Those Wondrous Election Days

At the third attempt the Czechs finally achieved the impossible: to elect some candidates yet not to elect anyone. Much like God stepping down from Heaven to divert bullets and hence send you on your life´s journey, like Caine in Kung-fu. Otherwise we will probably not be able to sleep.

The Czech elections ended this Saturday. Who won? The Social Democrats ended first, yet were unable to form a majority, similar to last time. They spent three years in opposition since the last election they won, declaring that the rightist government was based on a political charade rather than on public opinion. Unfortunately for the Social Democrats, they were much closer to the truth than anybody sober would ever want them to be. Saturday´s elections have shown quite clearly that the Czech citizen has not only been against the past government, whose parties only got some 19.7 percent, but against the very idea of democratic government in general.

The new parliament will be composed of seven parties of which there will be two large ones, two medium-sized ones and three small ones. The two large factions are the Social Democrats, gaining slightly over 20 percent and ending first, promoting the idea of „a functioning state“ and closely followed by the ANO movement (nearly 19 percent).

ANO (ANO means: YES) is an obscure project led by Andrej Babiš, one of the few but very wealthy Czech dollar billionaires, a former Communist party member and even a suspected collaborator of the ancient régime´s secret police who easily bought a significant portion of public space for about $ 3M (Or nickles and dimes he carries in his pocket – like so many of those politicians he does carry from now on; It is of course just the official price for his campaign, excluding acquisitions of several nation-wide media only a few weeks ago) without declaring any kind of political orientation of his „movement,“save for the statement „YES, all will be better,“ and the given reason to vote for him „to see the gleam in our children´s eyes.“ Burns, Burns, Burns. Burns is for the children, he is for the future. Only a moron would not cast his vote for Monty Burns. Right after election day the billionaire walked the tiger (for real – he has a baby tiger and a guy in a golden suit, who brought the tiger for the occasion) and flew to a house in Mougins (Côte d’Azur, France) to have his well earned rest.

These two parties probably have to co-operate regardless of obvious antagonisms and the fact that they frequently exclude any possibility of a common coalition. They will form together almost one half of the new parliament. The second group – medium-sized parties – are the Communists, gaining about 15 percent of the Ostalgics, and the ridiculously named new leader of the Czech rightists, TOP 09, getting some 12 percent with their unbelievable slogan „Anyone can be a zero – zero nine.“ These two also exclude any form of co-operation with each other and more or less with the first two as well.

They are followed by three minor factions: ODS (Civic Democratic Party), a long-time hegemonic rightist party now shrinking to some 7.7 percent despite using the Twitter brand symbol instead of its own during the campaign (they look similar); Úsvit přímé demokracie (The Dawn of Direct Democracy), a crazy bunch combining some extreme attitudes from left and right including taking advantage of racial prejudice against the Roma minority, gaining just under 7 percent of supporters for the idea of „becoming Switzerland”; and finally KDU, the Christian Democrats, with slightly over 6 percent for „no more non-christian policies.”

The trouble is that there are two parties excluding any participation on the government, ANO and Úsvit, or the new populist factions. That is not even the worst part, because there is also one party with which nobody wants to rule, namely the Communists. These three parties which probably will not be in any coalition occupy nearly one half of the parliament. The rest is composed equally of left and right, or the Social Democrats and the three rightist parties, ancient and bitter enemies of each other. The only result of these elections will be most probably an agreement on organizing new elections within two years.

There is a Grimms´ story also common among the Czechs which is called The Peasant´s Wise Daughter, who has to „come to him (the King) neither naked nor clothed, neither walking nor riding, neither on the road nor off it.“ She finally manages it: „She wrapped herself in a fish net, and tied it to a donkey’s tail so that it had to drag her along, and she kept only one toe touching the ground.“ Really wise, isn´t it? The Czech voters even managed to outsmart themselves for the third time in a row by voting the Social Democrats and not voting them in again.

Ensuring their right to vote at least one more time (until they finally elect themselves an extreme-right-billionaire-salvadorean-kind-of-an-overlord) they just made it impossible to do anything reasonable save for another election. Voting for the sake of voting, at least now. The next time they most probably will just turn the pattern upside down and they are going to vote against any further voting. Just wonder: is it the parties, the voting system, the voters or the country that needs to be changed to let one achieve at least something?

published: 26. 10. 2013

Datum publikace:
26. 10. 2013
Autor článku:
Jakub Wolf