Sunday, April 18, 2010

The freedom to smoke

The Bulgarian parliament has finally found an issue many MPs feel passionate about - the proposed lifting of the ban on smoking in public places before the latter even went into effect. The battle lines were drawn quite clearly between smokers and non-smokers - which must have been a coincidence since we know that MPs are solemnly committed to putting broader societal interests before their own narrowly conceived lifestyle preferences. One heavy smoker took a really principled stance: "As a free-thinking person I don't want to be told by law what to do and what not to do." If there is one sentence which brilliantly distills the whole dazzling complexity of modern Bulgarian political culture, this is it.