OPINION

Pledging better days

Our municipal election candidates have been touring the city’s street markets – the modern-day version of the ancient voting forum – with seemingly boundless energy for shaking hands, sympathizing with citizens and generally making their presence known. But there is something surreal about their very appearance on our streets. These people actually exist and are not just disembodied heads in the partitioned «windows» of televised debates! Maybe this is why their handshakes are so firm – to convince voters of this fact. So the mayoral candidates do the rounds of the city’s markets, schools and refugee camps, climb on buses, visit parks and play basketball in an attempt to be «out there.» And how can they fail when television crews are diligently recording these exaltations of everyday activities as if they were peculiar, almost wondrous, sights to behold? In fact, they are peculiar and wondrous sights. When else do we see politicians touring their own city with such impetuous haste, with such an acute need to prove that they are «there,» «with it» and «capable?» After the elections, things quieten down and the city returns to normal – with its heaps of rubbish, its withered trees and its chaotic traffic. Until then, however, we will have to endure this carnival of the State’s good intentions which conceals, beautifies and promises – what else? – better days…