Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Radical Extremist Forces

This is the latest term used by Voronin to describe the Moldovan Liberal Party. Similar terminology is being used by the pro-communist press and by the Russian establishment, some of whom have even used the 'f' word on occasion. Medvdedev calls them 'Nationalist Unionists'. Socor calls them 'Nationalist Irredendist' - this one sent me scurrying off to Wikipedia; apparently 'Irredentism' is "any position advocating annexation of territories administered by another state on the grounds of common ethnicity or prior historical possession, actual or alleged."

So with all this name-calling going on, perhaps it's time to shed some light on the subject. Does the Liberal Party propose union with Romania? Do they espouse a right-wing extremist / fascist philiosophy? Off to the website ( we go...

The Liberal Party's philosophy is summed up in article 5 of its statutes: "The Liberal Party promotes liberal values: the rights and freedoms of the individual and of the family, the protection, strengthening and expansion of private property, the free exchange of economic and cultural values, free and equal access to education, political pluralism and the strengthening the democratic system." Nothing extreme there, no mention of Romania. In fact there is no mention of Romania anywhere in the statutes.

What about in the programme of government? Here are the references to all things Romanian:

1. They want to write a new constitution which would establish Romanian as the official language (Note: Romanian is already the official language; although it is referred to as either 'Moldovan' or 'the language of the state'). Nothing radical or extreme here, just a different view of history and ethnographics from that held by the PCRM.

2. They want to build up the Romanian language collections of public libraries. (Note: As a legacy of the Soviet era, libraries are domminated by Russian-language books or Romanian-language books written in cyrillic script). Radical extremist stuff?

3. Section 9 commits the majority Romanian population to tolerance respect for the rights of minorities. This isn't what you would normally expect from fascists.

4. They would like the format of the Transnistrean negotiations extended to include a greater role for the US, EU, Ukraine & Romania. Anything wrong with that, given that the current format is heavily overbalanced in Russia's direction?

5. They want to strengthen bilateral relations with Romania and the Ukraine. As a small landlocked country it makes perfect sense to have good relations with your neighbours.

In summary, I find some faint evidence for 'nationalism', although personally I would characterise this as 'patriotism' instead. There is no evidence, however, for the claims of 'fascism', 'extremism', 'radicalism', 'irredentism' or 'unionism'. If Voronin, Medvedev and Socor want to keep using these terms, they should produce some solid evidence (i.e. put up or shut up).

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