Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Austrian Politics - Daytime Soap Edition

Politicians in Austria have recently been living dangerously.
First, the mayor of a small Alpine village was poisoned. With a cyanide-filled praline. (It came with a greeting card...isn't that charming?) The man survived, but he still needs to remain in an artificial coma.
Then, last week, politicians in a different province received envelopes that were somehow spiked with acid.
And yesterday, the office of a DA (in yet another province) was firebombed. Luckily, nobody was hurt.

I notice a disturbing trend of life imitating mediocre to bad crime fiction...
Honestly...one poisoned praline...that indicates that:
  • the person who did this has been watching too much television
  • they must be thinking in very convoluted terms...There must be half a million more convenient ways to commit murder in that village, and yet they go out and somehow procure cyanide for their evil plot
  • that perp is cheap
    One praline?! How can you hate a person enough to want to kill them, but not enough to fork over a whole box of chocolates?
Common sense would suggest that all of these crimes were personal rather than politically motivated. There's not much to get this worked up about in regional & local politics.
However, and this is the part that becomes disconcerting for an average citizen like me, these stories marked the first time in months that I could bring myself to care about a news item involving a politician.

How did that happen? I'm a bona fide political junkie, getting excited about policy issues everywhere, from the US Presidential race to reforms of the Nepalese constitution. And yet, whenever I hear an item about politics of the country where I was born, where I grew up, and where I'll be living for the foreseeable future, I automatically tune out.
I can't help thinking that it might not be all my fault...

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