The Sitzarsch Problem

The term ”Sitzarsch” is a German word and it refers to some people’s talent to sit for unlimited amounts of time in some, e.g., negotiations. And the idea to write about this came to my mind when seeing a few days ago a picture of Li Andersson who had just come out from Ständerhuset – she looked pretty exhausted.

And it seems to me that we have here a rarely mentioned problem of democracy: We tend to vote for candidates who seem motivated to fight for ideas which we think good, and we also appreciate if they are intelligent, can also make a good impression during public appearances, but we tend to ask them only rarely what their method is to keep up in a marathon negotiation of, say, 15 hours. So that there is, once they are elected, the danger that all that intelligence and good will can still be ground to nothing by opponents who have neither intelligence nor good will, but a very solid Sitzarsch by which they are able to simply exhaust any opponent.

Of course a successful candidate will usually have proven some stamina already by having managed to keep up during a long campaign. But still it may be worth to think more about this problem and about possible ways to put limits to the influence of this factor. The organizers of negotiations would have to provide sufficiently many and long breaks, and the negotiators themselves should think how best to keep up in the situation. In Germany there was years ago a minister of agriculture who was able to keep up in negotiations of any length by means of a steady supply of fruits. I myself could imagine that I should need an as steady supply of cold water, not too hot green tea, and rather dark chocolate – but well, I do not need to sit in long negotiations … . But anyway the problem should better be seen and countermeasures be discussed within the different groups of parliament (if need be together with medical experts).

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