A few months ago, the center right Civic Democratic Party (ODS) – that was founded as a full-blown right-wing party by Václav Klaus Sr, the most important Czech politician after 1989, in the early 1990s – has expelled its most popular member according to polls, Václav Klaus Jr, the ex-president son, for his colorful but apt metaphors criticizing the dictatorial trends in the European Union.
He dared to point out similarities between Macron's and Hitler's plans for Europe; and he dared to point out that most of the laws discussed by Czech lawmakers are forced on us by the EU, a situation that resembles Jews' committees that were "generously" allowed to vote about their own distribution to buses going to concentration camps.
From my perspective, that expulsion was way too much of a collaboration with the evil. And although I still think that folks at ODS are better than the generic SJWs in parties such as TOP 09, I viewed those steps as a betrayal and stopped being a voter of ODS – which I had been from the beginning of that party. Because I am a homo politicus, I didn't choose "abstain" in the European Union elections and picked the nationalist party SPD as a temporarily good proxy for the right direction that the European Union needs.
Two days ago or so, Klaus Jr – the experienced high school principal and mathematics teacher whose face is a textbook on the spontaneous symmetry breaking and I hope the TRF readership is mature enough not to turn this triviality into the main topic of the comment section – and his allies have finally founded a new party, The Tricolor Movement of Citizens (THO). So I registered as a supporter.
It's obvious why it's the most desirable Czech party from my viewpoint. It is against the political correctness, for common sense, against mass migration, against inclusion, alternative education, and indoctrination at schools, against hypocrisy, bureaucracy, loss of national sovereignty, climate hysteria, against "manipulated girl" Greta Thunberg, and many other things.
Tricolor wants to "take back our country" – not the only Trump-style formulation – and turn Czechia into a country with lots of "working white people". Note that the Czech tricolor is ordered "white, red, blue" which differs from the Russian tricolor, "white, blue, red". At this moment, you probably know more about the Czech tricolor than the average Czech! ;-)
The overlap with the topics I care about is strong, indeed. Klaus Sr has been largely sidelined – Klaus Jr obviously wanted to grow out of his father's shadow – and is marketed as the Tricolor's expert on foreign affairs.
About 10 current lawmakers may switch to the Tricolor Movement now, Klaus Jr estimates. The first real test will only be in 2021, the general elections. It's not 100% clear to me whether Tricolor will survive up to that moment. Well, maybe there will be snap elections.
The name of the party is a seemingly apolitical word. First of all, "Tricolor" doesn't describe any ideology terribly well; second of all, the party is a "movement" which is something that Klaus Sr used to heavily criticize – and he was proud to separate ODS, a party, from the Civic Forum (OF), a movement. A movement is too fuzzy, unaccountable, ill-defined, resembling an NGO, Klaus Sr used to say in various ways – but those criticisms can be totally ignored by his son now, it seems. ;-)
It's not quite clear to me whether parties with old-fashioned, political, ideological names; or movements with apolitical, playful, P.R.-style words in the name are more promising as tools to collect many votes.
On one hand, we've seen many examples of playful movements that have never made it or that quickly disappeared – the Independent Erotic Initiative, the Public Affairs, the Dawn, and dozens of others – as well as a great added value of ideologically readable party brands. On the other hand, the two most influential parties in Czech politics right now – ANO and the Pirates – have totally non-ideological names. In the case of ANO, that non-ideological name reflects the substance because ANO doesn't have any substance (of an ideological type). In the case of Pirates, the apolitical name is a deception because the Pirates are a hard left party, combining the Greens and Antifa flavors. The name indicating their strong attachment to electronics is deceptive; if something, they have a much tighter relationship to drugs. In the European Parliament, their new MEPs have joined the far left green club.
It's fun to translate some of the priorities mentioned by Klaus Jr, as they were reported by the Public Czech TV (incidentally, another organization that the Tricolor Movement is rather critical of):
The entity wants to defend conservative values, common sense, and people who work. The ex-president Klaus is supposed to provide the movement with expertise on foreign affairs. The Tricolor will stand on three pillars – these are the three bands of the tricolor.You can see that they do include the fight against the far left indoctrination at schools and related things into their core political program which is great – and they're surely among the first parties in the world that do it, if not the first one.
