published: 13.10.2012, 12:39 | updated: 13.10.2012 13:32:14
Prague - The Czech Republic is a too small country for genuine regional politics, Josef Mlejnek Jr writes in the daily Lidove noviny (LN) today, the second day of the elections to the regional assemblies and one-third of the Senate.
Voters face the lack of information in regional elections. They hardly know whether some regional projects, such as the construction of new roads or hospitals, were funded transparently and not accompanied by corruption.
Besides, a Czech regional governor appears in the main news on Tv only if he is caught with an alleged bribe of several million crowns in a wine box, Mlejnek writes, hinting at the case of the former Social Democrat (CSSD) Central Bohemia regional governor and deputy David Rath who was accused of corruption linked to several public orders in the regions.
Mlejnek writes that Czechs are more aware of the national politics thanks to the media. This is why the Social Democrats try to turn the regional polls into a referendum on the future of the centre-right coalition government of Petr Necas (Civic Democrats, ODS), comprising the ODS, TOP 09 and LIDEM,
Though all regional governors are from the CSSD, the CSSD presents itself as an opposition party in the regional elections, Mlejnek points out.
If the Social Democrats´ words were really meant, 13 separate referenda on the CSSD-headed regional governments should be held, he adds.
However, he admits, the CSSD cannot be blamed for such a behaviour since it has just relied on the most advantageous strategy with which it scored a great success in the previous regional polls in 2008.
Czech regions are simply too small for genuine regional politics to be formed there, and the Czech Republic is too small to cultivate regional politics even if the regions were enlarged or got more powers. Paradoxically, the regions are too small as well as too big to enable real democracy in them, Mlejnek writes in conclusion.
The role of the Czech Senate, the upper house of parliament, should not be underestimated though it attracts a very low number of voters in elections, Lukas Jelinek writes in Pravo today.
He recalls that the Czech Senate is almost a rarity. It represents all citizens like the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house. However, senators are elected for a six-year term in a different way - one-third of the them is exchanged every other year.
The Senate powers are crucial and many of them are becoming more and more important, Jelinek writes, recalling that senators along with the president help select the Constitutional Court judges, for instance, and can veto bills and return them to deputies.
It is no coincidence that the popularity of the upper house and the direct way of senators´ election has been rising, Jelinek says.
Exactly the Senate can really "make things hot for the government," Jelinek concludes.
The European Union (EU) is undoubtedly a peacekeeping project but should it be given the Nobel Peace Prize for it? Robert Casensky asks in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) today, commenting on this year´s Nobel Peace Prize.
The decision of the Norwegian Nobel committee to award the EU for 2012 has provoked amazement at first sight, but it is more logical than granting the Peace Prize to U.S. President Barack Obama in 2009 who was basically awarded for being elected president, Casensky writes.
He notes that the EU has a slightly more persistent and provable influence on peace. The European economic cooperation has definitely helped secure a log peaceful period, he adds.
Another question is whether the Nobel Prize should be bestowed on an institution. According to such logic, the Nobel Prize for Physics could go to the French Science Academy and the Prize for Economics to the London School of Economics instead of awarding concrete personalities, Casensky writes in MfD.
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