Sunday, January 22, 2012

Not a resounding vote in favour

But it is, undoubtedly a vote in favour. Croatia has voted to join the EU. Whether the EU would want Croatia to join is a separate issue but not one that is likely to be asked, at least not of the various peoples. Another question is how on earth can we afford another poor country with a very fragile political system. That will not be asked either.
Croatia's state referendum commission said that with nearly 100 percent of the ballot calculated, about 68 percent of those who took part in the referendum answered ``yes'' to the question: ``Do you support the membership of the Republic of Croatia in the European Union?''
About 31 percent were against, while the rest of the ballots were invalid. About 42 percent of eligible voters were estimated to have taken part in the referendum, illustrating voters' apathy toward the EU.
``The people are obviously tired,'' Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said. ``It would have been better that the turnout was larger, but that's reality.''
It was among the lowest turnouts in any of the EU states that have held accession referendums before they joined. About 45 percent took part in the vote in Hungary, while more than 90 percent voted in Malta.
Hungary, as I recall, was supposed to have a turn-out of at least 50 per cent according to the constitutional rules of the day but that was conveniently ignored. The chickens in that country are coming home to roost.

As for those Croatians who did not bother to turn out to vote against joining the EU if they did not feel that they were in favour, they will, no doubt complain vociferously when things go wrong.

ADDENDUM: A "young right-wing Croatian intellectual" has sent me a link to his posting on the subject. (Actually, it may be her posting and if that is so, I apologize.)

YET MORE ADDENDUM: Both EUReferendum and Witterings from Witney write about the way the Croatian referendum was rigged though I wouldn't call it fixed. Undoubtedly, they are both right: this will happen here if we have an IN/OUT referendum. In a way, there will not be any need for it as the electorate will probably behave largely the way the Croatian did: many if not most will not bother to turn up and the others will hope that the politicians are not lying too much.


  1. As a Croat, I must say that Croats don't really care. It's obvious to the people that we'll have some rough times in the near future regardless what we choose in the referendum. That's why many didn't bother to vote. Also, it was considered to be a "done deal", so why bother to give the political classes the legitimacy they want.

    The turnout was pretty disappointing for me also. Here's what I wrote on this matter:

  2. Thank you, Fitch. I shall put that link up as an addendum to the blog. I am afraid when the Croats start complaining about the EU I shall ask whether they voted or not or if they voted yes because they couldn't be bothered to think, I shall not be interested.

  3. The Croats love to complain. That's why they don't like to vote, nor in the referendum or the general election. Combine that with communist heritage ("The Party thinks instead of us" mentality) and you got this - total apathy in this important moment in our history.

    Sadly, Croatia is the country without real alternative to the EU...