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Czech Presidential Election

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

Who would you support?

Milos Zeman
24
44%
Jiří Drahoš
20
37%
Michal Horáček
3
6%
Pavel Fischer
0
No votes
Mirek Topolánek
3
6%
None of the above
4
7%
 
Total votes : 54

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Trumptonium
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Czech Presidential Election

Postby Trumptonium » Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:54 am

In October, the Czechs went to the polls to elect their new legislature. The billionaire Babis won the election with 30% of the vote and carrying the plurality or the majority of every single voting district in the country, while the usual second-placed communists fell to 5th place. The hard-right anti-immigrant SPD party came second in the most voting districts, and came 4th overall. The Keynesian CSSD which ruled the country for most of it's post-communist age lost the election and came 6th, with their incumbent PM resigning the role two months after the election to give way to ANO.

However today the Czechs are going to the polls again, this time to elect their President. This will be the first round of the two-round election, however the second round will not occur if a candidate passes the 50% threshold today.

Unlike counterparts in other Central European countries such as Austria and Hungary, who are generally considered figureheads, the Czech president has a considerable role in political affairs. Because many powers can only be exercised with the signatures of both the President and the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, responsibility over some political issues is effectively shared between the two offices. The President of the Czech Republic has the authority to act independently in a number of substantive areas. One of the office's strongest powers is that of veto, which returns a bill to parliament. Although the veto may be overridden by parliament, the ability to refuse to sign legislation acts as a check on the power of the legislature. The only kind of bills a President can neither veto nor approve are acts that would change the constitution or budget bills.

The president also has the leading role in the appointment of persons to key high offices, including appointment of judges to the Supreme and Constitutional Courts (with the permission of the Senate), and members of the Bank Board of the Czech National Bank. The President also generally leads foreign policy.

This came to life when the incumbent President, Milos Zeman, appointed members of the Czech National Bank that in 2017, against the recommendation of the Parliament, released the Czech koruna from a currency cap and let it float freely, resulting in the Czech koruna (and it's northern neighbour the Polish zloty) becoming the most appreciating currencies in 2017, hurting the export trade and competitiveness but significantly depressing cost of living, decreasing inflation and allowing very high real wage growth. It is widely seen as a final-year action deliberately done by Zeman to sweeten the deal for Czech citizens to re-elect him.

However, perhaps most importantly in this election is the expression of the Czech foreign policy. The Czech Republic is part of the V4 Group, a group commonly seen as 'rogue' in the European Union for opposing the liberal order, notably refusing to take any refugees or participating in the EU Mediterranean boat rescue and vetoing all attempts of the EU at controlling the banking system and any attempts at an EU-wide Financial Transactions Tax, something France and Germany have been pursuing for a decade.

The Czech Republic however tends to be the loose member of the V4 group, having had the most centrist government up until October. They do however have the most right-wing President, giving a rather odd situation in the semi-presidential republic. The Czech Republic also tends to have similar views to Hungary and Slovakia (ie Pro-Russian), aggravating their northern neighbour who are strongly anti-Russian in all matters, hence damaging the integrity of the group.

But as mentioned above, the most important part is how the Czech Republic is presenting itself to the world. Under President Milos Zeman, the Czech Republic's foreign policy has been pivoting strongly to China and Russia. The Czech Republic joined the Silk Road Fund, and their pivot to China has been successful enough to join very large nations (Germany, France, Italy, Poland) in China's classification of the Silk Road Economic Belt, giving them a rather unique position as a somewhat major country in Europe according to the PRC.

Relations with the West however have soured. The Czech Republic has followed (or in some cases, led) the V4 group in diverging from the EU (or refusing to move forward).

-------------------


Candidates:

Milos Zeman - incumbent President, 73 years old. Former member of the Keynesian CSSD party, elected as President under their banner. Relations soured as the CSSD pursued a pro-Europe policy. Set up his own party that has two seats in the Senate (81) and zero seats in the lower house. Currently supported by the hard-right anti-immigrant party SPD, and yesterday the Prime Minister announced his endorsement for Zeman, giving a potential significant boost.

The rumour is that the Communist Party is also preparing to endorse Zeman, and some factions of his former centrist CSSD party have endorsed him. Pursuing a rather odd foreign policy that is pro-Russia and pro-Poland simultaneously, and also pro-China and pro-America, but is Eurosceptic and anti-Germany and anti-France. Wants a referendum on Czech membership of the European Union and said he will veto any attempts at letting the Czechs join the Eurozone. Is in favour of letting the UK leave the EU no-strings attached, and is fairly neutral on the UK in general. Caused minor diplomatic gaffe when he called Italy an irrelevant country.

