User:Eklas/Bliki/2017/10/16

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The following text is about politics. I might express some of my political views in there, but it's not the primary reason I'm writing this and I don't mean to attack anyone.

I'm concerned for the future of my country.

We're having the parliamentary election in the Czech Republic this Friday and Saturday, and it might be one of the most important in our modern history. For the first time since 2000, the government lasted for its entire election period (following the early election in October 2013.) It might therefore seem as if we had a stable political situation here, well, the main thing is, people aren't getting upset over scandals anymore. They're numbed by their amount, they're just accepting them at the moment. It then probably makes sense that the Communists are predicted to be #2 in this election.

What worries me the most as a pro-European is the predicted success of anti-European, conservative parties. Russia already has notable influence in the local business and media, supported by our president, and three out of the four largest parties are more than open to collaboration. Another sad thing is the anti-immigrant (or anti-Islamic) agenda of the parties. (There's about 18 candidates of anti-immigration political parties for each immigrant, and most of the 700 refugees we took in last year were from Ukraine. About 30 were Arabs. The CR has 10M people.)

I'm pretty sure you won't learn about Czech politics in, say, the US media, and I have yet to work on the politics of Drabantia, so I decided to join the two into one Bliki entry.

Hard times

Are you from the Central Eastern Europe? Welcome. You won't find any of the following things weird at all.

Party #1: ANO 2011 at around 26-28%

The leader, Andrej Babiš, is an alleged former secret communist police agent, nowadays a large entrepreneur. His industry holding Agrofert employs over 50K people and makes 5 billion Eur of profit annually. He also owns two of the largest newspapers in the country. From 2013 to June 2017 he was the Minister of Finances but was accused of several frauds of the EU development fund system and revoked. During his time at the Ministry, he did some actions to get rid of his business competition. His supporters don't mind. ANO is a centrist party with no clear ideology, but it would be a serious problem if Babiš became the prime minister.

  • Inspiration for Drabantia:    LDS. Liberal centrism: they've somehow always been a part of the government coalition since 1986. Most of their support comes from undecided voters, who know this party only engages in criminal activities a little, and are fine with it. 20% in 2014.

Party #2: Communists at around 13-15%

Yes, we had communist dictatorship here from 1948 to 1989. After that ended, some of the communists became entrepreneurs (Babiš), some of them joined a different party, and some of them remained in the original party and have been waiting for their next chance since then. The party has never made an apology for all the victims of its oppressive 41-year-long reign, and has been in the opposition for some 25 years with about 10% of votes, but now that the other parties are so fragmented, it could join the governing coalition again. The Communists dislike the European Union and NATO.

  • Inspiration for Drabantia:    NS. Kind of dazed and outdated, but they always get the 5% it takes to get into the lower chamber of the parliament, especially from the older voters nostalgic about the good old times. They're harmless though.

Party #3: Social democrats at around 11-14%

They have done many controversial things and made some serious scandals back in the early 2010s, but at the same time, they're probably the most progressive, cosmopolitan, 'western' political party. However some potential voters might disagree with their program, which includes stuff like progressive taxation or extended social support for large families. The party has sunk in vote share since the 2013 election, when it had 20%, but I hope (personal opinion) it's successful this time too, because it probably does the least harm out of these eight.

  • Inspiration for Drabantia:    SD and    SZ. The two are very similar in their (leftist) ideology, except the SZ is more environment-oriented, socially progressive and appeals more to young people. They currently have 25% combined.

Party #4: 'Direct democracy party' at around 8-10%

The leader is of 50% Japanese descent, and he supported the idea of multiculturalism until 2013 when he somehow magically turned 180 degrees and started a strong anti-immigrant rhetoric. This party hates the EU, NATO, Muslims, gays, Jews, young people, leftists, Hillary Clinton, Petro Poroshenko, educated people, actual democracy, (...) In their promo flyer I was handed I read (sic) "We will free beer of taxation, because it's a deserved reward for our working class after a long hard day." No further commentary.

  • Inspiration for Drabantia:    ND. Far less hateful. Got 6% in the last election. Supports 'traditional values' (whatever that is) and right-wing nationalist policy.

Party #5: 'Civic democratic party' at around 7-10%

Was the party #1 from 1990 to 2011, but then it lost the majority of its supporters after a series of scandals (including 'traditional' bribing and fraud but also some juicy relationship drama.) Their main principles are economic liberalism and social conservatism. Also anti-immigration, but at the same time pro-western (?)

  • Inspiration for Drabantia:    AGR. They're more focused at the countryside voters, but they also support small entrepreneurs and international trade. Conservative center-right, currently third at 14%, in opposition.

Party #6: Libertarian left ('pirates') 5-7%

They're the favorite of the young voters, who like their liberal agenda, but (personal opinion) I find this party untrustworthy, most of its members are unskilled and have unclear political background (some ties to Babiš's ANO have been revealed recently!) Pro-European, progressive, center.

