From: Dritan Sakuta
Albanian Politics, Profession or Passion?

There is a state in Africa where politicians receive a large sum of money when they retire. This is done for two reasons. First, for the contribution they have made to the country, second to no longer intervene in politics and to leave space for new initiatives. In this case we could think that those politicians truly committed themselves to the welfare of the country and no longer have any reason to do continue doing their work now that their future has been secured.

Even though it is difficult to find an example in which a political action in Albania has been undertaken solely for the public welfare, in theory it’s not impossible. Such cases would be when a political action, voluntarily, damages the capability of politicians to win the elections or to keep in power. In Albania such a thing doesn’t happen.

A considerable part of the Albanians have gotten used to thinking or hoping that political participation is motivated by civic duty, but it seems that, different from our hopes, that participation starts with pleasure – the pleasure to be known up to the pleasure that is derived from so-called power, which brings it in the most different ways. Many politicians can earn more when they enter politics, and have less troubles in the private sector. The majority of Albanian politicians are businessmen who, when they enter politics, multiply their enterprises. For those last one politics is most certainly a hobby, a profitable hobby that costs the Albanians dearly.

In some cases, as during the election campaign, the main aim of politicians is to be elected or reelected. That being said, we find here an explanation for many political behaviors, such as changing positions in relation to certain questions, without explanation to the citizens. Also the greatest “condescension” that politicians make to citizens during the election campaigns makes as think that more than the welfare of the citizens, they are interested in finding “a comfortable solution” for themselves for the next four years. During their entire mandate, the majority of them doesn’t bother being politically active, except when some scandal emerges, which never lasts longer than two days.

Based on these few ideas, we can say that in Albania politics is not a genuine profession, but a passion to pass some free time, only available to those who are powerful or know how to play in the arena of Albanian politics.