Support - 45.5%

Jiří Drahoš - president of the Czech Academy of Sciences. Lifelong academic, pro-EU. Centrist platform. Supported by the Czech Christian Democrat Union (10/200 seats) and the youth wing of Keynesian CSSD. Paranoid about Russia influencing the elections and criticising Czech media for negative coverage of his personal life, again citing Russia. (those papers are owned by Poles and Italians) Campaign propped by Czech businessmen, and he has more campaign spending than all the 8 candidates put together.

Drahoš wants the Czech Republic to play an active role in discussions over the future of the European Union. He supports European integration but has said that he believes that the European Union should not impose "unnecessary regulations" on member states. He also said that he would not rush into Czech adoption of the Euro. Drahoš opposes a referendum about Czech membership of the European Union, and said that important geopolitical questions should not be decided by referendum.

After the Party of Mayors (localists) endorsed him before the parliamentary election, their support plunged after Drahos revealed he hasn't been outside of Prague in the last 10 years and apologised for being unable to comment on the economic situation of other cities and the countryside, with Zeman deriding him as an elitist.


Support - 27.2%


Michal Horáček

Czech musician. He supports European Union membership but would not oppose a referendum about leaving it. Horáček stated in July 2016 that opposing immigration was "like opposing rain", and added that Czechs have historically helped immigrants. He has expressed opposition to migration quotas and to accepting large numbers of refugees, saying that the Czech Republic should not accept immigrants that Czechs do not want to accept. (Current opinion polls in the Czech Republic are circa 90% against Islam and 85% against EU migration quotas and 60% against taking refugees in general)

No official endorsement by any political party or candidate, but enjoys a cult of personality under the concept of 'hope' and 'change', although he has not mentioned anything he wants to change.

Support - 10.3%

Pavel Fischer

Czech diplomat, long-term Ambassador to France. Supports closer integration of the European Union and a joint European fiscal policy and EU Armed Forces. Supports Macron. Drew criticism after saying he wouldn't appoint a homosexual to the Supreme Court following some religious-wing outrage after Zeman did that.

Failed to gather enough signatures from the public to stand, so a last-moment endorsement of a number of centrist Senators allowed him to stand. Supported by former presidential candidate Schwarzenberg, who was defeated by a small margin in 2013 by Zeman. No official party support.

Support - 5.7%

Mirek Topolánek

Former Czech Prime Minister of the conservative party. Killed his former party with his economic policies in the aftermath of 2008. Has a weird fetish with WW2, often invoking them, Jews, Auschwitz and war in general. Caused international memeing of the Czechs when he was pictured naked with escorts at Berlusconi's Italian villa at a bunga bunga party. Endorsed by the Conservative Party (ODS). Topolánek stated that his foreign politics would be pragmatic but also would support human rights. He is opposed to migrant quotas and adoption of the Euro. He is pursuing a Klausist ideology. Says Jews and gay people lack moral character, and says the Christian church (ODS is a uniquely conservative atheist party) is brainwashing people. Broadly pro-American and anti-Russian. Pro-Berlusconi, whatever that means.

5.5% (Highly variable from 4-18% depending on polls)

Other candidates (4) not included due to low polling numbers (<5%)
Last edited by Trumptonium on Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:06 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Risottia
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Postby Risottia » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:20 am

Vote Topolanek. The one most friendly with Berlusconi and Putin, and the one who's most likely to help the EU rid itself of the V4.
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Trumptonium
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Postby Trumptonium » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:43 am

Risottia wrote:Vote Topolanek. The one most friendly with Berlusconi and Putin, and the one who's most likely to help the EU rid itself of the V4.


He's pro-V4. Also anti-Russian. Very anti-Russian.

Fischer and Drahos aren't. Though Drahos is still pro-Poland if not pro-V4.
Last edited by Trumptonium on Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:47 am, edited 3 times in total.
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The True Teachers Union
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Postby The True Teachers Union » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:52 am

I supported Zeman in 2013, biggest mistake I have ever made. Under his rule the country has become more of a Banana than Czech Republic. I wanted Hilser to win but Drahos is fine.

Also Zeman does not have "45.5% support". Results show him getting 38.4% and the op is biased in many other ways too, not to mention the exclusion of Hilser...
Last edited by The True Teachers Union on Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Trumptonium
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Postby Trumptonium » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:09 am

The True Teachers Union wrote:I supported Zeman in 2013, biggest mistake I have ever made. Under his rule the country has become more of a Banana than Czech Republic.


under what measurement?


The True Teachers Union wrote:Also Zeman does not have "45.5% support". Results show him getting 38.4%


at the time of the post, opinion polls had him at 45.5%

The True Teachers Union wrote: and the op is biased in many other ways too,


?

i mentioned pros and cons of all

The True Teachers Union wrote: not to mention the exclusion of Hilser...


he was <5% in the polls at the time of writing
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Postby Ceannairceach » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:26 pm

How do voters know which box to czech on the ballot?

