Lithuania after politics?
The results of the Seimas elections in 2016 year have revealed one of the greatest transformation in Lithuanian party system since its formation in1992 m. Though there are similarities between the political processes in Lithuania, Poland Hungary, the Czech Republic, however it is important to stress important differences, which enable us to speak about the unique “Lithuanian way”.
First of all, the new political group, which dominates in Lithuanian political system after the elections – Lithuanian Peasants and Green union (LPGU), not only rejected the tradition political continuum of “right-left”, but also has not fit to the main political cleavage in postcommunist political system of Lithuania between ex-communist and anti-communist.
Second, the elections revealed the huge crisis of democracy based on political parties in Lithuania. The dissatisfaction with parties, as the main actors in modern liberal democracy, constantly increases.
Third, we can speak about the decisive victory of anti-politics in Lithuania, the marginalization of the political deliberations and the political competence in the governance of the state. This triumph of anti-politics in Lithuania is not the outcome of the cultural tradition of anti-politics which was strong in Poland and Czechoslovakia (but not in Lithuania) during the 20th century [Havelka, 2016], but rather the price which we have to pay for the invasion of the mentality of consumption in political sphere.
The main task of this article – to foster the discussion about the future of liberal democracy in Lithuania, about the prospects of political parties and the threat of the final victory of “consumer” against “citizen”, also about the lessons of political life in Lithuania for other post-communist states.
elections, anti-politics, consumer, citizen, parties
Bauman, Z. (2007). Consuming Life. London: Polity Press.
Bauman, Z. (2009). Does ethics have a chance in a world of consumers?.Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Crick, B. (1962). In Defence of Politics. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Donskis, L. (2005). Loyalty, Dissent, and Betrayal: Modern Lithuania and East-Central European Moral Imagination. Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi.
Flinders, M. (2012). Defending Politics: Why Democracy Matters in the XXIth Century. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Havelka, M. (2016). “Apolitics”, “Anti-politics”, “Non-political Politics” and “Sub-politics” as Threats and Challenges. Sociální studia/Social Studies, 13(1): 9–22.
Krupavičius, A. (1996). Pokomonistine Transformacija ir Lietuvos Partijos [Post-Communist Transformation and Lithuanian Parties] In: A.
Krupavičius, P. Gaidys, K. Masiulis, et al. (eds.), Politines Partijos Lietuvoje [Political Parties in Lithuania]. Vilnius: Litterae Universitatis.
Novagrockiene, J. (2001). The Development and Consolidation of the Lithuanian Political Party System. Journal of Baltic Studies, 32(2): 141–155.
Ramonaitė, A. (2007). Changing nature of partisanship in a post-communist society: comparing "old" and "new" parties in Lithuania. Lithuanian Political Science Yearbook 1: 91–110.
Ramonaitė, A. (2009) Partinės demokratijos pabaiga? Politinis atstovavimas ir ideologijos. Vilnius: Versus aureus.
Ramonaitė, A. (2014) Ar Lietuvos rinkėjas prognozuojamas? In: A. Ramonaitė (ed.), Kaip renkasi Lietuvos rinkėjas? Vilnius: Vilniaus Universiteto leidykla.