Slovak referendum on marriage to be held on 7 February – and British news magazine opines that “voter apathy” is a sign of mature democracy…

A very poor piece of “journalism” has been published by the British news magazine “The Economist” in order to denigrate a campaign by Slovak NGOs to protect children against being adopted and “educated” by sodomites, or to receive controversial sexual education at schools.

Following a highly successful petition that mobilized more than 400.000 citizens, a binding referendum will be held on 7 February on the following three questions: Do you agree that only a bond between one man and one woman can be called marriage? Do you agree that same-sex couples or groups should not be allowed to adopt and raise children? Do you agree that schools cannot require children to participate in education pertaining to sexual behaviour or euthanasia if their parents don’t agree?

The first of these questions has already become redundant through the fact that the Constitution was changed last year to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, thus excluding the hypothesis of same-sex “marriages”. But as the group behind the petition, Aliancia za Rodinu (AZR), says, the true purpose of the referendum is to protect children: “the rights of children are more important than the rights of adults”.

As the “Economist” writes, there is little doubt that a strong majority of those participating will say “Yes” to the three questions. But the decisive question is whether participation will be sufficiently high: the referendum will be binding only if there is a turnout of at least 50% of the registered electorate. (What the article fails to mention, however, many of the country’s emlections could be considered invalid. While the turnout at the 2012 parliamentary elections was a meagre 59,2%, the EU elections in May 2014 drew only about 16% of voters to the polls – a record low in Europe. At the same time, this underlines the extraordinary achievement of the AZR campaign, which mobilized more than 10% of the registered electorate outside the scope of a parliamentary electuion!)

As one might have expected, the idea that children should be protected against homosexual educators is beyond the comprehension of British journalists. The article offers no substantial argument why it should be wrong for Slovak voters to support the proposed amendments, except that the natural and traditional concept of marriage and family that is being promoted must somehow be regarded as backwardish and outdated. AZR and the 100 grass root groups that support the campaign are described as “un-civil society” (a brilliant jeu de mots, really! and sooooo original!), and it critically notes that the values they defend are “not typically found on the liberal agendas of international non-governmental organisations”. So apparently it is the international non-governmental organisations (probably those artificially set up and funded by the European Commission and George Soros?), and not Slovak ones, who should, according to the “Economist”, set the agenda? As the article points out right at the beginning, “billions of euros, dollars, pounds, kroner and other Western currencies have been spent over the past two decades trying to develop civil society in post-communist Central and Eastern Europe, much of it without success…” No, from the “Economist”‘s point of view it clearly is not a “success” that Slovak civil society, rather than meekly accepting the agenda that Westernn European donors are handing down to them, stand up and fight for the rights of children.

The piece comes to a rather paradoxical conclusion: “In the end, a referendum defeated by low turnout might prove the ultimate sign that the country is a mature 21st-century democracy. Not only would it show that Slovakia has civil-society groups capable of getting their issues on the national agenda, it would also show that, just as in most advanced countries, the dominant force in contemporary politics is voter apathy.”

Voter apathy as a sign of democratic “maturity” and social advancement? Really??? The “Economist” appears to have a rather queer understanding of democracy…