INTERVIEW: Independent candidates will probably win the election. The left is in a pre-death state, says the Prague representative


In times of crisis, do you think there is a natural outflow of voters from traditional parties, such as those in the Spolu coalition, towards populist and more extreme ones, such as ANO or SPD?

I am not convinced that it is an outflow of voters from traditional parties to populist or extreme parties, but a classic overflow of voters between the coalition and the opposition. At the moment, the opposition consists only of parties that can be characterized as more or less populist, or in the case of the SPD, more extreme, but this is rather a consequence of the current situation, especially of the left in our country. If we did not have such a fundamental decline and erasure of the left, the spillover of votes would also (or mainly) go to the opposition left. However, since the voter does not have a left-wing alternative to the current predominantly right-wing government, he is looking for understandable support in the opposition parties. Unfortunately, the current state of the left is so uninteresting for voters that even the current situation does not arouse interest in these parties, which is a great pity from my point of view. In other words, the situation described in the question is not the result of a crisis, but of the classic spillover of votes between the coalition and the opposition and, unfortunately, the critical state of left-wing politics in our country.

Do you think it is better if traditional Czech or regional parties rule the city?

From the experience of a municipal politician, I can unequivocally say that it is best for cities and municipalities if they are managed primarily by decent and capable people with vision and the ability to turn their ideas into concrete results for citizens. In that case, it almost doesn’t matter on which candidate they are elected. In my opinion, it is therefore not possible to answer clearly whether the government of traditional parties or regional parties is better. For example, the success of Praha Sobě shows that even a local or civic association can function well even at the level of the largest Czech city.

What do you think is the best way to build your electoral program these days?

There is no universal or single best election program or theme. Every municipality has its own problems and some of them are always specific. If I were to really try to deal with this question responsibly, I would have to talk more about the principles with which it is best to approach the administration of your municipality or city. Here I would particularly mention the principles of openness, active efforts to involve citizens in joint decision-making on important issues of community life, fairness especially in relation to the less pleasant topics, i.e. the ability to stand up to a bad opinion or solution, even if it is popular, and communicativeness. When a politician is set up in this way, he is able to gain people’s trust, regardless of whether his solutions or visions are more right-wing or left-wing, if at all at the communal level it can be described as such. I firmly believe that building trust and honesty in daily communication with citizens is the basis of everything, and the basis of every success of any politician.

Who do you foresee as the overall winner of the municipal elections?

No doubt independent candidates as in every election. If we should only deal with political parties, I don’t think that there will be fundamental changes and the strengthening or weakening of individual parties. It is always necessary to take into account that support at the national level and at the municipal level differs for individual parties according to the structure of their electorate, discipline, motivation to vote, etc. If I take into account the results of the last municipal elections, one can expect in particular a further decline of the Communists and social democracy, however, I do not expect that any party will see such a positive shift as to become a surprise and clear winner of the election.

Would you label any party as pro-Russian?

I’d like to say no, but I’m not sure. But I still want to believe that the pro-Russian stance of some parties is more a matter of political calculation and an effort to win voters who are attuned in this way to their side. Undoubtedly, there are parties where the number of members with Russian sympathies is greater. But this is not so strange, because it is impossible not to see that even a part of society has these sympathies. Maybe, but I just want to believe that it’s not as bad as it may seem.

What do you think, theoretically, would the election of ANO and SPD, and by extension KSČM, bring in the next elections to the Chamber of Deputies?

Without a doubt, a change of prime minister and ministers. I will try to escape from this question a little and will not evaluate possible changes in economic policy, foreign policy, etc. After all, most readers can imagine that. In my opinion, being elected would complete a turnaround in our politics from the last decade and break the traditional party system. I do not assume that such a government would significantly move our country forward or backward, I do not share the enthusiasm or the catastrophic scenarios. It would certainly bring about a further deterioration of the political culture in this country, as personal clashes would further escalate, and it must be said that the replacement of a discussion about the substantive content of politics, for example whether to have higher or lower taxes, with personal disputes and gunfights is unfortunately a sad consequence of the changes in the last decade . Unfortunately, it is a vicious circle, because even the current right is often subject not only to dogmatism, but also to populism (albeit populism “for better people”), and I unfortunately do not see a way out and back to a responsible policy based on a clash of ideas, how best to manage the state, and that regardless of who wins the next election. Here too, unfortunately, the biggest tragedy is the near-death state of our left, and thus the inevitable necessity to conduct politics not on the basis of opinions, but on the fight against populism and extremism, when, of course, populism and extremism are committed by both sides, although not with the same intensity.


Source: EuroZprávy.cz by eurozpravy.cz.

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