  • Inspiration for Drabantia:    Lit: Hey kids, let's get stoned and ignore our problems away! Yeah.

Party #7: TOP 09 5-7%

No. 5 but more socially liberal and pro-European (however they don't support same-sex marriage.) The leader Miroslav Kalousek was the Minister of Finances between 2010 and 2013, the most notable thing he did was cutting the salary of civil servants; the Minister of Healthcare (also TOP 09) closed or sold off many state-owned hospitals.

  • Inspiration for Drabantia: Just... no.

Party #8: Conservative Christians at around 5-7%

If radical centrism was a single party, the Czech Christians would be close to its perfect representation. Its members are very different in their opinions both political and social, only one thing is clear: they sure love Jesus.

  • Inspiration for Drabantia:    KRS and    KKS. KRS is a modern Christian party, which is more socially progressive (they support same-sex marriage) and KKS holds more to the 'traditional values' (again, whatever the hell is that.) Both have around 7%.

Comparison

The major difference is that Drabantia has been a democracy continuously since 1915 (though it almost became a socialist single-party country in 1946.)

I also don't like to be very specific about Drabantia's recent history, because there are still some ongoing discussions about our world's history - like if we had a world war and so on, it's just more practical to keep it vague for now.

Drabantia is an utopia in a way. Right-wing and left-wing parties are balanced in the parliament, the country is a stable peaceful social democracy, and it doesn't have many enemies on the outside (Czechia on the other hand has always been torn between Europe and Russia.) I also reduced the number of far-right parties like #4.

To conclude this,

There's definitely reasons to be worried. Political views aside, what is the worst that could happen is that people just give up and stop caring. Another problem is that we're probably headed for even more corruption and fraud; freedom of speech is in danger and my country is slowly drifting away from Europe and towards the Russian embrace.

But will we make it out alive? Yeah, probably. Czechs are, after all, 'awful laughing monsters,' as Reichsprotektor Reinhardt Heydrich once said, referencing our national coping mechanism - humor.

Wish us luck.

Monday bliki by Eklas
2020

Comments are v welcome

And I still don't know how I even survive hard times, hard times '

If I were you - I wouldn't worry. It's likely not that bad as you imagine it. After some brief research (thank God that Czech is similar to Polish!) I've found out that actually ODS, Rozumní, Referendum, Realiste, Svobodni, BPI all look rather reasonable to me (but that's my political opinion here, you will propably support more left-wing parties). Also, please don't call everything that is eurosceptic pro-russian. Just please. There are other ways of running a nation than just aligning yourself to Germans or Russians (because you can also align yourself with America and be cool :D ). --Trabantemnaksiezyc (talk) 20:04, 16 October 2017 (CEST)

Right, the last thing I want to do right now is argue about political views. What I'm more concerned about is that the parties are ran by fake, untrustworthy people, and that some of the parties have been part of the government before and it brought disastrous consequences. I also know that there are countries that are worse off - man, I would not like to live in Poland right now. (no offense) --Eklas (talk) 20:31, 16 October 2017 (CEST)
Well, also no offence but I wouldn't like to live in Czechia much more right now. Everything what you can read about PiS government is much more overblown than the party in reality is. Truth is just that they are anti-imigrant but they aren't eurosceptic. The EU is rather PiS-sceptic :P. It's because PiS represent all things that EU hates - christianity, conservatism and patriotism. The truth about PiS is that they do really good job with fighting the corruption and building our own bussiness and also getting foreign bussinesses for our country. The economy is growing rapidly, budget has less deficite then ever despite advanced social politics... I know, I know, you probably heard about things that PiS do with justice system but its rather needful. We had really independent judicary and it was getting worse every year. There were situations alike the judge went to the shop, stole some electronic stuff and said that he can't be detained. In Poland to detain a judicary there is a need of permission from State Council of Judicary (Krajowa Rada Sądownictwa). In KRS there are mostly judges, so they said that guy cannot be detained and the film from camera in shop isn't enough to make believable he stole this electronic stuff. This must be stopped, society wants it. About 70% wants the reform in the shape proposed by PiS. It is rather enough to do everything, but the other 30% is really noisy and have control of the most of media so their vision is more popular outside the country.
Anyway that not means that I feel comfortable with Czech situation. For me it is probably as bad as for you or even worse. I can't imagine communist ruling my country again or again four years of rule of larcenous liberals who like to do nothing except for their dark interests and fulfiing recomendations straight from Berlin (no offence for our German collegues, it is just voice for sovereignity, not for hate). The situation in Czech Republic can turn really badly. I can imagine that something like Civic democratic party will win next election. It seems to me like typical right-wing idiots, not like PiS but like French National Front or German AfD. It is something... just wrong. They have wrong ideas and want to implement them despite the reality. I hope Czechs never trust them. Rustem Pasha (talk) 22:11, 16 October 2017 (CEST)
Yeah, I guess my local press coverage of the political situation in Poland is a bit distorted and incomplete. In addition to the judiciary changes, wasn't there also a school reform of some sort? The problem with my country is that unlike Poland or Germany, it's small and no one takes it seriously on its own, so it always has to pick a side. And right now, that's the EU rather than Russia - which is why I'm worried about the euroskeptical parties. --Eklas (talk) 22:48, 16 October 2017 (CEST)
Yes, there was a reform, a little bit chaaotic. One step of education (three years) was dismantled and two years got into lower level and one into higher. That has a biggest impact on technical colleges and vocational schools because they get one year extra to learn people jobs. Also PiS increased the number of hours of mathematics, history and maybe physics (I'm not sure) and decreased the biology and chemistry which I find good. In my times, two educational reforms ago (it means just 7 years) the biology was too redundant (after high school with lower level of biology I probably could teach human anatomy) and the chemistry was disfunctional because making chemical experiments was prohibited at state level so it was only theoretical faculty and in the last year it were parts of organic chemistry, completely useless. The most controversial change was increasing of history hours which could cause increase of patriotic feelings among the teenagers. For me it is rather good thing but some people protested. The truth is just that in previous education program were not enough hours of history lessons and we mostly weren't lerned about Second World War (I don't want to judge who wants that but everything leads to Berlin again). Also there was a fake news in media that many teachers will be dismissed. The truth is that the number of teachers slightly inrcreased. Rustem Pasha (talk) 23:09, 16 October 2017 (CEST)