It wants to look at the world from the Czech perspective, the blue strip of the tricolor. Indeed, we will be more interested in Mr Jaroslav Novák [an extremely widespread combination of the first name and last name] from the town of Pelhřimov than a sea lion in the Antarctica. Concerning the European Union, the movement will cherish the European values – in the sense of non-African and non-Arab values. [Despite the self-evidently strongly critical attitude to the EU, Tricolor doesn't have Czexit as a part of the program. Also, some of the most famous Czech anti-Islam warriors whom I know have been dissatisfied by the shortage of explicit anti-Islamic propositions in the statements by Tricolor.]
It's normal to work, not to draw [subsidies, a remark explaining why Tricolor is better than ANO]. That's the red strip of the tricolor. We have to be respectful towards those who work and to defend the working people, instead of seeing them as suspects. Tricolor is almost certainly going to be against the EET-style harassing bureaucracy.
The third pillar was called "let us defend the normal world", the white strip of the tricolor. We want to defend conservative values and common sense. For example, we don't think that mammals have 27 sexes according to their immediate feelings and we don't intend to teach such delusions to the children at schools.
We don't believe that the European, let alone global, industrial politics should be determined by a 16-year-old Swedish pubescent with certain diagnosed psychological disorders.
[Lots of extra comments about their 9-member committee, preference for the Czech crown as the currency, and tons of other things.]
On the other hand, if you know some views of mine, you must see that Tricolor is much more oriented towards the "working class" of a sort than what I would find optimal. Quite generally, it's less intellectual and less ideologically right-wing than any party that would be mostly controlled by ex-president Klaus Sr. It is very clear that in these respects, I am significantly closer to Klaus Sr than to Klaus Jr. But I view the pro-workers rhetoric as a promising strategy to get a higher number of votes.
Whether the party survives to 2021 and plays a key role after the 2021 elections is yet to be seen. It may be crippled by the shortage of desire (of the leader and others) to work on ordinary things that the management of a party also requires; or by some internal skirmishes which have cripples several projects with a similar ideological flavor.
But the party does cover a certain sweet spot that has a chance to attract a million or millions of voters. Czechs generally do care about the common sense, do respect the work, our European roots – and they are generally shocked by postmodern trends including the aforementioned 27 sexes. And Klaus Jr is a very popular politician, partly because he speaks like the ordinary people. Again, he differs from his father in this respect – who speaks more like a perfectionist intellectual – and you shouldn't doubt that my natural inclinations are closer to Klaus Sr in this respect, too.
The Tricolor Movement will be placed somewhere in the middle of the current triangle ANO-ODS-SPD. These three parties should lose the greatest number of voters who will switch to Tricolor. I am an ODS switcher – people like me generally find ODS too globalist, Euronaive, pro-establishment, or neomarxist in recent years. Some people will switch from SPD which is a nationalist party but may be considered as "too ostracized, too one-dimensional, or too radical" while Tricolor may do very similar things with a more mainstream image – but make no mistake about it, Tricolor has already been a target of vicious attacks by the globalist leftists, too.
And Tricolor should also subtract some voters from the billionaire Babiš' party. Some people vote for ANO because it is the best representative of the "totally ordinary, stereotypical Czech person" who has almost no concerns that transcend his everyday life. ANO and Tricolor probably share pragmatism of similar kinds. Clearly, those who vote for ANO because they're true Babiš worshipers won't switch to Klaus Jr.
But I can imagine that some voters of the Christian and Democratic Union as well as Social Democrats if not Communists could switch to Tricolor, too. We should see some first estimates of the voters' preferences in a few weeks.
If Tricolor succeeds and becomes a powerful party, perhaps boasting well above 10% of the voters in the general elections, and if Babiš' ANO survives in politics, it's possible that ANO-Tricolor would be capable of producing a coalition, perhaps with one more player. Again, I still think that Babiš should be arrested for his illegal economic activities and he's a bad politician, bad manager of the public funds, and a fiscally irresponsible populist (the post-May budget deficit is the worst one since 2012 – so much for Babiš's claims that he's a better guardian of the government coffers than his famous predecessor and archnemesis Kalousek). But sadly, the situation is grave enough so that I don't consider these observations to be the top priorities.
If Tricolor could choose who the coalition partners are, I would obviously prefer ODS, Christian democrats, and maybe even SPD as well as the social democrats as coalition partners – over ANO. But I feel this would be a minority opinion within Tricolor.