The Washington Post

Four of the most painfully honest politicians you’ll ever meet

An interview with Romanian MP Traian Dobrinescu (Courtesy YouTube)
 Romanian MP Traian Dobrinescu speaks about a vote he now regrets. (Screen shot from YouTube)

Liked John Kerry’s explanation for how he voted on authorizing the Iraqi war (the now famous “I actually did vote for the $87 billion, before I voted against it.”)? If so, you may enjoy the following explanations given by Romanian members of parliament for votes they turned out to regret. The sources for the quotes were in Romanian (see here and here, as well as this YouTube video) and were graciously translated for The Monkey Cage by political scientist Claudiu Tufiș of the University of Bucharest, Romania:

1) “We voted as a herd of cows” (Traian Dobrinescu, National Liberal Party)

2) “The vote can be explained, in a proportion of 80%, by the lack of knowledge. We, basically, did not know what we were voting for” (Vasile Bleotu, Social Democratic Party)

3) “Since I’m not a specialist in law, I vote as decided by the colleagues in the Judiciary Committee” (Cristian Buican, MP from National Liberal Party)

4) “I thought the vote was about something else.” (Luminița Adam, MP from People’s Party – Dan Diaconescu)

And, finally, my personal favorite, from Dobrinescu again:

5) “It is burdensome when you vote and you don’t know what you’re voting for. Shadows appear within your self. After this vote the subject was discussed in mass media. This is when these shadows transform into cramps, into small pains. And when you realize it, things become even more painful. When someone that’s close to you expresses his/her disappointment you begin to see. But I hope I did not disappoint them entirely. It was a lack of information. I hope we will fix the law. It is for the first and the last time.”

Joshua Tucker is a Professor of Politics at New York University. He specializes in voting, partisanship, public opinion, and protest, as well as the relationship of social media usage to all of these forms of behavior, with a focus on Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.



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