Monday, February 1, 2010

Wide open spaces

With all the political migrations over the last few months, I thought it was time to update my political map.  Here's what I've done:

  1. I've positioned all of the parties with representation in Parliament.  As previously positions are mapped as to where they sit on a traditional left-right economic / social policy axis, as well as where they sit on identity issues (which I show as a vertical Russia / Romania axis)
  2. The first new entrant is Vladimir Turcan's United Moldova Party.  Based on their statements this group is a bunch of diehard socialists who left the communist party because it had moved too far to the right.  The party is mainly ethnic Moldovan, but strongly supports the 'moldovenism' promoted by the Soviet Union and latterly by the PCRM.
  3. The PCRM minus Turcan and effectively led by Tkaciuk appears now to be more or less a party for Rusophiles.
  4. The other new entrant is the European Action Movement of Petrencu and Untila, which holds positions very close to those of the Liberal Party.
As an exercise this time around, I've tried to estimate what proportion of the voting population fills each cell.  I've assumed that a voter's socio-economic preferences should be independent of his/her ethnic identification.

The results are quite startling.  If we assume that 55% of voters are to the left of centre and that at total of 50% would be in the "Romanian" part of the ethnic scale, the result is that the top-left of the map houses 27.5% of the voting population, but doesn't have a single party to serve it.  Who speaks for left wingers that identify with Romania in some measure?

Similarly in the bottom right, there is a population of 22.5% which consists of people who look to the Soviet Union and the Russian empire for their identity but are economic liberals.  Who speaks for them?  No-one.

Why is it that the PD, MU and Ciornii are all madly rushing towards the bottom left corner?  I guess they figure that's where the carcass of the PCRM is, and they can feed on it to some extent.  The two big opportunities, however, are among Russian-speaking liberals and Romanian-speaking social democrats.  If I were the PD I would look to exploit the former, while the latter could be rich pickings for an AMN that desperately needs a new idea.

I have a feeling that a political scene in which all four quadrants are represented in parliament would be quite a lot more moderate and balanced.  The "us and them" problem currently plaguing Moldovan politics would be mitigated as common cause could be found on either economic or ethnic issues (although not on both at once).

Let's see if anyone reads this, takes note and acts.

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