my parents will retire at 64 and I'll retire at 68. If you've worked for at least 15 years and your pension, calculated based on years worked and income, would reach a certain level, you can retire a few years early (which is how my grandma actually retired at 58). The average monthly pension is around €520, a bit more than one third of the average wage.

* There are also a million other compulsory insurances, like the 14% health insurance, a separate 1.4% hospital insurance, 1% unemployment insurance, 4.75% for the "reserve solidarity fund" and so on, which work out to like 40% in employee and payroll taxes before the actual 19–25% income tax. All of these rates are flat btw.

The second pillar is a voluntary defined contribution scheme created by the Dzurinda government. Those who sign up can divert a part of their compulsory insurance into private pension funds that will start paying it out as a supplement to the state pension after reaching the retirement age. The third pillar are private schemes funded by voluntary extra payments from employee or employer.

Because state pensions are so lousy, people know they can't expect much and they don't trust the government not to f/ck up their savings, nearly 70% of the workforce is signed up to the second pillar and about 35% to the third pillar. That's a problem for the government: hundreds of millions of euros that could be going to the Social Insurance Company and used to pay today's pensioners are going to private funds. Not good under any circumstances, but the low-ish pension age, brain drain of young taxpayers and massive deficit all make it worse. The government decided that they'll take some measures to claw back money from the funds. We don't know what exactly they're going to do, but they have to be very careful: people see the second pillar as their money that they keep away from the government for a good reason.

What I said in the previous paragraph are only rarely mentioned as reasons though. In a great demonstration of what kind of left-wing Smer and Hlas are, their justification isn't old-age poverty or income redistribution, it's this:

Quote from: Erik Tomáš (Minister of Labour, Hlas)
That is money that mostly ends up in the USA, but we need that money here at home. Our future retirees are supporting the growth of foreign economies. It's not a new thing for pension funds to invest in government bonds so that the state doesn't have to borrow in international markets. The reasoning is that the state would just borrow money from the second pillar, invest it – and pay it back with interest. [translator's note: lol] It is only being considered whether this money could be invested in building motorways to kick-start the economy.

If you're looking for actual social democratic policies, last year Brigita Schmögnerová (PBUH) prepared a proposal for the new government with a windfall tax, a tax on multinationals, a progressive income tax, stronger colllective bargaining, integrating the Roma into labour market, education and healthcare reforms, decentralization to do something about the massive regional inequality and so on. Not that Fico's interested in any of it.
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Estrella
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« Reply #987 on: April 29, 2024, 11:11:09 AM »

Oh, and also:

activists organized a fundraiser for ammunition for Ukraine that collected €2.7 million (!) in just five days.

14 days, 62 thousand contributors, more than four million (!) euros 🎉🇸🇰🫡🇺🇦
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Mike88
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« Reply #988 on: May 15, 2024, 08:48:48 AM »

Robert Fico has been shot and was rushed to hospital. The extent of the injuries is still unknown. The man who fired the shots against Fico has been arrested.

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Red Velvet
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« Reply #989 on: May 15, 2024, 10:44:19 AM »

Robert Fico has been shot and was rushed to hospital. The extent of the injuries is still unknown. The man who fired the shots against Fico has been arrested.



He’s still alive in the hospital but under risk of death. It was definitely political terrorism. Hoping that Fico recovers soon, the social democrat is probably the only exciting name in Eastern European politics.
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Antonio the Sixth
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« Reply #990 on: May 15, 2024, 11:20:53 AM »

Well this sure came out of nowhere. Supposedly he's hospitalized in "life threatening" conditions (which I assume is the step below "critical"?) so we'll see how that plays out. I wonder what the shooter's motive was though, and where this ranges on the spectrum between "just a crazy person acting out" and "targeted political assassination". The latter would be ominous news for all Slovak politics...
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CumbrianLefty
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« Reply #991 on: May 15, 2024, 11:31:18 AM »

There is now a thread on this important event in the IGD section.
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Estrella
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« Reply #992 on: May 20, 2024, 02:11:34 PM »

ayyy lmao

Video shows how SNS leader Andrej Danko got into a fight at a gas station

Quote
He turned to the unknown man and knocked things out of his hands, even though the man had not physically touched him in any way before. He then remained standing with his face just opposite the man's, saying something as he did so. A security guard became involved in the tense situation and stood just in front of the man and pushed the assaulted man away with his hand. Other footage already shows the man picking up items knocked from the floor.

