February 19, 2013 – I know we had over a decade of minority governments in this country, so I won’t blame anyone for forgetting.
For those of you just now beginning to remember, or in some new cases realize, the inconsequenctiality of a minority opposition in the Canadian Parliamentary system – which de facto renders the entire parliamentary process status non grata, there is an entire world of real-life examples as how government could and does function.
There was an elected Presidential change this past month in the Czech Republic that could have telling effects on the stability of the current three-party coalition government in that country. The anticipation of potential deals and double-deals over the coming months should leave any political strategists’ mouth drooling.
The newly elected President on the second ballot is Milos Zeman from the Party of Civic Rights. Milos Zeman does not sit until March, but there are changes afoot in the left-right dynamic of Czech politics – changes that might have been occurring here in Canada if our democracy did not reward majority government mandates with virtual dictatorship.
Mr. Zeman brightens the outlook for the entire European Union by making his first demand that the EU flag flies before the Castle in Prague – the Czech equivalent of Parliament. This indicates a return to the idea and commitments of a European community, a different path from the current Prime Minister, who had been supported by the previous President.
What shook up the political scene was the new President’s demand for immediate elections to reorganize the current three-party coalition government which would be sitting for three years in May, and is led toward the right by Prime Minister Petr Necas.
The president-elect also agreed with suggestions that there should be some sort of integration talks amongst the left parties, but only after the next election.
Milos Zeman leans more to the left then previous President Vaclav Claus, whose interventions supporting the Prime Minister had enabled Necas’ coalition government to remain intact on several occasions – something that Mr. Zeman showed that he does not intend to do by making his call for immediate parliamentary elections.
Zeman was Social Democrat prime minister between 1998 and 2002, party chairman until 2001 when he decided not to seek re-election. He left the party in 2007 over differences with the party in direction and vision, starting his own party – The Party of Citizen’s Rights (SPOZ). In March, 2013 he will be sworn in as President.