Although money buys lots of things and the ruling party uses it to silence the media and bind the fate of citizens to a single political option, it may not be enough to silence voices of discontentment. Some analysts believe that even a small sip of freedom for institutions and the media could strip bare this “paper tiger”. Others warn that some resort to force in the case that money cannot secure the buying of votes
Is the concentration of economic might in the hands of the ruling party a greater obstacle to the opposition than the lack of democratic dialogue and media freedom? We discussed this with economists and political analysts. They turned to several related questions in their answers: how does such a concentration of economic power, which directs citizens and their wellbeing towards only one party and one political figure, impact on the party-citizen relationship?
Will Belgrade’s voters be promised more than everyone else in Serbia because the government in Belgrade is (perhaps) shakier? Does the potential turnout of the opposition in the elections “expand the range” of the ruling party’s campaign when it comes to promised economic “gifts” for citizens? How much does this make the elections “more expensive” over the long run for citizens who will ultimately have to finance those promises? Here are the thoughts of our interlocutors.