The car was driven by a security guard, as Danko's driving licence was taken away for two years after he recently crashed into a traffic light. He was also fined 900 euros. The incident at the petrol station took place a few minutes before 10 p.m., according to the time on the video.

The incident is already being investigated by the police, who have been contacted by the man who was attacked. That evening, according to SME, he went to the district headquarters in Nitra to testify about it. The police are investigating the incident as a suspected offence against civil coexistence. It carries a fine of up to 99 euros.
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Estrella
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« Reply #993 on: Today at 05:23:37 AM »

So the government wants to, uh, pretty much start banning opposition media, starting with the silly and occasionally political memes from Zomri. They have 374k followers of Instagram and 413k on Facebook, which really is something in a country of five million.

SNS wants to crack down on satirical website Zomri, extremist Bombic published a photo of the alleged admin's child

Quote
SNS chair Andrej Danko has for several years been one of the most frequent subjects of the satirical website Zomri, which is followed by hundreds of thousands of Slovaks on social networks. When journalists drew attention to his plagiarized diploma thesis, when he crashed his car into a traffic light, or when he sometimes cursed, a series of videos or humorous pictures with Danko's image followed on Zomri.

SNS politicians used Wednesday's assassination of Prime Minister Robert Fico to start talking about ending the website in its current form. Danko describes it as extremist and even indirectly links it to the shooting of Prime Minister Fico. "Do you consider it normal that it has 'Zomri' ('Die') in its name? And then the prime minister will be shot?" asked the SNS chairman in a debate on TA3 on Sunday.

So SNS would have to find a way to force Meta to either block the Zomri site, reduce its reach, or at least provide data on the people who operate it. Earlier on Friday, the pro-Russian disinformation radio Infovojna said that Zomri administrators were allegedly allowed to break the law, something Meta is sensitive to. According to the SNS chairman, the site has long radicalised its followers. However, in the broadcast, he also suggested that he takes party interests into account when it comes to media or sites like Zomri. He indirectly identified them as one of the reasons why he dropped out of parliament in the 2020 elections.

"It's the main satirical site of the liberal cafés, its name is literally a call to violence. They dehumanised a part of Slovak society with their humour, but in doing so they banned me and Rudo Huliak from Facebook," said Smer MP Ľuboš Blaha, alluding to the fact that he lost his Facebook account two years ago. The reason was multiple violations of the site's rules, especially during the pandemic.

Environment Minister Tomáš Taraba (SNS) also joined the move against Zomri on Sunday, indirectly calling on the police or the prosecutor's office to deal with its administrators. "Zomri by name alone should be a special focus of law enforcement. Historically, it is a scandal that this instrument of heckling of three boys with bags on their heads has been overlooked by the law enforcement for such a long time here," Taraba wrote on Facebook. One commenter asked Taraba what they were waiting for as government politicians. "Now is your chance to abolish these anti-Slovak sewers," the debater added. Minister Taraba publicly wrote back saying they are already working on it."We are not waiting for anything, everything is being legally prepared," Taraba wrote.

Another person who would like to silence the Zomri website is extremist and anti-Semite Daniel Bombic, who goes by Danny Kollar on social media. On Saturday, he posted a series of photos in which someone surreptitiously snapped one of the supposed administrators in places where he normally hangs out. Among the photos is a shot of a man who is allegedly one of the administrators taking a child to daycare. Bombic also stated in which village this nursery is located. There is also a photo of the man's alleged car with a license plate number.

Danko announced last week in Infovojna that he would bring several proposals to the next coalition meeting that should affect the functioning of the media and social networks. "I will do everything I can to put some areas in the media environment in order," he said.

The EU will do nothing, of course.
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AustralianSwingVoter
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« Reply #994 on: Today at 06:18:23 AM »

When I think dangerous assassins the first thing I think of is satirists in liberal cafes.
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CumbrianLefty
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« Reply #995 on: Today at 10:38:52 AM »

Few things were more depressingly predictable than this.
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