Well I'm painfully unaware of the political situation in Czechia and its players, but as a pretty political person I share your general sentiment of unease. I think in Germany we did pretty well keeping the AfD (the only party I personally[!] deem completely unelectable) under 13%, but thinking about the fact that in my constituency, which is a pretty well-off city of 500k people in the east of Germany, that party got 23.3 % of voters to give them their vote is just... staggering. But regardless of whether you see yourself on the right or the left, progressive or conservative, I think everyone should be concerned about the trend in (European) politics that national political players more and more turn to the EU to put their blame on her to distract from homemade inadequacies, while reaping the benefits of the Union as national achievement. In the long term this creates a very deceptive image of the European project in the Europeans' minds... I'm the last to say that the EU institutions are fine as they are, but challenging the European project as a whole and resorting back to the national state and the "good ol' times" could, in the very long term, literally be the beginning of the end of the most prosperous and peaceful era in Europe's history, and I really want it to last.Leowezy (talk) 21:51, 16 October 2017 (CEST)

In a recent poll, 38% of Czechs would leave the EU, which is quite unsettling, because the moment we would do that, Russia would take over. Though there are many things about the EU I dislike, I still think it's a great project, exactly for the reasons you've listed. From experience, most of the 38% don't think about consequences and don't realize how important the membership in the EU is for us, and would be surprised by what would happen if we left. --Eklas (talk) 22:48, 16 October 2017 (CEST)

This is where I realize that, in France, we have almost no coverage of what is going on in Central and Eastern Europe. I read the news every morning and today appeared the first article about the elections in Austria... --Tparigo (talk) 09:37, 17 October 2017 (CEST)

With every day I am lead to believe it is because the French are a nation in love with themselves, who have this image that their culture and mentality is superior to everybody else. They all seem to have the same passive-ignorant nature. Not offending anyone in particular, this is just my view of the French people I know. C'est pas que des Français qui marche sur cette terre, non?--mfnowacki (talk) 21:31, 17 October 2017 (CEST)
That's a mean thing to say - I have French friends and they're all very sweet. I think everyone likes their native culture the most and is proud of it. --Eklas (talk) 22:04, 17 October 2017 (CEST)
I forgot to reply to Tparigo. I think the lack of coverage of Eastern European politics in the French press is because most of the countries are small and, yes, irrelevant on their own - I mean French politics do sometimes get attention by our media. But honestly, doesn't our political situation just look like a joke to anyone from the Western Europe? --Eklas (talk) 22:10, 17 October 2017 (CEST)
For me what is shockin a bit is the antisymmetry of this relation. In Poland every word about the country (or just ruling party) coming from Macron and earlier Hollande is widely analised and commmented. Domestic French politics don't get much emotion unless it can not be used in our internal political war (or simply against Macron, because our rulers do not like him and vice versa). I think in France Kaczyński or Szydło are not even widely known and no one knows what they say. Am I right? Rustem Pasha (talk) 22:51, 17 October 2017 (CEST)
I was not trying to offend anyone or make generalizations, that's just the French that I know, and I know quite a lot of them. Apologies to anyone offended.--mfnowacki (talk) 07:38, 18 October 2017 (CEST)

Wow! Czech politics are complicated, in Australia we have the two main parties the centre left party (Labor) and the centre right party (Liberal). These parties make up 143 of the 150 seats in the lower house with a similar situation in the upper house, and the biggest crises facing Austalian politics is that two MPs and five Senators have had to step down due to being duel citizens, a clause that has been in the constitution since 1901 but was not enforced until a few months ago --Ilikemaps (talk) 12:14, 20 November 2017 (CET)