The Campaign and the Winners
The Campaign and the Winners

Two decades of elections, who makes them and how

14 November 2011, Duma Newspaper, issue 260

Galina Assenova, Ivelin Nikolov

Cotler, Miller, Le Bon, Manolov, Baykov. From 1993 till 2006 this is a very often used literature through which Wikipedia explains the essence of the election campaign. It is a little bit strange taking into account that it is 2011 today. It is true that the tried and tested methods are always a safe haven for the lazy ones but...People change, everything is subject to impermanence in this world, even the earth turns. The fans of the traditions and the so called core voters no longer appreciate the brand just for the sake of the brand. They want to see, feel, and assess the people and their qualities. They want to touch "the product's quality" as well. They want to find themselves or the self they have always wanted to be but never have been. Therefore when you hear someone saying something like "I make elections for already 20 years..." you can get goose bumps. It is the same when you see a fireman to unfold an election hose in a forest area described as a jungle with bad raw material.

Why Wikipedia? Since during election campaigns one does not learn on the street? Even if the street is on Internet? Just like the hairdressers who go to special courses or like all professions it is required to have different qualifications, trainings and other types of education and courses.

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Candidates are nominated and presented, posters are stuck everywhere, leaflets are disseminated, meetings are organized, debates, TV reportages, interviews...Then commissions, polling stations, ballots, observers. There are unbiased voters. And the constituency has the territory just as big as a recreational centre in Kiten.

No, these are not real elections. In the beginning of September, days before the start of the official hot election campaign, 25 young people from all over the country learn how to make elections and make a simulation of the campaign and the election process.

Many practitioners say that political competence is something you are born with. Recently the  very widely spread tendency has been to catch on the street candidates for power positions such as MPs, mayors or counsellors and to bring them straight into public governance.  Even more, once they have learnt their lesson in the campaign and the governing position they keep it forever with them, they carry it with them and they grow together with it. There is not a single trace of political management, responsible governance, administration, good practices. There are people who think that it is enough to appear on a white horse with full saddlebags and the vacuum in the political space will be fully filled. How could someone possibly think that if he or she manages a bank which still does not face bankruptcy can cope with the governance of a village or a city? And this is the best example, there are other worse cases. It is doubtful that you just wake up with this thought one beautiful morning. Next to these people there are always other people who most treacherously avail from the lack of experience and throw successfully the deceitful fishing rod of power.  The news for the poor deceived ones is that they risk blindly to stay for the rest of their lives party workers or party novices and never to become real politicians.

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And the "campaign" in Kiten continues. At the final stage there are the candidates of "Fist and Revenge", "Freedom" and of "Coalition of the rose". And there is no wonder where the senseless coalitions come from and what leads to falsified results and sold votes. A distorted picture in which the "fist" and the "revenge" prevail over the "light" and the "rose". Because the "politicians" and the politicians are people. And it is not by birth that the people pay attention for their ears and eyes while climbing the ladder as it is mentioned in that precious "Tale about the ladder". Since old times the rose has been highly respected. A symbol of confidence, solidarity, and activity, there was even a special law saying that whoever brings to the ruler a rose can ask him for everything. What is happening today with the rose? Is it charged with this very load and is it going to turn into a sign of victory? Questions to which the roses certainly have the answers.

Evaluation of the results. There are no dirty deals, control and manipulation of the vote. The defeated congratulate the winners with a certain sorrow. There are all from BSP but the elected ones are Gabriela Velichkova, Georgi Vanev, Dimiter Atanasov, Doichin Kotlarov, Nadya Mladenova and Natalia Antonova. It happened this year that they played the role of the left - of the "Coalition of the rose". And it is with just a little bit that they have won over the conservatives and the liberals.

Already for an 8th year ISI has been organizing training for young politicians of the left in the Academy for Social Policy. There are three days in the scholar programme for election simulation. One year wins the centre, another one - the right and this year - the winner was the left. The simulation is over. The young socialists go to their homes. The real elections come. Today they ask themselves: is there a point in learning all this?!

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