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Postby Washington Resistance Army » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:29 pm

The one that would leave the EU.
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Postby Ceannairceach » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:30 pm

Washington Resistance Army wrote:The one that would leave the EU.

What would Czechia possibly have to gain from abandoning the regional and economic bloc that completely surrounds them?

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Postby Trumptonium » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:31 pm

Ceannairceach wrote:How do voters know which box to czech on the ballot?


A man in a suit should soon give you a czech and tell you how to vote.
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Trumptonium
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Postby Trumptonium » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:33 pm

Ceannairceach wrote:
Washington Resistance Army wrote:The one that would leave the EU.

What would Czechia possibly have to gain from abandoning the regional and economic bloc that completely surrounds them?


Sovereignty and lack of Germans telling you what to do and when. I think the Czechs have enough of that experience.
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Ceannairceach
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Postby Ceannairceach » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:34 pm

Trumptonium wrote:
Ceannairceach wrote:What would Czechia possibly have to gain from abandoning the regional and economic bloc that completely surrounds them?


Sovereignty and lack of Germans telling you what to do and when. I think the Czechs have enough of that experience.

Are we perpetuating the myth that Germany is the sole nation in charge of EU policy? And more to the point, how do you imagine Czechia will survive economically when their largest trading partners suddenly turn adversary?

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Postby Eibenland » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:35 pm

Washington Resistance Army wrote:The one that would leave the EU.

That's nobody. Some of them are often critical of the EU but none of them would leave it.
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Postby Uxupox » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:35 pm

Ceannairceach wrote:
Trumptonium wrote:
Sovereignty and lack of Germans telling you what to do and when. I think the Czechs have enough of that experience.

Are we perpetuating the myth that Germany is the sole nation in charge of EU policy? And more to the point, how do you imagine Czechia will survive economically when their largest trading partners suddenly turn adversary?


Why would the European Union bloc become adversaries? Do they automatically become opponents? Are the Czechs going to invade?
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Ceannairceach
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Postby Ceannairceach » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:37 pm

Uxupox wrote:
Ceannairceach wrote:Are we perpetuating the myth that Germany is the sole nation in charge of EU policy? And more to the point, how do you imagine Czechia will survive economically when their largest trading partners suddenly turn adversary?


Why would the European Union bloc become adversaries? Do they automatically become opponents? Are the Czechs going to invade?

I mean, it's simply the way it works: the EU acts as an economic monolith who makes trade deals unilaterally on behalf of its member states. Czechia, by leaving the Union, will become merely one of a hundred plus other countries with which the EU will be dealing. It stands to reason that, as an ex-member, it will go to the back of the line.

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Eibenland
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Postby Eibenland » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:39 pm

Ceannairceach wrote:
Uxupox wrote:
Why would the European Union bloc become adversaries? Do they automatically become opponents? Are the Czechs going to invade?

I mean, it's simply the way it works: the EU acts as an economic monolith who makes trade deals unilaterally on behalf of its member states. Czechia, by leaving the Union, will become merely one of a hundred plus other countries with which the EU will be dealing. It stands to reason that, as an ex-member, it will go to the back of the line.

The EU does not make trade deals unilaterally. It carries out negotiations and national parliaments then vote.
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Uxupox
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Postby Uxupox » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:39 pm

Ceannairceach wrote:
Uxupox wrote:
Why would the European Union bloc become adversaries? Do they automatically become opponents? Are the Czechs going to invade?

I mean, it's simply the way it works: the EU acts as an economic monolith who makes trade deals unilaterally on behalf of its member states. Czechia, by leaving the Union, will become merely one of a hundred plus other countries with which the EU will be dealing. It stands to reason that, as an ex-member, it will go to the back of the line.


That does not mean the European Union will become an adversary of the Czechia at all.
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Ceannairceach
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Postby Ceannairceach » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:43 pm

Eibenland wrote:
Ceannairceach wrote:I mean, it's simply the way it works: the EU acts as an economic monolith who makes trade deals unilaterally on behalf of its member states. Czechia, by leaving the Union, will become merely one of a hundred plus other countries with which the EU will be dealing. It stands to reason that, as an ex-member, it will go to the back of the line.

The EU does not make trade deals unilaterally. It carries out negotiations and national parliaments then vote.


Fair enough so far as the practicals are concerned, but my point still stands.

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Postby Thermodolia » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:48 pm

Whichever one is pro-American and anti-Russian is the one I want
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Postby Socialist Czechia » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:56 pm

Whoever is hostile towards so called 'elites' leading EU to inevitable collapse is good for me.
Even senile amoral old nationalist Troll-despot in Social Democratic clothes ;)

He has good relations with Russia and China, but then again, why we shouldn't have good relations with one Great Power and soon-to-be world's leading Superpower?
Last edited by Socialist Czechia on Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Thermodolia » Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:58 pm

Socialist Czechia wrote:Whoever is hostile towards so called 'elites' leading EU to inevitable collapse is good for me.
Even senile amoral old nationalist Troll-despot in Social Democratic clothes ;)

He has good relations with Russia and China, but then again, why we shouldn't have good relations with one Great Power and soon-to-be world's leading Superpower?

