Ethics and politics
By Trifun Kostovski
My dear fellow citizens, this time the topic that I consider to be of crucial importance to our social and political culture is the place of ethics in politics.
We are witnessing an almost complete absence of political and democratic culture. Public discourse is reduced to ad hominem attacks between the opposition and the ruling structures, to unconstructive criticism and discredit, without any critical argumentation and counter-argumentation that can lead to possible improvements in the full social narrative. Understanding politics as a place for discredit and personal insults, as well as for a place where self-representation and not common good are very important, for me is an apocalyptic ride to destruction of our country.
Is it so difficult for the actors on the political scene to sit down as mature, reasonable people with political responsibility, to agree on the strategic issues of the Republic of Macedonia. The only consensus, at least for now, is that all political parties are in favor of joining the European Union and NATO. This is spoken by the parties from a declarative aspect, while essentially acting contrary to those declaratively set goals. Different strategies and approaches to the issue of resolving the essential problems in the Republic of Macedonia should be a challenge in the ruling and opposition parties. I do not accept criticism without arguments, without offering an alternative solution to the problem.
The reason for this column is resolving the name with our southern neighbor. Since the very beginning of the negotiations, before the whole public, the opposition was invited to participate in these negotiations. I am paraphrasing, but the opposition’s response was completely incomprehensible to me, saying: “YOU ARE IN POWER, YOU RESOLVE THE NAME ISSUE”.
We are witnesses that the international community played an essential role in signing the agreement between Tsipras and Zaev, and instead the opposition to enter here with its own suggestions in resolving this problem, it was quiet, passively and irresponsibly aside and now criticizes this agreement very much, which in my opinion means salvation for the Republic of Macedonia, and especially for us Macedonians as a nation.
Where is the ethical dimension of those who criticize, and at the same time do not offer a solution how Macedonia will solve this problem with the southern neighbor in the future and enter the Euro-Atlantic structures? Enough with games that can be fatal to our country. Enough with the breakdown of the state-generated tissue between Macedonians, Albanians, Serbs, Bosniaks, Turks and other nationalities. I want to live in peace and future generations to have a perspective in this region, and this will be achieved when ethics and personal, but also collective responsibility will be embedded in mutual political arguing.
I propose that the opposition to wake up and shake hands for the brave move by the ruling party for resolving the issue with our southern neighbor and jointly meet our obligations in implementing this agreement.
I am not cursed and I do not want to live in a curse, which has already been put as a code in our national consciousness. That is why I insist on moving from the dead point in which we live by making our political elites begin to adopt ethical codes of political culture, and advocate for common interests, overcoming their small finely interesting models of action. Political actors must know when they need to overcome themselves and act together – they must act jointly in the negotiations that will come with the European Union, and prove to the citizens that they really think about these people. At the same time, with common forces they must work together on the reforms in the society.
With a small number of exceptions, it seems that among the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia the enthusiasm for better tomorrow has ceased to exist, because since our independence to this day, political parties and politicians themselves have been identified as the source of the most negative phenomena in a society, crime and corruption. I want to ask the politicians, do they know what the term moral means? It is not goods to buy and sell, it is a system of procedures and behavior towards the things entrusted to us by the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia in order to make a step forward in improving the lives of the citizens.
Let me recommend to current and future policy-makers to arm with this respected virtue called political culture and a code of ethics that will incorporate the efforts for common good.
In the end I want to apologize to some of the current politicians who will find themselves offended by my attitude regarding ethics and politics. There is no tendency in this text, but concern for my country and its citizens. And if in the text they interpret a good intent, which they will practice in the future, it will undoubtedly be a great satisfaction for me.
We do not need to go very far, dear fellow citizens, but we should only recall our close ancestors, our parents, whose life was subordinated to the motto: “TWO FINGERS CHEEK FOR PRIDE”.
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