A Thread for Politics in the Rest of Europe

We have numerous threads for American politics. We have a thread for lolCanada and another for UK politics.

However, a bunch of us live outside of those countries and have politics of our own to discuss. I think it’s best to make room for that here. I got some stuff to post about the Czech Republic shortly.

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For months, opinion polls about the political parties in the Chamber of Deputies (the Czech’s House of Representatives) were not updated due to COVID-19. Now, polling agencies are doing them more frequently.

Some information about the Czech Republic is that there’s a CoD election October 2021 barring a snap election. All of the 200 seats are up for grabs. In 2017, nine parties reached the 5% threshold required to gain seats in the CoD. Since then, two parties have split off from the right to create their own splinter groups meaning that there are now 11 parties.

Super brief description of the 9 elected parties in the CoD

ANO 2011 - center-right populist party and currently the largest one in the Czech Republic with 78 of the 200 seats. Their party leader (and PM of the country) is Slovak billionaire and former Czechoslovak secret police memeber Andrej Babiš. The word “ano” is Czech for “yes”. Most similar party: The Five Star Movement (Italy)

Civic Democratic Party - Right-wing party. They’re more about the free market (lower taxes, less bureaucracy etc). They also dabble in soft nationalism. They have 25 seats. Most similar party: UK’s Conservative Party

Pirates - Center-left party. They define themselves as economically centrist and socially liberal. They’ve only been around for 11 years but are the third largest party in the country. They appeal heavily to young progressives who would likely vote Bernie Sanders if they lived in America. They have 22 seats. Their leader is Czech political activist Ivan Bartos. I normally wouldn’t trust a white guy with dreadlocks in politics but he seems okay to me.

Freedom and Direct Democracy - Far-right wing Czech nationalist party. Like Pirates, this party is part of the CoD for the first time in 2017. Ironically run by a man born of a Czech mother and Japanese father in Japan. Facebook recently threatened to delete the party’s group page and his Facebook profile for violating community guidelines on fake news and hate speech. They have 22 seats. Most Similar Party: National Front (France)

Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia - They are the rebranded Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. Their power has been fading for years and are mostly liked by old people in industrial areas who yearn for the days of old Czechoslovakia. They have 15 seats.

Czech Social Democratic Party - A center-left party with pro-EU positions, interests in social justice, a mixed economy and strong welfare state. They also have 15 seats. They formed a minority coalition with ANO with occasional support from the Communists. Most Similar Party: UK’s Labour Party

Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People’s Party - A center-right political party with religious leanings. Like the Communist Party, their support is mostly among the elderly and has been declining since the split of Czechoslovakia. They dropped out of the CoD in 2010 by not making the 5% threshold but recovered in 2013 by getting 14 seats. Most Similar Party: Christian Democratic Union of Germany

TOP 09 - The initials are the Czech words for tradition, responsibility, prosperity. They’re a center-right party that has some right-wing economic views and is pro-Europeanism while the rest of the party is split on different social issues. They made it into the chamber by 0.3%.

Mayors and Independents - A center-right party focusing more on local politics. They cooperate with TOP 09 at a parlimentary level.

The two right-wing splinter parties

Tricolour Citizens’ Movement - Founded by the son of the Czech Republic’s second president, Vaclav Klaus Jr. after he was ousted by the Civic Democratic Party. It has three pillars (hence Tricolour):

  • Prioritising the Czech Republic and its citizens over the rest of the world.
  • The view that the wealth of the Czech Republic was created by the free enterprise of its citizens and companies, rather than government regulation.
  • The defence of conservative values and “common sense”.

The full description is a Trumpian wet dream (Czech language). It’s conspiracy theory paradise. Most similar party: USA’s Republican Party

Unified - Alternative for Patriots - Basically a bunch of people who got pissy at Okamura for being Okamura.

It should be noted that Czech politics isn’t always this divided. Since 2002, more and more parties have been created. In 2002, four parties were elected to the CoD. In 2017, there were nine.

Here are two polls. One was conducted just before the lockdown and the other was concluded on July 3rd.

Since the 2017 election, only two polls conducted have had ANO in the lead by less than 10 perecentage points. However, their percentage of support has been basically the same since they were first elected. They hover around the 30% mark and don’t show much evidence of moving beyond that. The only other two parties that have been at 5% or more since 2017 are the Civic Democratic Party and Pirates. They’re locks to be in the next government in 2021. Where the others go remains to be seen.

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“Pirates”

Yup. Pirate parties tend to focus more on laws relating to technology (net neutrality, internet privacy etc).

Do ANO and the Civic Democrats hate one another? Seems likely otherwise a coalition of the two of them would be the easiest path to a majority. How does government formation work? I presume the President asks someone to try and form a coalition, do they have to start by inviting the biggest party?

A lot of politicians hate ANO’s party leader and PM, Andrej Babiš, for a number of reasons. His finances have been under investigation for years due to accusations of subsidy fraud. Because of this, nobody wanted to form a coalition with him. He actually lost a vote of confidence but refused to resign. The president, Milos Zeman, gave Babiš one last chance to form a coalition. In all likelihood, Zeman helped a bit by using some soft power as a former PM and party leader of the Social Democrats to make it happen. Then, they got conditional support from the communists.

