>Czech Republic: Right hopes to deal sucker punch

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Visitors to the Civic Democrats’ website are confronted by the following appeal to parry a left hook with a right and turn out to vote for the right in the second round run-off elections to the Czech Senate next Friday and Saturday. Somehow rather unconvincing compared to the hysterical, but effective anti-socialist rhetoric of the Klaus era – or even the more contrived posters of 2006 warning of a communist-social pact returning us to the bad old days of totalitarianism. Indeed, when the Communists are probably about to step in as a support party for the Social Democrats at regional level all we get is a not too well done boxing metaphor. I dare say ODS’s PR consultants (if they haven’t been sacked already after the election debacle) are right to think that anti-communism won’t wash too much with jaded and economically fearful electorate. “Out for the count” or “Kick us when we’re down” might be a more appropriate slogans for a Czech centre-right that clearly hasn’t found the blend of pro-market and pro-welfare it needs for big time political success.

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