This is a transcript of an interview we did with Jan, 50+ IT professional living in Prague, who told us about the political situation in Czech and why he has to vote for Greens, because there’s nobody else on the liberal-conservative side he could support, even if he’d like to.
What is the situation in the Czech Republic now?
Today situation is a typical example, of a dark side of democracy, we have a „prime minister“, „president“, one of them is criminal, the other probably is a criminal. Both were legally voted, standard process, despite the propaganda, my opinion is that propaganda is able to gain 35 and 25 percent of votes, these come from Marek Prchal, PR specialist for our Prime minister.
The political campaign was full of propaganda, populistic slogans „it will be better“ and so on
Why people vote for them?
Because some kind of people like a simple statement, it is a typical mechanism of how populism can be strong, simple promises are understandable for 50 % of people on the left side of the Gaussian curve, it looks like it is enough
Do people look for some kind of empowerment?
It is not so simple, I do not know why they need it, why they listen to it, they were unsatisfied with the political situation, perhaps they thought that the politicians cannot understand their problems, the former did understand, but did not care
What are the practical, daily-life problems you see in your country?
The main sort is practical problems, if I am living in Vršovice, I am meeting drug dealers, etc., there are no politicians who would do something. Common people live in their place, locally, and they do not feel relations to politicians who solve GDP, etc.
What are the main problems?
Democracy is falling somewhere else. Our prime minister lies all the time – should not be possible, he steals European donations, he has gigantic possessions and he is a prime minister, and they are growing at velocity, which is much bigger than before. People support them because of the same principle nicely described in Monty Python – What have the Romans ever done to us? They keep on asking, what is EU giving us, and no answer is sufficient. Ok, so they give us roads and hospitals, but what else?
You said that the local politics in Prague work better - why is Hřib (mayor of Prague), a better politician?
People in Prague are different, better informed. People outside Prague are watching commercial TVs, they cannot distill information. Prague is more educated, though it is not black and white, yet Zeman won in villages, the other candidate in cities
It is similar In Poland
In Germany, the quality of the offer of the political parties is better, they would not support criminal as a prime minister
Why is it so in the Czech Republic?
the first one is historical, after 1989 in the Czech Republic, there was no punishment of the former communists, practically none of them were arrested for criminal acts, as a result, people think it is ok to be like this…, they could realize … (they think) the communists really did not do bad work, but they did
The second is the so-called dark side of democracy – in my opinion, a lot of money can buy you voters
How about living in Prague, are the prices in the city a problem for a lot of people?
Living in Prague is a problem, historically, a lot of flats were owned by the state, after that, the market was squeezed, a large part of the people was living in the regulated /cheap flats, it is not possible to maintain the low prices. I am an IT specialist, I earn a lot of money, so I don’t worry.
In Berlin they recently limited the prices - froze them for the next 5 years, to prevent rampant gentrification.
I am not sure about the long term effects, I’m not a big fan of regulations.
Do you worry about something, maybe your pensions?
I do not have a problém, I see a big zero (laughs). There are just promises of lying politicians, but considering the efficiency of our Ministry of Finances, there will be nothing there when I get old.
What is your favorite political party?
It is complicated, I am on the right side of the spectrum, we do not have any political party on the right, which is not connected with wrong things, so sometimes I vote Green, sometimes for Pirates
I would like to vote some progressive liberal party on the right, free market, fewer bureaucrats, …not ODS (major Czech conservative party)
In what sense progressive?
Progressive in contrast with ODS, they just repeat, what they repeated ten, fifteen years ago, the market is self-regulated - common sentence for right-wing parties, it is just a slogan.
What about Praha Sobě?
I like the program, but they are not a party, rather a civic movement
If they would become a party?
It would be a good option
Are you conservative?
Everyone is in some sense…for instance, I do not like plastic (laugh)
Can the ecological issues be regulated in your opinion?
I am against regulations, but some are necessary. As if you kill someone, you go to jail, that is also a regulation