>Czech politics: Švejnar gets my online endorsement (sort of)

> The presidential election – we are of course talking the Czech Republic here – is hotting up. Václav Klaus, possibly scenting that the wind is moving against him, as now found the time for a televised head-to-head debate with challenger Jan Švejnar. A Hillary Clinton-esque ‘inevitability strategy’ it seems did not really pay off for VK either. Not only have his supporters quickly set up two campaign websites: http://www.svejnarprezidentem.cz/ and http://www.jansvejnar.cz/, but opinion polls suggest that Švejnar is (narrowly) the people’s choice – this being the Czech Republic not Serbia or Slovakia (or indeed Ireland or Finland), however, the voters get no say in this election. It’s the country’s MPs and senators get to cast the votes. But don’t let that dampen the (relative) excitement. The Czech business daily Hospodářské noviny has a presidential election website which includes a rather nifty little quiz (with some fine tongue-in-cheek asides by the paper’s political commentaor) for Czechs to weigh up the two candidates they (mostly) can’t vote for.

You have to rank the qualities you would look for in a Czech president and then opt for VK or JŠ in each category. I am more more concerned with the future Czech head of state’s educational level (prefer Švejnar), ‘relationship with the Czech lands’ (vztah k Česku) (prefer Klaus – just) and ‘clarity of political views’ (názorová vyhraněnost) (prefer Klaus, partly because for sheer political entertainment value). Surprisingly, however the survey tells me that, on balance, – like most HN readers – its Švejnar that suits my requirements for Czech president best (by 59: 41 points). Not if I ever want to write anything interesting about Czech politics doesn’t

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