Slovakia and the Euro Bailout: What happened? What next? (Part II, Making a short story long)
Work in progress here, but I wanted to get out the first half while anybody was still interested. Before I get to that, however, a bit of news:
Slovak media is reporting an agreement: Smer will support the EFSF package in a vote to be held Friday at the latest in return for early elections on March 10, 2012.
Those with no interest in Slovakia are now free to go.
If you’re still interested, know that Slovakia’s upcoming electoral environment is not far distant from its environment five months before the 2010 election (one that seems just months ago). The parties of the current opposition, the left-national Smer and far-national SNS (along with their ever-shrinking ally, Meciar’s HZDS) are together polling at a level that would secure them 82-84 seats, about 8 more than half. On one hand, this is actually /lower/ than level that the same parties polled at the same time distance ahead of the 2010 election. On the other hand at that time those parties were in government and liable for any and all scandals that emerged. This time the “incumbents” will be the parties that are now behind. Once again the key to the Slovak election results will be the performance of small parties. There are five parties hovering within 2 points of the 5% threshold: the Slovak National Party, the SaS (which just voted against the EFSF), Most-Hid (the Hungarian party in government), SMK-MKP (Most-Hid’s rival currently out of government but making up ground) and, probably out of contention but still hanging around, Meciar’s HZDS. There is also the spectre of at least two new parties: Igor Matovic’s Ordinary People (OL) (which emerged when OL delegates unexpectedly gained parliamentary seats on the SaS through extensive use of preference votes) and Anna Belousovova’s Nation and Justice (NaS), a splinter of SNS. Both of these just might have a chance of picking off disaffected voters.
Any combination of SNS, NAS or HZDS in parliament probably means a Fico government. The absence of all three would make a Fico government very difficult, but a non-Fico government that includes the members of the current coalition and SaS and/or SMK-MKP would require a lot of willingness to forgive recent, raw wounds.
I have now finished the unfinished analysis of 12 October and moved it here: