On Friday and Saturday, Czechs were voting their representatives in the 14 regions (current top subdivisions of Czechia) – and a third of voters were refreshing their Senators. The resulting maps of the "strongest political party" look rather scary. The Slovak authoritative billionaire Babiš' ANO/YES movement "won" 9 of the 14 regional elections and will have a candidate in the second round of the senate elections in most of the districts, too.
Pilsen's renaissance city hall.
Given his similarity to the dictatorial attitudes of the communist party (not surprising given his being an influential communist party member, and almost certainly a snitch, before the fall of communism), the result – who is the "first" – terrified me. But with some hindsight and calmness, it's not so bad. Why? Well, because the snitch ANO party along with the unreformed KSČM communist party still have below 50% almost everywhere. So given the power of the majority, they didn't really win.
In the Czech government, ANO along with the social democrats, ČSSD, are the two senior parties in the coalition that also includes the junior Christian democrats. This bunch was formed during some "anti-right-wing" hysteria – shortly after a right-wing government was removed by a de facto putsch led by some investigators (whose justification has been later shown bogus by the courts) in July 2013. But I think that the relationships in the Czech political sphere have shifted.
And especially in the regions, the politicians are actually dividing the parties mostly along the line that I indicated. We have democratic parties on one side and non-democratic parties on the other side. Communists were considered the "main example" of non-democratic parties in the recent decades but ANO has basically trumped them. Babiš uses a vocabulary for the parliament and other pillars of our republican system that makes Adolf Hitler look like a staunch democrat in comparison.
In spite of the "gold medal" for ANO in most regions, the ANO governors will rule in a small minority of the regions only. In many regions, ANO, the #1 party in the polls, will be snubbed. Our Pilsner Region is a canonical example of these anti-ANO coalitions. In the 4 previous years or so, the Pilsner Region was ruled by a left-wing, socialist-communist, coalition. But the recent elections actually brought us an improvement.
At 10 am today, a new coalition was announced for the Pilsner Region and it largely emulates the current Pilsner city hall (the municipal and regional governors aren't the same). The governor will be a social democrat, the center-right ODS that I ultimately voted for will be the second senior party in the coalition, and two smaller, less political blocs had to be added because the political spectrum is really fragmented.
It makes perfect sense. The main question of the elections wasn't the left-or-right dilemma. Instead, ANO managed to change the question to a more fundamental one. Were the changes that we saw in the country and especially in the cities and regions after 1989, especially in the "very free" decade of the 1990s, basically right? Or were these events a sequence of outrageous, harmful crimes? This is really how the ex-communist billionaire Babiš reframed the question.
And while his ANO won the gold medal, most of the voters answered No. Of course the changes after 1989 were basically great and the improvements are way too self-evident. You know, the social democrats are more left-wing but when they were facing this dilemma, their decision was clear. They prefer a coalition with the center-right ODS and similar parties over a coalition with ANO. Our region just wasn't plagued by some omnipresent corruption or other things that the nasty hovnomet Babiš loves to talk about and his low-quality voters love to listen to. Things just work more or less great. We don't need a dictator to fix things. Up to recently, all post-1989 mayors were ODS members. Social democrats know that it was a success. So they joined an ANO-free coalition.
There are other regions where the "victorious" ANO will remain in the opposition. And in the second round of the senate elections, the democratic candidates are more likely to support each other against their ANO competitors, too. It's not really a coincidence. ANO is largely adopting the "toxic junk" status of the communist party. In the decades after the Velvet Revolution, the unreformed communist party kept on getting some 15% of votes in average. Democratic parties were mostly constrained by pledges that they wouldn't enter into a coalition with the communists. This made the politics harder, of course. All the coalitions had to achieve more than 50% of deputies even though only 85% of the deputies were "eligible" to start with.
ANO is partly "impossible to team up with", much like the communist party, so even when it is the single strongest party, it doesn't mean much. Needless to say, this resolution – while it is a relief – is risky because Babiš along with his most natural partners, the communists, may surpass the 50% threshold in the future, perhaps even during the 2017 parliamentary elections. If that happens and this coalition will be created, it will be tough. Democracy will have failed and a civil war may turn out to be a more feasible solution to direct the public affairs, an event that may be needed to save the country from 40 additional years of totalitarianism.
But we're not there yet and the excessive self-confidence of Babiš and his aßlickers is unwarranted.
Back to America
Meanwhile, an obscene 2005 recording of Donald Trump and Billy Bush has emerged. Donald Trump offers quite some "locker room talk". It's a talk that differs from what he normally offers on TV or in political discussions but it does show how he actually thinks about the women and the relationships. He's a primitive bumpkin.
On the other hand, he's obviously right if you focus on the evaluation of the truth value of his propositions. Most women, including – and perhaps especially – attractive women allow wealthy men like himself to do anything with their bodies and even intimate organs because they find wealth sexy and/or they're subconsciously computing the costs and benefits of a certain contact with men. And a very large percentage of women would allow such things if they got the new furniture from Trump, anyway. ;-)
I am convinced that many women, including attractive ones, must have refused any such touches by Donald Trump, however. He has surely used some slurs for those women because of that. But I am sure that some of the women who rejected the impolite touches of Trump's hand must have been fine women and not even feminists.
So as a moral role model, I am sure that Donald Trump has failed. But I don't think that the Clinton family – partly because of Bill and Hillary's tolerance for his acts – may offer a vastly superior alternative in these respects. Moreover, I don't believe that these questions are the most important things for the future U.S. president. I do think that it's more important what the next U.S. president will do with the situation in Syria or the relationships with Russia and many other things. And the very tough and personal second presidential debate has strengthened my opinion that Trump is the superior candidate.