In Slovakia, democracy functions best when the electorate remains un-informed

SlovakiaOne of the primary pre-conditions for the good functioning of a democracy is that citizens can inform themselves about the opinions and positions of those running for electoral office. This is recognized and accepted in all democracies worldwide … with the sole exception, it appears, of Slovakia.

The State Electoral Commission has confirmed a decision of the Ministry of the Interior, according which the pro-family NGO “Aliancia za rodinu” (Alliance for the Family) is obliged to pay a fine of 3.000 Euro for having asked all the candidates in last year’s parliamentary elections about their stance on various family-related issues and then published the results of the survey.

It is perfectly normal, in other democracies, for civil society groups to publish electoral pledges and invite candidates to sign up to them. And probably this is  accepted even in post-Communist Slovakia – except when the group issuing such a pledge is a pro-family organization.

In other words, citizens interested in family issues are not allowed to know which candidates share their values, and which don’t. Allowing the electorate to ask such questions or access such information might result in reducing the chances of certain politicians who would, in conformity with the “EU mainstream”, adopt laws that re-define or relativize marriage, allow for adoptions that serve the purpose of fabricating a fictitional “homosexual parenthood”, or legalize the trafficking of children by reproductive doctors.

The State Commission making the bizarre decision was presided over by a certain Eduard Baranov, one of the most vocal critics of last year’s referendum on the family, in which 95% of participants voted for a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as “a union between a man and a woman”.