Friday, April 3, 2009

President Obama will speak to the most vibrant part of Czech democracy: the people

Vaclav Havel was quoted in the Prague Post as saying "what bothers me most [about the government falling] is that it deepens the alienation between politicians and society." Truer words were never spoken.

Czech people are mortified that their opposition politicians chose to use this moment during the Czech presidency of the European Union to bring down their government. Also, two weeks before Czech people have a fantastic opportunity of having their views represented to the President of the United States of America when the administration is new and formulating policy on missile defense, opposition politicians kept it from happening by voting that this government doesn't have the confidence of it's representatives.

While watching the opposition bring down the government, I couldn't help but think of the bad mom in Solomon's story who wanted no one to have the baby if she couldn't. So if you're a foreigner looking at the Czech Republic from the outside, and you see this weak government and you see the Czechs squander their legitimacy as presiders of the EU, you may think that this isn't a strong democracy. You'd be wrong.

The President of the United States is going to end up speaking to the strongest leg of the triangle in Czech democracy. Not the Prime Minister, not the President, but the people. Czechs are educated, interested, and involved in their politics. They don't ignore them like many Americans used to do stateside. Now Czech democracy just needs some politicians worthy of the people. One Czech friend lamented, "we lost an entire generation of political elites. The ones we have now just fight."

I hope foreign journalists notice how in just twenty years these people have created a vibrant economy that is one of the strongest in Eastern and Central Europe. I hope foreign journalists notice how the Czech Republic is attracting immigrants from all over the East who are coming here for opportunity. I also hope foreign journalists take notice of how strongly Czech people express their grass root opinions through demonstrations. That's democracy!

The "body" of Czech democracy is healthier and stronger than it's "face." There is incredible opportunity here for a politician who doesn't play stupid power games and brings a government down just because it can.

Who in the Czech Republic is going to choose to responsibly represent the people in a way that has them feeling the enthusiasm we feel in America for our current leadership? Can it be done here? Skepticism and cynicism on the part of Czech people are just hunger for someone or something to believe in!

Related posts:

I sooooo don't understand parlimentary politics!

Dear President Obama, Please Come to the Czech Republic


Sher said...

Hi Karen,
This is a great take on what's happening here right now. The Czech people deserve and want so much better than the current political "face" they have right now!

We're going to miss Pres. and Mrs. Obama coming this weekend...UGH!!! We'll be in southern Moravia at a wine tasting first!

Anyway, great have a great weekend!
Sher :0)

Michael Carøe Andersen said...

A very nice - and well written - post Karen.

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