Friday, January 28, 2005

Istrian master plan for rural development

Today, Istrian district-perfect Ivan Jakovčić, has presented master plan of rural development of Istria. He hopes that we will get some support from SEENET program for development of local communities of south-east European countries in the form of financial founds and expertise.

What means development

Well, development is an abstract concept, because what is progress for someone, for somebody else it may be vandalism or deterioration. So what should be development of Istrian rural county? As any part in the world, Istria is specific, with strong and long tradition. So development should include care for traditional values. Istrians also like their specific cuisine, they love nature and land. So, plan of development should include care for these values also - but this is not enough: the freedom and life of every single individual should be respected, and plan of development should be in accordance with those individuals. This means taking master plans to micro level, by which we can develop strong and creative society, develop recognizable individuality of Istria, as place to live or tourist product.
Today we can see globalization everyway, it seams like we will become one culture, one language, and one economy … My opinion is that tradition and differences has to be cultivated as precious and not considered to be obstacles. Obstacles have to be removed by mutual understanding and respect. We should respect different cultures, languages and traditions as equally good and precious as ours, and this is the way to equality. Differences are good to keep the world interesting and fair place, and they shouldn’t be considered as point of separation, but as the point of union what every border is. Non respecting the border is sign that the stronger one doesn’t respect weaker. This is the case in marriage, family, between cities, regions, countries, races...
Finally, we should say yes to development and progress, but by improving, and not by copying.

Macro and Micro levels

While all this stories of advance sounds pretty in the words of politicians, they are not at all so nice in reality. The ecology, tradition and culture are not respected if they are not in the service of profit. I’m not saying here that our leaders are doing this because there are bad, but the lack of understanding and competence in some fields. More, they are under big pressure from various parts, various interests which they are not always able to properly. System mostly falls in applying concepts that are set to micro level. The system is in service of individuals, and individuals are in service of society, or system. Mostly this is not respected, and system often neglects right of individuals, as people that are responsible for system has “big” and “small” concepts in their heads. They don’t understand concept that macro cosmos is derived from micro cosmos, that macro and micro cosmos are not able to exist separately.
Society, cultures, states etc. are made of people, and on the other part they are the frame for human existence. So individuals should care for society, and society should care for every individual. In effect, the things are made and intended to be this way, but because lack of understanding and skill from people that represents big instances (city, state…), the theory hasn’t become truth. To be honest, “Little” people also lack of understanding of this concept, and they don’t understand the importance of their engagement in the society and things of common interest.
If “big” instances neglect little people, or take care of them only as it’s needed to retain system functionality, we came in the danger that system voids it self from its “content”, in which way becomes as an empty balloon with risk of explosion. I think that we are now on that critical point of history, when everyone should understand his position, duty and responsibility towards people and society, because system could fall otherwise. Human creativity and effort creates economy of the country, human mind creates science, human wisdom and intellect creates philosophy, culture, theology… All society is based on human values and virtues, without them system does not exists.
Here is an example for lack of care for “small” people. In the strict center of Pula there is a little park called “Park of city of Graz”. During summer days people find there some rest and freshness, tourist stops for some brake, small children’s find there little playground in center - otherwise dedicated to adults… Now, from this point of view it is obvious that this little park greatly improves life of “little” people. And improving their life quality means feeding the “micro cosmos”.
But as we said earlier “big” people often neglect needs of “little”, and city of Pula decided to build an business building on the site of current park. Why? It is easy, it is attractive, it will bring us profit, but effects on the human life are not so easily predictable. What is predictable, is that modern business building in the center of old roman city will not be attractive at all to tourists, with doubtful improvement to our identity and culture.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Kosor vs. Mesic update: Results

