After a summer drier than usual in what concerns political reactions and political life, it is as clear as possible that the apex of the crisis, hidden so well for years, has been reached and also surpassed.
And this crisis has a unique and main reason – we lack political parties.
It’s now visible more than ever before.
And not because it’s an election year. But because we have reached a complete lack of solutions, of strategy, of vision and, in the end, of imagination when it comes to anything that the thinking, rethinking and the rendering viable of a party entails. Or, in short, its rebranding, rebranding intended for almost all so-called parties in recent years.
And at this point I would like to ask what kind of rebranding can or could this be about, as long as you haven’t taken the natural and, after all, mandatory step in this sense: that of at first creating a brand in order for you to then be capable of rethinking and renewing it.
One of the symptoms that define this political crisis, whose provenance is apparently partisan, consists of the birth of some parties which, in the absence of any natural legitimacy, have the pretence of drawing power from various associations, combinations and the recruiting of various politicians (MPs).
That was the case of the latest such appearance of a sensational character, which was at the centre of debates at the end of this summer and early political autumn, a case so placid, so predictable and so redundant all the way through – the case of the United Romania Party (PRU).
Where is the novelty and the big political hit in the appearance of another party created through party switching?
What would be the novelty in this well-known and over-used political recombination and permutation (the whole political spectrum lacks really new people!), dressed-up in a discourse that wants to be (but is not) of strong nationalist influence? An influence that wants to generate the radical change (another one!) of all that now exists in Romania in terms of politics.
There is no novelty – warning, the fans of sensationalism should pay heed – that would basically concern this PRU. Another group with a pretentious party title that is working based on the same principle – osmosis and messianism – and that Romanian politics has allegedly urgently (but urgently!) and continuously needed for the last 27 years now. Completely wrong. An error in which, in fact, we have all persevered for just as long.
We can just as well replace PRU with UNPR. The pilot and proud project that perfected the model of ALDE, PSRO, PMP, PMP-UNPR and other “Ps” with various terminations but with the same point of creation, intent and finality – MPs churned around like corn flour in a strainer.
What would be truly worthy of saying about this new so-called party in which the autumn sign-ups have started for MPs who are on the last stretch of their tenures and at the finish line of the candidacy lists?
That even the last party with pretentions of identity, greatness and strength – PSD – is fully showing its nakedness, its lack of consistency and, after all, the huge power vacuum hidden behind the euphoric fumes of winning some city halls and of the new leadership line-up.
It’s as logical and simple as possible. A political leader can exist outside a party too. The reverse is far too unlikely.
I am here talking precisely about what is more important regarding PRU. Or any other similar party that has appeared and will keep appearing since we’re just at the start of the session.
Unfortunately, in political Romania, a party’s president is the equivalent of political leader too.
PSD, the largest political party in the country (based on the model and criterion of Romanian “parties,” of course), finds itself in one of the moments in which it claims and believes to be the strongest when, in fact, in the correct and visible reality, it turns out to be the weakest at this moment. Weaker even than anything there is to the right or any other side of the political spectrum. And PRU is ample proof of that.
The winning of local elections, which in any other conditions would have secured a significant part of the power, served only to set in stone the long-term incurable ailment of this party in which the main and eternal problem has always been that of the leader and of infighting.
After the president with the most embarrassing political profile, who succeeded one just as cartoonish and considered to be inept, PSD now has a president (with the implied automatic conferring of the title of leader) whose mysterious allure and deep silence were for a time thought to hide a political spirit, a skill and a genius at least Machiavellian, one who would, in what way it is not known (since the leader does not like to share), bring PSD to the strongest and most stable position since it was created.
Nothing can be more erroneous. Sometimes, silence hides exactly what lies behind. Nothing.
Klaus Iohannis’s silence, with which he won the elections, coming after a hyper-talkative president, as well as Dragnea’s silence, coming after a Ponta who instead of politics could have made a career as a buffoon at the court of a more eccentric king, have the same thing in common. The hiding of nothingness. This is probably also the reason why the two gentlemen like each other to such a small extent.
In many ways, Liviu Dragnea is worse in terms of lack of political skill and substance than Tariceanu, Gorghiu and Blaga. Worse even than Gabriel Oprea, who has remained in the collective memory as a leader, even as a sacrificed one. Worse even than Ponta who, one way or another, although the reasons loom and are understood, has an extraordinarily good image and not just as a politician but also as a leader.
Thus, it is as natural as it can be for “leaders” such as Ponta and “parties” such as PRU to propel themselves like fireworks rockets through Liviu Dragnea’s weakness. The ones that will in the end represent the basis of political alliances that will once again – how else? – enter the elections. And PSD is subscribed to these alliances the more so. In spite of its cardboard leader’s expressed desire not only to run alone but also to create an exclusively Social-Democrat future government.
Dividing and dissipating in order to come up with a new and stronger rally is a strategy not only as old as the world itself but also a particularly interesting one. With one observation. The one implementing it has to be a leader with all the required qualities.