OPINION

The political cost

In politics – real politics, not small-minded expediency and pre-election «logic» – it is unacceptable to lay too much emphasis on the «axiom.» Politics – that is, the attempt to solve problems and create prospects for the future – should have a clear grasp of what is happening and assess existing needs (as well as the likely hinderances to fulfilling them) before proposing clear solutions. The same applies for politicians. Everything else is of doubtful significance and effectiveness – «middle-of-the-road» moves dictated by fear of «political cost» which result in an existing problem being covered up, only to return again, larger and more pressing. After a while, when the solutions that could have been applied in the past are no longer adequate and the necessary new solutions are more troublesome than imaginable. The belabored issue of social security reform has entered the center of the pre-election storm this week – the issue that for decades now has always been the «taboo» that, as was acknowledged by many, would inevitably develop into a time bomb in the foundations of our economy and the welfare state if it continued its unchecked course. Nevertheless, no government has been daring enough to tackle the issue swiftly and radically, passing it on to its successor in order to avoid the «political cost» of such a move but ultimately merely ensuring that the problem continued to snowball…