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Thursday, 24 July 2014

Election results and Slovenian emigration

Elections are over. Slovenian citizens elected their 88 + 2 members to the National Assembly. The clear winner is SMC (Miro Cerar's Party) with 36 seats (34.49%), followed by SDS (Slovenian Democrat Party) with 21 seats (20.71%); DeSUS (Democratic Party of Slovenian Retirees) with 10 seats (10.18%); SD (Social Democrats) with 6 seats (5.98%); United Left Coalition with 6 seats (5.97%); NSi (Christian Democrats) with 5 seats (5.59%), and Alenka Bratusek's Alliance with 4 seats (4.38%). 2 seats are taken by representatives of the Italian and the Hungarian ethnic groups respectively.

  1. SMC - 36 seats
  2. SDS - 21 seats
  3. DeSUS - 10 seats
  4. SD - 6 seats
  5. ZL - 6 seats
  6. NSi - 5 seats
  7. ZaAB - 4 seats
  8. Ethnic minorities - 2 seats
Whatever we may think about the results, they were expected and fairly accurately predicted by surveys published in Slovenian media before the elections. 

More surprising, however, is the (non)involvement of Slovenians who live outside our former homeland. As far as I can remember, it has always been claimed that the number of Slovenians living abroad is around half a million. According to Wikipedia, there are:

178 thousand Slovenians living in the USA, 
30 thousand in Argentina, 
83 thousand in Italy, 
50 thousand in Germany, 
35 thousand in Canada, 
just under 25 thousand in Austria, and 
20 thousand in Australia, to name just the main countries.

This totals 421,000 people. Together with a few thousand Slovenians living in each of other countries like Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Netherlands, France, etc., estimates go as high as 488 thousand Slovenians scattered around the world.

Half a million people living  abroad against around two million in Slovenia represent 20% of the total population. If all Slovenians living abroad decided to vote in general elections they potentially have the power to make a huge impact on the Slovenian politics. In fact, their votes could change the course of Slovenian politics altogether.

However, the State Election Committee sent out only 76 thousand voting kits. There is a huge gap between 76 and 488 thousand?!! What is happening with those other 400 thousand plus people? Are they not registered as Slovenians? Are Wikipedia estimates ridiculously high and do not reflect the real situation?

Of those 76 thousand who received the voting kit, only 8226 chose to vote. 134 ballots were invalid which leaves only 8091 valid votes. Slovenians living abroad voted as follows:

SMC - 2229 votes (27.1%)
SDS - 1589 votes (19.32%)
ZaAB - 706 votes (8.58%)
SD - 654 votes (7.95%)
NSi - 584 votes (7.1%)
ZL - 510 votes (6.2%)
DeSUS - 498 votes (6.05%)

Other - 1321 votes (16.05%)
Invalid - 134 votes (1.62%)

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Comment from a reader who wishes to remain unnamed:
There are around 100,000 Slovenian citizens with permanent residence outside Slovenia. Everything else are estimates based on a combination of things: ethnic background, citizenship, parents, personal allegiance, etc. For example, there are only 3000 Slovenian citizens living in the USA, just over 2000 in Australia, etc., as opposed to estimates of 178,000 and 20,000 respectively.

2 comments:

  1. I would think that if you do not live in Slovenia you have no right to vote in there elections. If you are not there to understand the political situation what right do you have to have your say?

    ReplyDelete
  2. The Slovenian government apparently recognises your right to vote by sending you the voting kit. But of course you have every right not to vote if you feel that you do not understand the political situation there.

    ReplyDelete