Well the great power won’t be great for much longer, same with China
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Postby Eibenland » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:01 pm

Socialist Czechia wrote:Whoever is hostile towards so called 'elites' leading EU to inevitable collapse is good for me.
Even senile amoral old nationalist Troll-despot in Social Democratic clothes ;)

He has good relations with Russia and China, but then again, why we shouldn't have good relations with one Great Power and soon-to-be world's leading Superpower?

China is not going to become a superpower any time soon. The problem is that Zeman's personal relationships with those governments are at odds with the Czech Republic's foreign policy alignment.
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Postby Melhenyjdan » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:01 pm

I really don't want to see Zeman there (although I like his attitude towards the European Union, imigration and the Eurozone, I really can't stand his vulgarity, chinese-friendliness and his anti-German, not anti-German-politics, attitude) but Drahoš not being outside of f* Prague in the last ten years makes him unvoteable for me. Nonono, I'll rather have a drunken machiavelist in the seat of the President and watch a sw-emperor-ish dude I already know something about shaking hands with Putin, than a unfamiliar wild card called to be a light-version of the first one that does not even bother to see what the rest of the country looks like. Screw him and screw Prague, really. With that attitude he should run for the post of the hejtman of Prague and not of the czech president.
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Socialist Czechia
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Postby Socialist Czechia » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:09 pm

Ceannairceach wrote:
Trumptonium wrote:
Sovereignty and lack of Germans telling you what to do and when. I think the Czechs have enough of that experience.

Are we perpetuating the myth that Germany is the sole nation in charge of EU policy? And more to the point, how do you imagine Czechia will survive economically when their largest trading partners suddenly turn adversary?


First Republic (Czechoslovakia 1918-1938) was very prosperous land, despite of hostile countries almost everywhere around (The Reich, Poland and Hungary were pretty pissed and hostile entire time). Tarriffs and taxes were high and trade was limited, compared with this age - but it all worked.

So, entire Schengen concept is overrated. While stable Military alliance with someone is always necessary (since dawn of civilisation and first states), 'free trade' is not, and not always is a pleasure for all sides involved.



And if anyone will try to present EU's funds, well, EU often tries to present their funds as 'charity', but it's not charity: if it WAS charity amongst allies, we would able to buy with them 500 battle tanks or 10000 missiles, if we wanted to :p Not to use half of our own money on the project THEY accepts as legitimate - I see it only as a game to exploit smaller state into servitude, on long term, indirect basis.
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Socialist Czechia
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Postby Socialist Czechia » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:19 pm

Melhenyjdan wrote:I really don't want to see Zeman there (although I like his attitude towards the European Union, imigration and the Eurozone, I really can't stand his vulgarity, chinese-friendliness and his anti-German, not anti-German-politics, attitude


What's wrong with anti-german attitude? Last time they planned out extermination, we experienced brutal military occupation and Germanisation. And for last 1000 years there were mostly our enemies.

While Russians did only that one stupid thing in 1968: and it can be argued that we attacked them first, when Legions conquered Siberia :lol:

So, explain me why Germans should be ever our friends and allies? Why we shouldn't work on better relations with Poles, Slovaks and Hungarians? German companies, after all, have everything there, weak laws and cheap employees, they doesn't need more from us.
"Those who reached my boundary, their seed is not; their hearts and their souls are finished forever and ever. As for those who had assembled before them on the sea, the full flame was their front before the harbour mouths, and a wall of metal upon the shore surrounded them. They were dragged, overturned, and laid low upon the beach; slain and made heaps from stern to bow of their galleys, while all their things were cast upon the water." - Ramesses III., Battle of the Delta

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Eibenland
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Postby Eibenland » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:50 pm

Socialist Czechia wrote:
Melhenyjdan wrote:I really don't want to see Zeman there (although I like his attitude towards the European Union, imigration and the Eurozone, I really can't stand his vulgarity, chinese-friendliness and his anti-German, not anti-German-politics, attitude


What's wrong with anti-german attitude? Last time they planned out extermination, we experienced brutal military occupation and Germanisation. And for last 1000 years there were mostly our enemies.

While Russians did only that one stupid thing in 1968: and it can be argued that we attacked them first, when Legions conquered Siberia :lol:

So, explain me why Germans should be ever our friends and allies? Why we shouldn't work on better relations with Poles, Slovaks and Hungarians? German companies, after all, have everything there, weak laws and cheap employees, they doesn't need more from us.

The facts on the ground change. There's no need to maintain conflicts in a peaceful Europe.
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