As it was certain to happen, Klaus Iohannis easily defeated Viorica Dancila, being elected for a second term with about two thirds of the votes, Dancila’s sole goal having been to get that second place and advance, which she managed much more easily than anticipated. If you exclude 1990, this makes the result comparable only with the one from 2000 in terms of difference, and also the first time PSD, in any of its forms, has suffered such a heavy defeat. But, of course, seeing as it was PNL‘s representative who defeated them, it just means keeping the current evil in office to keep the greater one out, and doing so at a time when, with PNL now forming the Government as well, said current evil increased significantly, no longer being there to fight against PSD’s worst moves, but to empower PNL in theirs.
Looking at it like that, some may, and have, been inclined to think that it’d have been better to have Dancila in that office after all, to keep them fighting each other and maybe keep each other’s most dangerous plans from becoming reality. But, ignoring the fact that there was never any chance of that happening, the way the system and people work means that, when it comes to those with real chances at the top positions, it’s almost always a choice between evils, and usually between great ones. It other words, it obviously has nothing to do with any hope or expectation of anything good, but merely a matter of choosing your preferred enemy, of fulfilling your obligation to vote, to express your opinion, out of the available choices, when the authorities actually go through a lot of trouble to ask it of you, in order to obtain the right to complain, to demand to be heard, the rest of the time. And, taken like that, no matter how much I am against the Right, I’d much rather have those who are openly on the Right instead of those representing an oligarchic, if not even sort of feudal, Right masquerading as the Left, just throwing some scraps to those in need to keep them captive and utterly trashing the whole concept of the Left, taking it to such lows in the mind of many, and of many of those seeking alternatives in particular, that any actual Leftist initiative is doomed from the start.
Other than that, both represent the current political class and PSD and PNL are the two largest parties, which should be opposed as a matter of principle, and of course neither of them is an environmentalist, but that’s pretty much all that they’re level at. While neither is suited for such a high office, Dancila is far worse. She’s also quite a nationalist, a soft euroskeptic, socially conservative and making a point of being religious, while he’s pro-EU, not a nationalist, and I’d say quite neutral when it comes to the other two issues. And he also has far better international connections, image and, to some extent, support. What those connections are, where that support comes from and what it implies, are different matters and an important reason why he also represents a great evil, but having them is crucial under any circumstances, and especially when, according to the Romanian Constitution, the President primarily deals with external affairs.
But, of course, the fact remains that, while elsewhere the major parties are being pushed aside, we’re pretty much where we were five, and ten, and 15, and even 23 years ago, still mainly struggling to find a way to stop PSD, in its various incarnations, and being unable, and unfortunately in the case of some also unwilling, to push against the entire system maintaining this situation, to build and support real alternatives. Admittedly, in terms of the negative consequences of this behavior we did come a long way from the disaster that was the period between 1996 and 2000, and also, as someone put it, when you constantly have to struggle to keep the mountain from falling on top of you, it’s impossible to also build, to lay the foundations for the future. But we need to, we can’t just keep staying where we are, we can’t just keep focusing only on pushing back the greater evil and buying time when there’s no more time to be found, the clock ticking so loudly… If the final hour didn’t pass already, that is.
I recall some fliers someone was spreading five years ago, calling Klaus Iohannis emergency medication, with significant side effects that need to be accepted by the patients, as taking it, in a single dose, is necessary to stave off the plague coming upon us. The problem is that we’re now at the second dose, the side effects are likely to be worse, the plague’s still there, and an actual cure is still nowhere to be found. And no, I don’t see USR, and even less so PLUS and their alliance with each other, as even a potential cure. Leaving aside the fact that they remain irrelevant on the political scene, I don’t even see Demos as one, though I guess they at least have the beginnings of some good ideas, the problem being that they’re at a level that belongs decades in the past and even those ideas are mixed with quite a pile of crap, albeit a very different sort of crap than what other parties put forward.
Later edit: My first question for Iohannis now would be, well, long, but go something like this: Many Romanians, perhaps most, the vast majority of those in rural areas, many from small urban areas and a significant part of those from large urban areas as well, live in poverty and social exclusion or are at risk of it. They lack access to the resources, goods, services and infrastructure needed for a decent standard of living, they aren’t connected with the world, they don’t and can’t have a decent level of information and education, not necessarily formal but that which is needed to have a good life and be active citizens. You say, and I completely agree, that PSD does not care for these people, merely throwing them the occasional “bone” to keep them captive, as doing something to actually pull them out of that state would result in losing them as their voters. However, these “electoral alms” are at least some sort of direct, immediate aid, which is what these people need, first to survive and then to be lifted out of their current state. You represent, and at this point can be said to also lead, the Right in Romania, and also claim to be the president of all Romanians. Other than disdain, insults, humiliation, and maybe some talks about some abstract growth and development from which they may perhaps hope to have a few drops trickle down to them, what does the Right have to offer these people who need direct support, right now, and how do you intend to be their president as well?