Serbian Elections: Making An Ass Of The Voter?

Serbians go to the polls on May 6 for local, parliamentary, and presidential elections on the same day. Reason enough for voters to be confused. But as Serbian political cartoonist Corax suggests in the picture above, Serbian voters have a bigger problem than that -- they have two frontrunners ...

Serbians go to the polls on May 6 for local, parliamentary, and presidential elections on the same day.

Reason enough for voters to be confused.

But as Serbian political cartoonist Corax suggests in the picture above, Serbian voters have a bigger problem than that -- they have two frontrunners offering similar choices.

His point is that President Boris Tadic (left) is pro-European but is acting nationalist to steal votes from rival Tomislav Nikolic.

And nationalist Nikolic (right) is doing the same in reverse by acting pro-European.

That, the cartoonist says, puts voters in the position of "Buridan's Ass," the famous metaphor 14th-century French philosopher Jean Buridan used to illustrate a paradox of free will.

The paradox: when a hungry person cannot rationally choose between two equally distant sources of food, he may starve from indecision.

With Tadic and Nikolic running neck-and-neck in polls and unemployment in Serbia at 24 percent, many Serbs find the metaphor only too apt.

Corax's cartoon was commissioned by RFE/RL's Balkan Service.


Copyright (c) RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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