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Czech Facebook a platform for political gripes

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Computer: Czech Facebook users target ČSSD politicians. (ČTK)Czech Facebook users target ČSSD politicians. (ČTK)

The group ADIOS, Antioranžovočervení diletantsky intuitivně operující sabotéři (Anti-orange-red saboteurs operating intuitively in a dilettantish manner) do not rack their brain over political correctness. The group unites those “who wept or drank all night over the results of the elections and who openly avow that there has been enough of populism and demagogy, we know from whom, and who do not mind paying thirty crowns for a doctor’s appointment and love only small cats”.*

In the virtual space, the group’s original manifesto reacts to the results of the recent elections. While in the real world ČSSD [whose party colour is orange] won the voters’ favour, the situation on the networking site is evidently different.

No to orange

The results of the regional and Senate elections, in which the Social Democrats (ČSSD) won by a landslide, made several thousand members of the Czech internet community unite in about a dozen virtual groups such as “Nechceme oranžový stát” (We don’t want an orange state), “Sociální demokracie – děkuji, nechci” (Social Democrats – no, thank you), or “Nechci oranžovou republiku” (I do not want an orange republic). Facebook users even formed an anti-fan club for David Rath, a deputy and future regional governor. The members of a group called “Není to můj kamaRath!” [“He is not my friend” – a pun on the Czech word “kamarád”, which means friend] warn: Je nebezpečné dotýkati se padlých dRathů…,” [“Never touch a fallen power line” – a pun on the Czech word “drát” wich means power line but also sounds like Rath’s name].

Czechs on Facebook did not cheer for the triumph of the ČSSD election campaign: the abolishing of medical fees. The group “Nechci, aby za mě kraj platil poplatky u lékaře” (I do not want my region to cover my medical fees) had more than 500 members on Wednesday.

The details of the profiles in the anti-orange groups create a dynamic image of their typical member: s/he is between twenty and forty years old, a university student or graduate with a creative job (a lot of members are musicians, copywriters, university teachers or journalists).

A large number of the online anti-orange community lives in Prague, as can be seen from an almost 300-member group “Praha samostatným státem” (Prague for an independent state), which calls for breaking away the capital from the rest of the now-orange Czech Republic.

Fight with a stale beer

Along the lines of complaining over a mug of beer, which is so popular among Czechs, the groups have so far limited themselves to academic swearing over the current situation. Only the “Anti-orange-red saboteurs operating intuitively in a dilettantish manner” promise action.

The group’s manifesto directs members to trip up people walking with a rose in their lapel [a ČSSD symbol] to seduce the lovers of top ČSSD representatives or to serve warm and stale beer of Finnish provenience in the vicinity of Lidový dům [ČSSD headquarters]”.

Other parties can hardly compete with the antipathy toward ČSSD’s on Facebook. Only the group “Pohrdám ODS a stojím si za tím” (I despise ODS and I stand by that) with 30 members tries to remedy the situation. The framed Facebook portrait of Václav Klaus in a vest is quite lonely among the dozens of collages that have Jiří Paroubek as the key subject.

*“Kočka”, which is Czech for “cat”, is the last name of a man killed at the beginning of October during the launch party of a book by ČSSD head Jiří Paroubek. Kočka’s father, Václav Kočka, was a suspect in the murder of controversial businessman František Mrázek, and his name appeared in the media two years ago in connection with the so-called Kubice Report.

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