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Czech News in English » Opinion » Right wing is in no man's land

Right wing is in no man’s land

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Prague, Jan 14 (CTK) – The recent election congress of TOP 09 and the forthcoming congress of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) makes one wonder in what direction the Czech right-wing is moving, why it lives in no man’s land and whether it still actually exists, Bohumil Pecinka says in weekly Reflex out yesterday.
Opinion polls indicate that the maximum election potential of the right-wing opposition is approximately 10 percent. The right-wing leaders are not popular either: Miroslav Kalousek (TOP 09) is trusted by some 18 percent and the rest of the people strongly dislike him, while Petr Fiala (ODS) does not have so radical opponents because he is not known very much, Pecinka writes.
TOP 09 is a typical party in decline, though this may not be apparent in parliamentary discussions. The present ODS is a party of nostalgia that both exists and does not exist, which makes everybody around happy. Some are glad that the ODS blocks a certain number of votes, others use it as a welcomed spectre at which they can point their finger, Pecinka says.
As the opposition does not unite critical streams, the hopes of both the right-wing and left-wing camps focus on the struggle between the ANO movement and the Social Democrats (CSSD) that rule the country together, but are the only two relevant competitors in the fight for election victory at the same time, Pecinka writes.
The Czech political system is blocked, dominated by pretended clashes and backstage attacks. But the country needs a proper opposition, he writes.
For the right wing to succeed in the general election in 2017, it would have to form a specific pre-election mixture based on a broad compromise with the Pirates and the Greens, Pecinka writes, adding that Prime Minister David Cameron has been ruling Britain for the second election term thanks to a similar coalition.
The Czech right wing is unwilling to admit that the 1990s post-communist political system based on traditional parties with more or less traditional programmes has fallen apart, Pecinka writes.
A typical representative of the new situation is ANO of Andrej Babis, finance minister and a billionaire entrepreneur. Babis uses an anti-political rhetoric that can be described by mottos such as: We don’t have a programme because we react to real life, or If the path turns left, we will be left-wing, if it turns right, we’ll be right-wing, or We only want to control the state, not to do politics, Pecinka writes.
The ANO rhetoric is of course a mystification because Babis is politically anchored. He convincingly defends the interests of the big capital, of the biggest ones against the big and medium-sized ones. Poorer voters have the impression that Babis fights the rich, while for the middle classes he symbolises a firm hand that will defend them against higher taxation, Pecinka writes.
He says Babis’s success reflects the atmosphere in society that rejects big projects and ideological programmes.
The ODS and TOP 09 fail to realise that the three pillars of the post-communist era, or anticommunism, focus on social reforms and an effort to create open political parties, are not there anymore. A new generation of voters has come and the balance of forces in society has started changing, Pecinka writes.
Two social movements can be seen in Europe: a conservative stream with an emphasis on the national state and traditional values, and the city libertarian stream promoting economic liberalism, free cyberspace and non-ideological environment protection, Pecinka writes, indicating that parties need to join one of the streams.

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