In last post I was booth right and wrong: I said that Mesic will get at least 60% of votes, and without emigration that he could get as double as Kosor. The final results are as follows:
Mesic – 65,93%
Kosor – 34,07%
So, Mesic get even more than I thought, he finally got almost double as Mrs. Kosor.
Counting only Croatia, without votes from emigration, Mesic got about 70% of votes, what speaks for itself. The higher percentage Mesic won in Istria, almost 90%! He got high percentages also in Zagreb, Karlovac, and other north regions. He lost only in Lika, where Kosor won with 52,76%, and close result was also in Dalmatia. You can see more detailed info here.
It is interesting to see the voters profiles, as shown by exit pools statistics. Voters with lower education, and voters from smaller places more often voted for Mrs. Kosor, while Mesic won in all bigger cities.
The interesting was voting of emigration, where Kosor won 82,56%, mostly due to votes from Bosnia & Herzegovina(even this time there was irregularities like double voting). Now Mesic is trying to take them off the right to vote in Croatia, because Croatians in Bosnia & Herzegovina are constitutive people, not minority, and they are not the emigration because they never lived in Croatia. Most of people here agree with initiative of president Mesic.
It is considered that votes from Bosnia & Herzegovina was “invention” of ex. president Franjo Tuđman, to gain advantage on the elections, and also to emphasize their belonging to Croatian people, as current president states that dr. Tuđman had the policy to incorporate the Herzegovina as the part of Croatia.
Now Mesic is saying that Croatians in Herzegovina has to defend their right of constitutive people in Bosnia & Herzegovina, which is in certain sense denied by voting as minority in Croatia. Economical relations has to be built on more transparent basis too, not on shady interests of some individuals. I think this is long term interest for booth sides, because borders and limitations has to be respected, and relations has to be built for benefit of all, with clear and fair interests. This means investments, cooperation and development on healthy basis.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Mesic Vs. Kosor

This Sunday second round of elections for president will be held. And some interesting things has emerged out. This elections are interesting to observe, as I feel that today people has more freedom, more right to information, and less respect to someone because his “backup” in various organizations or parties. Astonishing number of facts and scandals has emerged out during this elections, so I believe that politicians were surprised about this. They didn’t expected it because in the past, media freedom has been restricted by ruling structures, so they neglected the possibility that their fault will come out. I hope this will bring us more honest and qualified leaders in the future.

Rising of democratic culture

The other thing tat surprises me, is the opinion of political experts and analysts about validations of the candidates. I will go back to question of spirituality. As human consciousness is changing, the way that people act is changing, and this cannot be predicted by old means. As we in Croatia are fast changing society, people become to feel differently in very short time, they learn much, and they change the way of looking very fast, mostly due to impact of information’s available through internet and other media. As an illustration of this statement we can use the fact that voters from less developed regions(where less people use internet, and where people have slightly different perception of reality and information’s) are changing much slower than in Zagreb or Istria for example.

What’s experts prevision?

Lets go back to political experts. I’m very surprised that most of them gave advantage to Mrs. Kosor in TV debates held during this week. Their arguments was that Kosor was more concentrated, more prepared (she had paper materials with her), that Mesic looked bored during debate and so on. But, US election has shown that people doesn’t elect the president because of intelligent look, or good language expression, but the key factors are credibility, consistency, and leadership qualities. Off course, those things cannot be determined only by listening to words, but it is more like a kind of feeling that one has about a person, and in those qualities I see clear advantage of current president Mesic, he seamed less fake and more natural, and such persons tend to be more credible in eyes of people. Kosor has concentrated her strategy around pointing to weaknesses and errors of current president in past years, but this doesn’t prove that she could do better. Again, here also I see parallels with US election, and Bush vs. Kerry debates.

Elections in Bosnia And Herzegovina

Some interesting facts emerged yesterday, about elections for Croatian president in Bosnia And Herzegovina. Yes, you have read correctly, Croatians in Bosnia have the right to vote on elections for Croatian president, regardless that they live in Herzegovina for generations. Now, not only that they vote, although they don’t live in Croatia, but, according to yesterday news, there was severe violations of electoral rules. Manny officials of Croatian ruling party HDZ were sitting in electoral boards, which is against law, thousands of people where inscribed on electoral list on the day of elections(which is against the law also), what fires the suspicion that some of them voted two times. Some people that are dead for years are found on list as they “voted” for someone, probably for Mrs. Kosor as about 90% of voters in Bosnia has voted for her! In some places 90% of voters has come out to vote for president: president of other country! Incredible isn’t it? Especially if we think that in Croatia about 50% of voters has came out. Now, their “huge” patriotism should be put on severe examinations, when they gave the country they “love”, by illegal means additional expense of about 10 Million of euro, needed for second round of elections. In any way, I personally consider that it is wrong that people who live from generations in other countries, decide about our leadership, especially when their opinion is opposite to opinion of majority in Croatia.


