A Romanian surprise

Everybody is giddy. In Bucharest, that is. Basescu is the new president of Romania. As a result, the marriage of PSD and PUR suddenly went sour and PUR announced that for “the good of the country” they would consider a coalition with other partners too.


The next days should be interesting.

The voter turnout seemed huge yesterday. It didn’t look much like a Sunday on the streets, and Bucharest is strongly pro-Basescu. (Basescu is the mayor of Bucharest.) So I’m surprised, but not very surprised.

I’ve hardly ever seen so many happy faces on the streets like today. Nice.

4 thoughts on “A Romanian surprise

  1. There a many blogs with a lot of German bashing, Bush sucks, Old Europe versus America, US against Old Europe. And now in AFoE a short post, Romania has grown into a veritable democracy coming closer to EU memembership.

    Only one Hurrzah, come on!

  2. Indeed a surprise. I live and work in Ukraine and could not understand the references to Romania at the morning opening of the Verhovna Rada. Symonenko (Communist Party) and his allies wanted an investigation as to the amount of money spent by America in Ukraine during the elections, demonstrations, etc. I could not figure out what prompted the sudden outburst. They kept on saying that the Americans targeted Ukraine and now Romania is ‘orange’, next will come Belarus and then Russia. Now I understand. Well. Good for Romania. And, so far, so good for Ukraine.

  3. Romania can best be understood as a modern example of 19th century US machine politics. NYC, Chicago, Boston, all the major urban areas had corrupt machines which manufactured votes to their bosses wishes. The same is true in Romania. External pressure in Romania and a true series of fractures inside the back room power brokers creates situations where the “fixers” end up on both sides of the formal electoral divide and the voting can get ‘interesting’.

    The bosses simply have never wanted to turn into a caricature of post-WW II Italy with a government of the week. Once it became clear that you would have over a dozen parties and a divided government if the PSD formed it, a PNL-PD-PUR-UDMR government seemed much cleaner and a better chance to consummate the EU relationship in 2007 so the deals are being cut to make that happen.

    The same was true in 1996 which explains why the christian democrat peasant party won and also why they wouldn’t resign en mass when they should have after they failed to institute their program (they promised resignations).

    Breaking the power of machine organizations is possible (the US certainly proved it) but it’s a long haul proposition, nothing that is going to be marked by one spectacular breakthrough. It’s all about creating rules that empower ordinary voters over party bosses and keep the whole system honest.

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