Because I have family that lives there, I follow what's happening in Bosnia and other countries on the Balkan Peninsula. My antenna is up for the people who live there and the struggles that they are enduring. One is their loss of confidence in the political system.
We have been to Bosnia twice and have met many people and have eaten with them in their homes. They were welcoming and interested and open with us.
One element seems to be noticeable there is an almost total loss of confidence in their political system. Their unemployment is way over 50 percent in some areas and there's little hope of it getting better.
Last Sunday was their election and this comment from a Sarajevo reporter summed up the results:
To begin with, with a marginally worse figure than in 2010, turnout continues to be a major problem in BiH elections. The reasons for this are multifaceted, as a recent study concluded, but are certainly in large part due to a general disillusionment with the existing political process. All the election results must thus be taken in the context of such a depressing dynamic.
A Wall Street Journal poll this past week says that only 12 percent of those polled in this country approve of the job being done by the U.S. Congress. Are we headed in the same direction as Bosnia? Are people here losing hope that their government works? Can confidence be restored?