Comment on Albanian Elections
Following the elections in Albania on June 28, 2009, exit polls indicated that Sali Berisha’s Democratic Party led Edi Rama’s Socialist Party with 47.5% and 38.8% respectively. For the first time in Albania's history, most international observers judged the elections to be free and fair showing a marked improvement over previous elections, though there were still some concerns. “I'm certainly happy about the progress we saw, but there is also a considerable number of issues that need to be tackled, in particular the polarized political climate," said Wolfgang Grossruck, Special Coordinator of the OSCE short-term observer mission.
The 2009 elections brought to mind - in my 1991 commentary below - my hopes for Albania when it was about to hold democratic multiparty elections for the first time after it finally freed itself from the shackles of Communism (for those of you who are interested, an Albanian-language version follows my commentary in English:
Van Christo Addendum: As of July 27, 2009, Mr Berisha's Democrat party and allies won 70 seats in the 140-seat Albanian parliament. The opposition Socialists and an ally won 66.
Pavlov's Reflexes of Freedom/Obedience
(and how they may possibly relate to the upcoming elections in Albania)
Through one of the characters in his novel "RED SQUARE," author Martin Cruz Smith discusses a phenomenon observed by Pavlov -- a reflex of freedom. Pavlov said that this reflex was the reason he was unable to produce a conditioned response in some of the dogs he studied, and he proposed that the reflex also existed in human populations. As the character in Smith's novel puts it:
"In Western societies the reflex of freedom was pronounced. In Russian societies, however, (Pavlov) said there was a dominant reflex of obedience. 'This was not a moral judgement, only a scientific observation. And since the October Revolution and seventy years of communism. you can imagine how complete that reflex of obedience has become...so that expectations of any genuine democracy should be realistic."
It is my strong hope that the reflex of freedom will prevail in the upcoming Albanian elections. I trust that the country will persist in its drive toward complete democratization, and that it will eventually free itself completely of almost fifty years of Hoxha mind-set by enacting those reforms that would make Albania the inspirational example of true democracy in the Balkan nations.
History has been unkind to Albania since the Great Powers of 1878 reconfigured the map of Eastern Europe by ceding the major portions of the four vilayets that comprised Ethnic Albania to Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia, and Greece.
By adhering to the noblest principles of democracy, and by making disparaging examples of those who do not, Albania can show Europe and the rest of the world just who the Albanians are and why they are worthy of an honored position in the community of free nations.
Reflekset e Pavllovit Per Lirine dhe Bindjen
Me ane te njeri prej personazheve te romanit te tij "Sheshi i Kuq," autori Martin Cruz Smith shqyrton nje fenomen te verejtur nga Pavllovi te quatur "refleksi i lirise." Pavllovi shrehet se ky refleks ishte arsyeja qe ai nuk mundi te gjente reagimin perkates ne disa nga qente qe ai studioi, dhe Pavllovi arriti ne perfundimin se ky refleks gjendej edhe tek njerezit. Personazhi ne romanin e Smithit shprehet lidhur me kete:
"Ne shoqerite Perendimore refleksi i lirise eshte i dukshem. Ne shoqerine Ruse, megjithate, shprehet Pavllovi, dominon "refleksi i peruljes." Ky nuk ishte nje gjykim moral, po nje vezhgim shkencor. Dhe qe nga Revolucion i Tetorit e gjate 70 vjeteve te sundimit kommunist, mund te imagjinohet se sa i plote eshte bere refleksi i peruljes...aq sa shpresat per nje demokraci te vertete duhet te jene realiste."
Kam shpresa re medha se refleksi i lirise do te mbizoteroje ne zgjedhjet e ardhshme ne Shqiperi. Kam besim se vendi do te vazhdoje me kembengulije ecen drejte demokratizimit te plote, dhe do te zhvishet plotesist nga mentaliteti pothuajse pesedhjetvjecar i Hoxhes duke vene ne jete ato reforma qe do ta benin Shiperine shembull frymezimi te demokracise se vertete ne gjirin e kombeve te Ballkanit. Historia ka qene e padrejte me Shqiperine qe nga viti 1878 kur Fuqite e Medha rikrijuan harten e Evropes Lindore duke shkeputur pjese te medha nga te kater vilajetet qe perbenin Shqiperine Ethnike e duke ua dhene ato Malit te Zi, Serbise, Maqedonise, dhe Greqise, Duke iu permbatjtur parimeve me te larta te demokracise, e duke u bere shembull per ato qe nuk i permbahen ketre parimeve, Shqiperia mund ti tregoje Evropes dhe gjithe botes se kush jane Shqipetaret dhe perse ata meritojne nje vend nderi ne komunitetin e kombeve te lira.