To test my "prediction capabilities", I will try to predict the result according to my perception. Let’s say at least 60% for current president Mesic, because Kosor has failed to establish her as leader and serious candidate, as most are perceiving her as an instrument of prime minister Sanader. Most of them who will vote for her will actually vote against Mesic, and it is well known that elections cannot be won this way. Her strength on the other hand is support of ruling party with waste volume of voters and mechanism to mobilize them. But some of them will vote for Mesic also.
On the other hand, Mesic has shown him self as more stabile, secure, and persistent although some imperfections (for example his tendency to make jokes, or some statements that he made which Kosor tried to exploit in her campaign) that are well known, and he is not trying to hide them at all.
Recent events regarding electoral fraud, information according to which(source Mrs. Kosor lives in the flat where two minors where evicted prior to Mrs. Kosor arrival, and publication of Mr. Mesic testimonial from Haag Court in the status of protected witness (according to Court of Haag punishment for this is 7 years of prison) certainly aren’t going on her hand. We will know on Monday.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Elections for Croatian president

This elections was very interesting to me, because I've observed methods and psychology that candidates were using during campaign. First let’s recapitulate:
From 13 candidates, we have two who has qualified for second election round. Those are actual president Stipe Mesić (with 49%), and HDZ party candidate Jadranka Kosor (with 20%).

Votes of Croatian emigration

Very interesting is the fact that elections was taken to second round by votes of Croatian emigration, who has right to vote, and who traditionally vote for HDZ and their candidates. I don’t know their motives for such preferences, but the fact is that in Croatia people gave to Mrs. Jadranka Kosor about 18% of votes, and Croatians who live in other countries (US, Australia, Canada, Bosnia and Herzegovina….) gave her whole 60%! Amazing if we consider that those people don’t even live in Croatia and apparently will not share any consequence for electing one or another candidate.
And more they don’t pay taxes in Croatia, but thanks to their votes, new election round will cost us(who pay taxes in Croatia) some 10.000.000 EUR. I may sound a little critical toward Croatian emigration, but I hope they will understand that it is not in evil faith, but that I am trying to explain our situation, and situation around election. Most of us here in Croatia agree with fact that electing Kosor for president, would put almost all power in hands of one man: current prime minister Sanader.

Boris Mikšić

A surprise of this elections was Mr. Boris Mikšić (Boris Miksic), an American businessman, which many people perceived as someone new, unburdened, and capable, who could change our actual economical situation. Here I will not talk to much about him, you can visit his web site, but with almost 18% that he won, Croatian people has send strong message to our lead politicians, that people want changes, that they are sick of all fake promises, affairs, corruption and other things made during last 15 years. Unfortunately, after initial great presentation, Mr. Miksic has shown him self as very undemocratic by not recognizing the electoral results, his loss from Mrs. Kosor. Instead of capitalizing his popularity for some other occasion(after all, ass people perceive, he is very new in politics), I think that he has ruined his positive image by introducing some very doubtful imputation without giving any proof. Even more, he has called people to the streets, so I cannot understand his motives for such behavior, or is it political incompetence.

What makes people voting decision?

One of the most interesting things on this elections, was to observe peoples way to choose candidate to vote for. There are few main factors which decide who we vote for (sorted by, my opinion, importance):

1. Credibility and merits
2. What option, and whose option (in sense of political party) is he/her sustaining
3. Who I am against (in that case who could won over him/her)
4. From those who I like, who has greatest chance to win
5. Capabilities and personality
6. Political program

So I’ve came to conclusion (I repeat that this is only my opinion) that competence, personality and political program are at the end of the list. Criteria No1 is most important, and people are correctly perceiving it’s importance. But what is bad, that we are giving less weight to capabilities and personality than to Criteria No4. That way some good candidates can be eliminated. Best example on this elections is Croatian Liberal Party candidate, Đurđa Adlešić, which was rated by all as maybe the best and more competitive, but no one has gave her much chance (analists, statistics), and because of this people hasn’t voted for her. Almost all persons that I spooked to, has rated her at the top, but at the end she got only about 3% of votes.