After forming this cabinet, an audit by the EU confirmed subsidy fraud and the Czech police charged him with that. The paperwork is sealed as of now. A conviction would theoretically result in a prison sentence but a billionaire serving jail time probably wouldn’t happen. Even if he was convicted, he’d either resign to avoid prison or call their bluff and tell everybody to go fuck themselves. I lean more to the latter. Zeman, a Czech Donald Trump in mannerisms and health, would likely support Babiš because he’s in his second term and has nothing to gain by making the politically correct decision of denouncing him.

If the Civic Democrats would be interested in anything, it would be to form a coalition of right-wing parties to combat ANO. However, the right is heavily divided and still wouldn’t have enough power combined to face ANO even if they did agree. Everybody who isn’t a member of Freedom and Direct Democracy hates them and wants nothing to do with them.

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On the subject of rampant prejudice in eastern Europe…

Poland had a super-close presidential election recently. They elected the strongman.

Give it a year before Poland becomes the second dictatorship in the EU.

Events in Belarus don’t get much coverage, but things are bad there.

Oh and they arguably handled covid worse than the US. Their dictator claimed that covid19 could be cured by drinking vodka and soaking in saunas.

Speaking of autocratic states, Hungary is precariously close to becoming one

Basically if covid19 gets worse there, it can be used to justify a rule by decree where Orban becomes dictator. It would actually benefit him if covid got worse since it would give him all the power.

As for the Czech Republic, they want to restrict people under quarantine from voting in this year’s Senate election. Now if mail-in voting existed in this country, it wouldn’t be an issue. While the Senate is largely a useless organization whose actions are more symbolic than anything else, it sets precedent for 2021’s Chamber of Deputies election which actually does matter. If there’s a pandemic ongoing a year or so from now, it’ll be a way more serious problem to restrict quarantined people from voting.

Speaking of Hungarian democracy still being under threat, here’s an xpost from suzzer

https://index.hu/english/2020/07/24/editorial_board_of_index_resigns/

Adios independent media, hello to the EU first inevitable dictatorship. Numbers have to favor Poland becoming the second one.

Yup. Second wave’s hitting the rest of Europe too.

Austria’s gone back to mandating face masks in shops

CR will likely do the same. Ordered some proper masks to prepare for the inevitable.

Hooray! Tomio Okamura’s (Czech far-right political leader) YouTube channel got deleted!

Bad news is that immediately created a new one.

The videos on it are exactly what you think they are: biased videos of refugees, Muslims, Roma, and black people doing bad stuff and conspiracy mongering.

Can only find Czech language articles on it though.

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Sometimes I would love to say dont relocate just the 12k redeploy everyone. I might be naive but these troops all over Europe mean nothing. First I dont believe that we will ever see a big conventional war again. Then we have Poland between us and the Ukraine/Belarus. They are so anti-Russian that I doubt a de-stabilizing tactic will work like in the Ukraine. So if somehow Russian troops cross the border to Poland the nuclear weapons fly anyway and its Game Over. And if they dont fly what good are they or Nato for anyway? A strong presence might still work on China as they dont have that much nuclear weapons but Russia has far too many. You will never push them back and move into Russia without them using these weapons. And I believe that if Russia would move into Lithuania for example nobody will react. The question would be: Will we risk a nuclear war over Lithuania? Trump wont. He would look for a reason not to. And I think he would hardly be alone in that matter. At least thats what I think. Its just a question who calls the bluff.

A guy with a Japanese name is a far-right xenophobe in the Czech Republic?

:thinking:

I wonder what the economic impact is on the region. Those bases need to be supplied and the soldiers need to spend their money somewhere. Speaking strictly from that perspective it‘s probably preferable to have the US troops stay where they are.

I know but then we are back to prioritizing business above anything else. Germany keeps pretty quiet about Hongkong because they dont want to annoy the Chinese too much. How much can we actually justifiy to look away for keeping peoples jobs?

His father is Japanese and his mother is Czech.

I posted in another thread I had some hope for the next French election. I don’t really any more. Anyway, as a small illustration what horrible racists mainstream French politicians are get a load of this.

The new Minister of the Interior is Gerald Darmamin. He’s being investigated for sexual assualt, but let’s forget that for now. He was asked about police violence recently, here’s what he said.

“When I hear the words police violence, personally, I choke.”

Meaning, colloquially, something like “I find it hard to swallow.” In French that was “…personnellement, je m’étouffe.”

Etouffer can mean to choke, to not be able to breathe and so on. It’s the way what George Floyd said would commonly be translated. What’s more, earlier this year another black man was killed whilst being arrested in Paris, Cédric Chouviat. The police involved were charged with manslaughter recently. There’s a tape of it happening which was widely reported here, the guy said seven times, “j’étouffe,” (I’m choking.)

This was a few days ago, the story is over here and he is still Minister of the Interior.

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