I have been watching for quite some time the Order and Justice Party as if getting shadowed by the other parties and political events. I wouldn’t say that this party stopped participating actively in the Seimas activities or lost the desire to be noticeable in the public space. But somehow I fail to see any memorable actions or ideas, Lauras Bielinis wrote in lzinios.lt on 17 February.
Apparently, a large number of functionaries have formed inside the party who are content with what they have – a decent position in the party’s structure, a possibility to influence smaller and larger entities of economy and social life, and public authority. Obviously, that’s not enough to win the elections and become one of the largest factions in the Parliament, but enough for the party’s members to feel stable.
Thus the party is succumbing to the ordinary party routine. But the coming elections show that such a routine behaviour can easily disperse the plentiful ranks of supporters and voters. A new stimulus, idea, or leader is needed.
Valentinas Mazuronis, the politician who came from the Liberal Party and at first had trouble expressing his thoughts and represented the interests of the party’s leader Rolandas Paksas somewhat tentatively, has become a skilled and even virtuoso orator. Mazuronis’s ability to counter the arguments of his opponents and use any mistakes made by them is praiseworthy. The Seimas has an experienced disputer and a consistent defender of party interests. But Paksas’s shadow still prevents the party from operating more flexibly and organizing discussions of topical issues on a wider scale. Many things depend on the impeached president’s case and ambitions. That’s why I think that the reintroduction of Paksas before the elections (I guess they want to ‘wake’ and lure confused voters) won’t give the desired result. Quite the opposite – the attempts to reanimate Paksas’s image most probably are the reasons of stagnation. You can’t step into the same river twice, and you can’t implement the same electoral vision. That’s why this party needs to find a way to present Paksas to the voters. Especially when the party’s value scale is slowly moving from the centre to the right. We are hearing national arguments more and more frequently from the lips of Paksas’s supporters; more and more often nationalistic values and orientations are presented as the main values of this party during discussions regarding language, ethnical minorities, or spiritual values. Such a direction of political drift lowers the sympathies of voters speaking other languages but attracts those following the rightist value system. Now, the rivals of the Order and Justice Party are not labourists or social democrats but conservatives and nationalists.
Obviously, many things can happen and this party definitely has enough intellectual resources to create innovative electoral strategies. But the changes in the values (though still minor) allow supposing that the party is unwittingly moving towards a less occupied political field. And maybe they feel that the Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats are losing their positions and providing more room for the other parties: to the right – for the nationalists, to the left – the Order and Justice Party.
We don’t know for sure, but the Seimas Provisional Investigative Commission, dealing with the effectiveness of the supervision of commerce banks in Lithuania and the situation of the bank Snoras liquidation process, is turning not only into the Seimas’s instrument to analyze certain issues but also a stage to express the ideas and values of the Commission’s politicians, especially those of Chairman of the Commission Mazuronis.
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