Learning from past mistakes and moving ahead in the wake of the Albanian elections

It is clear that they would greatly help with campaign canvassing, especially in three or four constituencies where the d’Hondt formula for two or three hundred votes sent the last mandate from the opposition parties to the ruling Socialist Party. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Learning from past mistakes and moving ahead in the wake of the Albanian elections

By Genc Pollo
Albanian MP and former Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on European Integration. The Democratic Party alone won 1/4 of the municipalities in 2015. But the opposition could not stop the latter. I would not recommend that the missing Democratic Party municipalities do the same. But even those members of the group and of the council who were little influenced by superstitions faced a difficult dilemma; to reject the proposal also meant public delegitimization of the leadership. If only I could turn back time
Looking in retrospect does not mean practicing hindsight bias. All this was before local elections were to be held,  followed by those for the parliament. Seen in retrospect, both the proposal and the decision were wrong. (I was not doing what was on every portal)
I was imagining what if the electoral code had not been changed unilaterally by Edi Rama last autumn and that the Democratic Party and Socialist Movement for Integration were both competing within the United Opposition coalition, but each with its own list. But since the two opposition acts did not bring the promised political change, the neutral part of the public began to see them as a problematic venture. The result of this exercise surprised me. If the Rama government in the campaign would not buy votes, abuse the state and call on bandits for help, control the media and so on, the victory of the opposition would be deeper. He is also an ex-Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Education; Telecoms

Albania's parliament buidling in the capital, Tirana. Those who remind me that the fault can be found more to the thief than the guard can have an answer which explains that you don’t have to leave everything before the predator as a gift. The kingmaker remained the Social Democratic Party, which in September would likely do what its chairman said on April 26. It is true that the public inside and outside became aware of Rama’s bandit oppression and some internationals began to open their eyes to him. But, however, that did not happen. Epilogue
If the opposition did not venture off track in the spring of 2019, most likely it would manage to win at least 70-71 seats. In other words, I applied the D’Hondt formula, which was named after a 19th-century Belgian mathematician, and is commonly used around the world to distribute mandates. Two months later, the National Council of the Democratic Party discussed and approved another unusual proposal “to commit to preventing the holding of façade elections” or as it is already widely known, the boycott of the local elections of June 30, 2019. This self-critical analysis helps to understand what happened and serves us all as an experience. The decision-making took place in an atmosphere influenced for months by a popular superstition that such extreme measures would automatically bring about a change of government. This is not about crying over spilt milk. That was enough and more for them to become aggressive with the opposition. Perhaps the goal would have been achieved if it was consciously acknowledged that the costs of a “color” revolution, like in Ukraine and Georgia, one would have been worth it and the will to get things done would have been hardened, even when the end was near the extreme. With this result, the Socialist Party received only 69 seats and the United Opposition, 68. If the Democratic Party, and the whole opposition, had not “burned the mandates” then Rama would not have been able to abrogate the pre-electoral coalitions that were practiced in the last two decades and would not have been able to take 2.8% of parliamentary seats just with this trick; or even five of them as the exercise above showed me. I could go further and speculate about ‘what if?’ the opposition had not made certain mistakes, but this seems unnecessary now. Personal and collective responsibility
In February 2019, the parliamentary group of the Democratic Party discussed and approved an unusual proposal that the MPs heard a day before on TV – the definite leave from the assembly, or as it is also known “the burning of mandates”. In five constituencies the opposition received one more mandate than it currently has in Tirana, Durres, Berat, Vlora and Gjirokastra. FLICKR

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In the first days of this week after the election results were announced, I conducted a computer exercise, dividing the result of each subject in each county and listing the quotients who correspond to the MP mandates won. I have to take responsibility for my vote regarding the wrong decision; perhaps even to apologize to those who voted for me as a Member of Parliament and a member of the Council. Boycotting the local elections, I predict, was not a path to triumph for the Democratic Party and the whole of the opposition. As for the internationals, both big and small, the concern that such recklessness was becoming an opposition practice in the Balkans, the Caucasus and beyond was much bigger than the internal problems of Albania. Rama took all the municipalities in the country without competition and misused them for elections, thereby massively increasing electoral employment. The opposition could have realistically hoped for more four years later. Political life goes on, as well as the need to learn lessons and not repeat mistakes.