Instead of repeating the never ending mantra of not making it possible to agree within the borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina (and within its two entities of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republic of Srpska) in regards to which day should be celebrated the country’s Statehood Day, shall we admit, at least, that we agree to disagree.
Even furthermore, after knowing that, can we can climb up and, after reading this link, arrange possible alternatives for the mentioning mantra of having just one part of the country to celebrate the date (just Federation of BiH). Why should only just one part of the country celebrate the mentioned date as Statehood Day? Again, they (read: people(s) representatives on the power) have agreed to disagree until the end of time about the mentioned day. Again, just check out the link above.
So, is there a solution?
Yes, there are always a lot of solutions and we will just, methodologically, present one, which seems (to underline: for me), most suitable for all parties involved.
Nevertheless, the Dayton Peace Agreement stated that (new) Bosnia and Herzegovina would have continuity with the former Republic Bosnia and Herzegovina and that is eo ipso, also the continuity of…for Statehood Day: “On this day in 1943, the Anti-Fascist Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ZAVNOBiH) adopted a resolution declaring Bosnia and Herzegovina an equal community of Serbs, Muslims and Croats.” … Again, that day has legitimacy in accordance with continuity, but…Living in, as we know, a very much paralyzed state exactly because of the Dayton Peace Agreement which stopped the war, but has created a Frankenstein state about which I wrote in Eurasia Review, “disagreement” as a state of mind exists here as the Law above all the Laws, and even above the Constitution as it is (again, why talk about the Constitution if it has never passed the Parliamentary procedure?).
The solution is, having in mind a consensual system within democracy as written by Arend d’Angremond Lijphart,
In fact, consensual systems stimulate economic growth, control inflation and unemployment, and limit budget deficits just as well as majoritarian democracies do. And, consensus democracies clearly outperform majoritarian systems on measures of political equality, women’s representation, citizen participation in elections, and proximity between government policies and voter preferences…Consensus democracy has particular advantages for deeply divided societies. Majoritarian democracy might be criticized for excluding almost half the population from the governmental process, since it can leave 49.9% of the population out of the policy process. In the literature, we read that this criticism is void under two conditions. First, if today’s minority has a realistic chance of becoming tomorrow’s majority, then exclusion probably isn’t a major problem, since each half of the country takes its turn being in charge (which will tend to moderate abuse of the minority by the majority). Second, if society is sufficiently homogeneous, then exclusion might not be a major problem, since the excluded minority’s interests don’t differ much from the majority’s.
Lijphart contests these two arguments by pointing out that in many societies, especially in societies with deep ethnic, linguistic, religious, or ideological cleavages, neither condition holds. These deep divisions can prevent crossover (“swing”) voting, preventing today’s minority from ever having a realistic chance of being tomorrow’s majority. Moreover, there is unlikely to be much overlap between the minority’s and the majority’s interests in such a society. Thus, the minority’s permanent exclusion might lead to unrest or violence. Consensus democracy is Lijphart’s institutional solution to this problem, allowing democracy to function by incorporating minority rights and allowing minority groups to influence policies. Though there might be less turnover in the legislature (see p 7), governments will represent a broader swath of interests (see pgs 31-33).
The solution is there and we just need to dig it up from, as mentioned above, a deeply divided society as is Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The answer is not (and will not) be found blowing in the wind, but will be found here:
The Statehood Day (which exists and being accepted by all sides within the continuity of Bosnia and Herzegovina) might be any day during November. To make it simplest, we can even put in between 21.11.2015 (for Republic of Srpska, the day of signing of Dayton Peace Agreement) and 25.11.2015 (for the Federation of BiH this is a historical date from 1943 as mentioned above).
A consensual system is the system in which nobody’s freedom to choose, think and act might jeopardize anybody else’s freedom to choose, think and act. Why? Because, if not, then freedom does not exist for anybody. Instead, it becomes organized…anarchy. A consensual system is the system of a win/win situation in which we can all gain something, until we find the final solution, in the days to come. If we, over here in Bosnia and Herzegovina, continue to negate any of above of the dates (21.11. and/or 25.11.) we will again establish the possibility for developing new conflicts in the future.
Can we make 23.11.2015 as the Statehood date of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which will encircle both (Dayton Peace Agreement and Decision made by Anti-Fascist Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina) dates and at the same time let both of entities celebrate their dates as it is now?
How that can help us?
- It will satisfy the “owners” (read: elected politicians) of the entities being right in what they are saying.
- It will satisfy “the others” (read: real people(s) of Bosnia and Herzegovina (in both entities) which will have their date that will encircle both mentioned dates.
- It will establish excellent ground for the future talks within Bosnia and Herzegovina society as the whole – which will be based on equality and not supremacy of any kind over anybody (not even Muslims, not even Serbs and not even Croats).
And, who knows, we might be able one day to, according to the above-mentioned consensuality focused agreement: agree to agree, finally.
A long time ago I wrote that (in BiH) we are three tribes of the same people – the only problem is: which one!
What do you think? Shall we try?
Can we finally find out…which one?