In the Czech Republic, merely mentioning the Ministry of Culture elicits sighs and groans. A major study titled the National Cultural Policy for the Czech Republic for the years 2009-2014 reports the negative effects that the Ministry has.
On November 21 2012, the head of the Czech Museum of Agriculture was fired for selling a book praising communist-era agriculture. In a separate ceremony, former WWII resistance fighters were publicly thanked and paid 15.2 million Czech crowns (Kč.) by the country as a gesture of reward for their bravery. Yet, at the same time, regional public elections were held, with the result that the communists garnered up to 20% of the vote in some regions, which led to the appointment of a communist governor in one region and the communists assuming leadership positions in the regional coalition governments. Most political analysts attributed the communists strong showing to a protest vote against the policies of the ruling conservative coalition.
In the spring of 1990 the Civic Forum had already been ruined as well as the November “revolution”. However, we did not yet know it. Those of us who suspected it were not willing to admit it. However, a sprinter can never undo a mistake he made at the start. The mismanaged departure of the group around Václav Havel to the Castle and its unwillingness to coordinate anything led, in only a couple of weeks, to the birth of a chaotic non-system of different power centers that did not cooperate with each other: the Castle, the federal and national governments, the Coordination Center of the Civic Forum, the national and federal parliaments. There was no joint strategic thinking about the future course of the state – at the very beginning it fell prey to the desire for power among certain individuals. The consequences have been felt right up to the present day. As an example we can look at the fate of the civil service.
In 2013, the Czech Republic is going to experience its first presidental election. Although the media might find amusement in talking about the weird collection of candidates for some time, it is rather probable that general suffrage will mean election like any other.
Jiří Gruša, one of the most renowned modern Czech thinkers, referred to Prime Minister Nečas as a “gnome without a garden” and to the castle of Václav Klaus as the “seat of Czech claptrap”. The conflict of the Czech culture of citizenship compatible with the European one and “Czech politics” could not be more clearly defined. Czech “politics”, in fact, ceased to require a thinking and requesting citizen and it actually hates him.
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