Wednesday, October 06

From now until October 16th, this blog will become shamelessly political.


Are the upcoming elections a suitable topic for my blog? Here is one very good reason; only 21 years ago such a discussion would have been impossible in this country. It is only because of what happened in November 1989 that am I here in Prague; and that you have your interesting and rewarding careers, and everything else which stems from that.

We therefore really have a duty to vote. This includes foreigners who like me have ‘trvaly pobyt'. We have a right to vote in the municipal elections, and we have every reason to do so.

Somebody once said, ‘all politics is local". The municipal elections are about the issues which affect our daily lives, and the way our money is used to address them.

Virtually every Czech I know believes that politicians are at best arrogant, and at worst corrupt. There is only one way to change their behaviour, and that is to make them feel the consequences at election time. Too many of them, particularly in Prague City Hall, have felt that once voted in, they can do what they like. On October 15-16, we need to teach them a lesson.

When it comes to the Prague elections I believe the key issue is the behaviour of our representatives has to change. We should not tolerate arrogance, cronyism and corruption. This means that we should set aside our tribal political instincts. The arguments between ODS, CSSD and TOP09 about budget cuts are bogus. Stop the corruption and theft and you can save probably 15-20% of the budget. Let us hold ODS to account for recent scandals, but also remember that Jiri Paroubek was a key player at City Hall.

So let's vote for competence, integrity and transparency. But most of all, let's vote!

(Next blogpost: How I see the voting options in Prague)


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