Recent Reads

You Go, Bratislava

Earlier this year, we were in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, for a few hours on a rainy afternoon, and while the food was good and the architecture in the central old city was beautiful,

we were a little bit saddened by the conditions outside the old city walls. Crumbling buildings, sidewalks, and roads seemed rampant, and anything metal seemed completely rusted out.

So my heart was strangely warmed by the story this week that Slovakia, a country that is significantly less affluent than probably any place else in Western Europe, temporarily refused to agree to fund its share of the latest round of Greek bailout money from the EU. See here, and here.

Not that I think the Greeks should not be bailed out in some form, but I guess I just pull for the underdog in this situation, and Slovakia definitely appears to fit this role within the EU. Of course, the downside of refusing to agree to the bailout is that the entire Slovakian parliament has now been dissolved. This happened because the ruling party thought a yes vote was so important that they tied their political future to a majority of yes votes. When they didn’t get enough votes, the ruling coalition fell apart and elections were moved up from 2014 to March of 2012.

This sounds extreme, but it seems somewhat exemplary for our landlocked, deadlocked, accomplishment-blocked House and Senate here in the U.S. If a failure to make a decision were tied to an immediate dissolution of Congress, it seems like maybe they would get a lot more decisions made, which I think would be a good thing. (cf Debt Ceiling “Crisis”, etc…)

1 comment to You Go, Bratislava