Friday, 30 November 2007

Future of Lithuanian liberal politics

At the time when ideology is found in hidden shelves of political parties in Europe. When liberal democracy and free market economy is the only way, what will the future offer for Lithuanian parties that find themselves somewhere in the centre of the political arena?

Lietuvos Respublikos Liberalų Sąjūdis (LRLS)
Lietuvos Liberalų ir Centro Sąjunga (LiCS)
Lietuvos Socialliberalai (Naujoji Sąjunga) (NS)

Facts and figures:
Currently in the Seimas (Lithuanian Parliament)
LRLS - 9
LiCS - 9
NS - 10

Forthcoming events

2008 Ocotber elections to Seimas
September poll show us that:
NS - 6.2%
LiCS - 3.4%
LRLS - 2.3%
5% is the barrier to get through to the Parliament.

141 members of the Seimas are elected: 71 – in single-member constituencies and 70 – in the multi-member constituency. Potentially LiCS and LRLS are quite strong in single-member constituencies, but if they would fail, they risk of not being represented in the Parliament.

United we stand, divided we fall

While it is clear that there is no chance that these 3 political parties would form a unified coalition or would create a united list, from my point of view this strategy endangers existance of these parties in the Parliament.
In the transition democracy as Lithuania is leader rules the party and surely parties fall because of leaders. I do not think that latter is an option for the time being, but I am convinced that with the leaders that are in the positions right now, no cooperation among centre forces can be established.
Taking these elements for granted centre parties can hope for a continuous reduction of their seats from 29 (in total before 2008) to 20 (after 2008), which in turn would deceive the electorate that is already discouraged by the constant political bickering and scandals.
Conservatives have recently suggested a possibility of creating "The Right Alternative", which would unify all the centre and centre right forces in order to counteract negative developments in the country and potentially fight off growing populist sentiment in the electorate. One needs to be cautious of conservatives that aim of emerging the big winners in the next Parliamentary elections, since alligning oneself to conservative party might mislead the electorate and in the long run might result into even bigger electoral losses.

Dreams of the 3rd party

Liberal forces in the country can play a strong role in the future of Lithuania and while observing poltical landscapes in other European countries one might only hope that one day Lithuania will also have the 3rd party that has a strong middle class liberal electorate.
I believe that unification of the liberal block can and hopefully will happen in the run up to the Presidential elections in 2009. Parties must come up with one candidate and start talks of unification into one block since in my view results of Seimas elections in 2008 will make it simply inevitable.

No comments: