We went for an awesome springtime hike on Sunday. I can highly recommend this one even if you plan to do it by bicycle. At the cliff itself there is the possibility to do some professional rock-climbing if you manage to organize with the responsible club.
I’ve had quite a keen interest in photography for a long time. I’m always trying to capture something in an interesting or unusual way. Sometimes in summer I would just go to the old town during lunch to take in the sights.
All the photos on this page was taken with a mobile phone.
So the final results are almost in and the irony in the results of the election I try to explain below.
Again, the party with the most votes in the latest elections has been the current ruling party, SMER-SD. Who votes for them? The most widely accepted view seems to be that SMER’s core voters are made up of pensioners as middle aged citizens from the “old-guard”.
Ironically enough if one looks at the performance of SMER in the areas where this demographic has the biggest needs in the future, SMER has been associated with case after case of corruption in the health sector, of which Slovakia has recently been placed at the bottom of the league table for health service quality in the European nations. All this while, comparatively, the social and health contributions by working people is some of the highest in the EU.
Other shameful statistics which can be attributed to failure of the ruling party:
One of the most miserable economies from a citizens perspective in the EU.
The country with the most medically preventable deaths in the EU.
Extremely low ranking for education and corruption perception index in the OECD.
But Slovaks are satisfied and want more of this right?
Why would you vote for someone who so blatantly is not only unable to look after your interests, but are in fact regularly found to be actively responsible for defrauding the state finances?
It seems that either the voters are oblivious of all the fraud cases against the party officials OR the representatives of the party is EXTREMELY good at talking away the issues with the voters, in large by running a negative campaign against their opposition.
This year there was around a 60% turnout. I would be really interested to see who did not turn out to vote? Was it a large percentage of the young people who have immigrated from Slovakia? I hope to see something about this in the next few days.
Another thorn in the side has been the emergence of the fascist LSNS – Kotleba party who’s popularity, according to exit polls, seem to be coming mainly from first-time voters.
This is where the electorate in Slovakia can really do better in the future: Strategic voting.
The phrase: “Cut off your nose to spite your face” comes to mind here.
People have been saying how the votes for the Kotleba party had been a “protest vote”. But at what cost?
Would it not have been better to vote for a party that would better enable an opposition coalition, irrespective of the fact that it isn’t your first choice?
It will be really interesting to see what will happen in the next few days with agreements between parties… so far almost everyone…except for Robert Fico… has ruled out collaborating with Kotleba….
Welcome to this little corner of the Internet where I intend to share some of the many thoughts that constantly occupy me during the day… and sometimes … at night 🙂
Since this is our first conversation, I guess a small introduction with some background is in order.
Where to start? I’m an African. Buts possibly not of the flavour which most people expect. I’m a Caucasian South African who last lived permanently in South Africa many years ago. Not since 2006 to be exact. Since that time I’ve called a couple of places in Europe home, among which, two spells in London, UK for 5 years altogether and most recently, Slovakia in Eastern Europe.
Moving away from the country of my birth hasn’t been easy. In some cases it has been rewarding and in other downright frustrating.
With this blog I want to attempt to share my experiences with you, the reader, just in case anyone is interested. If not it might still be an interesting way to preserve my memoirs 🙂
I intend to convey to you my perception of what it is like to live in Slovakia as an outsider by comparing it in some cases with the two other reference frames that I’ve been in my short but interesting life: South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Some of you, especially non-Slovaks might have wondered about the name of this blog. Well.. African Gazda: African because I am African, despite what some of my compatriots would like to believe… and Gazda as it is the Slovak word for a self-sufficient host/farmer.
I secretly think a little of myself as a Gazda 🙂
Anyway I reckon that’s enough for an introduction. I hope you will join me again for the next installment where I will start sharing my stories and views with you.