I haven’t posted much about Czech politics because it seems to be more of the same; corruption scandals and fights to be in the position to take huge bribes, which leads to more corruption scandals.
But the elections are coming up in June, so here are a few things I’ll be looking for:
- The Greens have been polling strongly – I think I saw a poll that put them at around 10 percent – but the question is whether that will actually translate into votes or not. I seem to recall in the ’96 elections that a group called the Pensioners for a Secure Life (DÅ½J), which was led by a guy who promised on TV that if his party didn’t make it into parliament, he would eat a bug. They didn’t and he ate the bug on camera. The point being that the pensioners were looking strong going into the elections, but then it all faded fast.
- PM Paroubek said today that he may cut a deal with the Communists if they do a few things first, like apologizing for previous crimes, acknowledging the country’s Euro-Atlantic orientation, and supporting the principles of a balanced budget. If the Communists actually do decide to ‘reform’, Paroubek won’t need much help – either from the Greens or from the Christian Democrats – to stay in power.
- Don’t count the Christian Democrats out. Their electorate has consistently delivered 8-10 percent every time out. They may not be polling well, but along with the Communists, their voters tend to actually turn out.
- ODS is polling well now, and they’re experienced players. I’d expect to see them pull out their real trump cards – various dirt on their opponents – in the next couple of weeks. They’ve already had their ‘Mr. Clean’, Prague Mayor Pavel Bem, dish the dirt against Greens leader Martin BursÃk and how he financed the renovation of his historic building.
Anyway, it’s going to be heating up, so I’ll try to chime in from time to time with a few of my own observations.