LeBron James and Ronaldo would turn sides and move into a dramatically new environment easier than VMRO-DPMNE would face the reality and face the necessity of a new party narrative. Seriously, I think we lost these guys somewhere along the way. The largest opposition party, which is key to the normal functioning of democratic discourse, has remained completely stuck in its dark hole and peeps the rest of society through a keyhole with a political vocabulary of envy and hacking.

That, in turn, has overcome some kind of mental and civilization threshold, which seems to be no way back, and they seem to be left in their inner zone of dusk, in some sort of parallel world, which over time becomes increasingly distant, the reality of the political processes in the state. I think that the gap between geopolitical and social reality and the shifted, somewhat not exactly “with all” rhetoric of the opposition will only increase. If they continue this they would either start fighting their internal battle between those that are reasonable and those “who think differently” and divide, or become completely de-placed and the political market will launch a new option, or multiple new options.

This address by Hristijan Mickoski, in which he calls the citizens to protest, seems a bit more normal – economic themes, real issues, existential messages dominate those protests. This is perhaps the more reasonable narrative of the party, which shows that there is an input from some kind of communication strategy. Such a strategy should properly indicate that it is reasonable for the opposition to avoid topics such as the name and foreign policy, even if they seem seemingly manageable, because these topics are defeating for VMRO-DPMNE, bearing in mind that the ruling power is best at precisely those issues.

On the contrary, it is logical to focus on the economy and social problems, for which they now have a relative advantage, that is, a pure field of “carving.” However, I think that this kind of messages are currently in the minority in that party, considering how the other leaders communicate, so if you want close media exponents who look completely stuck in an anti-Western, nationalistic, xenophobic rhetoric, which only further distances them from the real debate.

I think that this division will be reflected in the party’s position towards the referendum. The more I listen, the more I am convinced that the boycott will remain the most attractive option for them, unless dramatic changes occur inside the party.

Here’s why I think this.

First, I think that Mickoski (who in this case looks like a voice of reason and runs away from the topic of the name), even if he wants to, will not be able to bring all VMRO-DPMNE voters to a referendum. The division in the party itself will make the opposition, even if it has a real chance, not gather its strength to try to defeat the government. Thus, given that the ultra-rightists in such ranks refuse any agreement, Mickoski will face two choices: he would either be seriously outvoted in the referendum (which will then create an instant hell inside the party), or boycott it, while also hiding his own powerlessness. I think the second is more probable. Then, if we consider the messages that have emerged in the public, it seems that VMRO-DPMNE has already decided that the party will not take part in the referendum, and now its members spread some theses about the options for a referendum and how none of these options was honest: there willeither be no referendum, or the results will be accepted regardless of turnout. So, in their opinion, they do not have a winning option. Therefore, they claim that they would never participate in such a scenario.

The problem is simpler, but more substantial: they will not participate, because there is no scenario in which there would be more votes. VMRO-DPMNE can not, in any referendum, gather more votes against the agreement, than SDSM can collect votes “in favor” with its partners. This is especially so that part of the membership will not listen to the leadership in their ranks. Hence, they must not allow such knowledge to become public, which would cripple them politically. So, having in mind that in any referendum, the option represented by SDSM (in favor of the agreement) would have far more votes than the option represented by VMRO-DPMNE (against the agreement), VMRO-DPMNE has no chance to participate in a scenario in which options are counted honorably, because it would be a predetermined defeat for them.

For them, the only options that remain are to boycott, not to recognize the results, except for the recognition that their option is currently in a minority. If we add to this the fact that this project will not stop, because it is more important for the future of the region, we come to the crucial collision between VMRO-DPMNE and reality. In that struggle, reality is the one that will win and the party will either be transformed into that reality or will split into several factions, each with its own reality.

Petar Arsovski