I have been voting for Klaus' ODS between 1991 and early 2019, whenever I could. Of course, it was no longer a "perfect" party after it started to lose its political compass when Klaus Sr left but I still viewed it as the best option. I probably continued to support ODS in order to impress you with my long-lived political stability in a 2021 blog post, too. ;-) Of course, the genuine political soulmates of mine are shocked that I kept my support for ODS for such a long time. And I understand their shock very well.
The (triple) party's slogan says "You have the right to live". Nice.
Yes, the convergence of ODS with the neo-Marxist leftists (in the EU) has been obvious for many years before that. It was slowly starting with Mirek Topolánek as the boss (2002-2010) but that "demo" was undone under the submissive but ideologically rooted Petr Nečas.
Under Petr Fiala, an academic sourball that has been the leader of ODS since 2014 (yes, I tried to ignore him because there are still many better politicians in ODS who continued to look fine to me!), the neo-Marxization of ODS was accelerating and may have reached the theoretical maximum: the party says that the far left Pirates are their only possible buddies for a coalition and there really doesn't seem to be any substantial difference between them and especially their expected behavior! But I only declared ODS unacceptable in early 2019 when they fired Klaus Jr for daring to say something negative about the EU or whatever it was.
Klaus Jr founded a new movement, the Tricolor Movement, and I became a paid supporter for a year. The regional elections were a big disappointment (some 3%) and because the election result was likely to drop further, below those 3% (because some fans are more confident now that a vote for Tricolor is going to be lost, so they won't vote again), I started to believe that it would be a self-evident "loss of a vote" to choose Tricolor. For that reason, I was ready to vote for Okamura's nationalist SPD. In the most recent elections at the EU level, I voted for SPD in the European Parliament. They got there and I was satisfied with the result and their votes. (I voted for the Party of Free Citizens before that and my candidate Petr Mach indeed got to the European Parliament, too.) It's been a trend: any "softcore" right-wing party (or politician) is extremely likely to be Merkelized i.e. to become competely corrupt and just another treacherous whore working for the insane neo-Marxist left rather soon. As a responsible voter, I am thinking about events in advance – what the person is likely to do in a year and what will be needed – and a "right-wing" politician who looks suspicious is therefore unacceptable.
For this reason, a clearly "determined" or "radical" party like SPD became a norm. While SPD says many correct things (about Covid, nation states, migration, feminism, energy industry), it's still naturally not my cup of tea from many perspectives. It's still a working class, non-intellectual party, despite the high IQ of the Czech-Japanese leader. Also, I don't like to support a party called "Nazi" too often just for fun because it could genuinely hurt my country (although I always try to emphasize that such labels are unfair whenever they are unfair). He is a natural talent, an amazing speaker, and much more. But I still don't really identify with the median SPD voter and I dislike some socialist policies that try to persuade such a voter, too.
Klaus Jr recently left politics and Tricolor, citing the shortage of energy, and Ms Zuzka Majerová Zahradníková (another lawmaker that left ODS along with Klaus Jr) became a natural leader. It was a coincidence of a sort for this redhead to become this influential. I actually started to believe that she is a nontrivially good politician from many viewpoints. Of course, Klaus Jr was naturally said to be an important politician. I agreed with almost everything he has ever said. On the other hand, the degree of people's support for him was always distorted by two possible effects: he was a Klaus (his father has been the most important Czech politician in the recent 50 years or so); and his facial appearance has been affected by an innate disorder. One is naturally afraid that the support for him is partially driven by some kind of compassion or a gesture "let me support a guy who isn't handsome, to show that I am not superficial". It is great that many Czechs think like that – they aren't considering the physical beauty and other superficial traits as top priorities. At the same moment, it may fail to be enough.
The redhead brings some of the usual "female" qualities to the communication within the party (plus quite some smile). At the same moment, she seems to have a good political compass and a stubborn enough mind. So I think it's just great. Note that this "far right" Tricolor Movement, often presented as "the SPD for the smart guy" (indeed, as I have basically told you, that is exactly why I pick it!), has a 100% female body of lawmakers now. Miss Tereza Hyťhová (25 or so) who has moved to Tricolor from SPD after a clash with Okamura seems great (and attractive), too.
I still find it somewhat more likely that Tricolor-Entrepreneurs-Freecitizens (who run as a single party and not a coalition, and therefore need to pass the 5% threshold only instead of the prohibitive 11%) won't get to the Parliament. The surveys indicating 2-4% are too widespread and compatible with the measurement in the regional elections. On the other hand, some things have changed that have persuaded me to treat Tricolor as my #1 choice (the #2 is SPD, as you could have figured out):
- They have added the two parties to the mix and each of them may very well bring an additional 1% of "its" voters, and this simple sum may very well bring us closer to 5%.
- Tricolor has really crystalized as the most principled anti-Covid-restriction party. Covid restrictions are still an extremely important topic and I believe for 30-40 percent of Czechs, the illegitimacy of Covid restrictions is an extremely important fact about politics, and a big fraction of them will be divided among the Tricolor, SPD, and Volný/Free Bloc.
- I think that this effect could be strengthened by a voting bias. Some people who are afraid of Covid could stay home and their vote could be lost. Equivalently, the opponents of Covid restrictions, vaccination mandates, health pass, suffocating and testing policies for schoolkids, and similar insanities could be more likely to arrive to the voting rooms and their gain could increase.
- Even though I remain deeply uncertain whether Tricolor gets above 5% (the redhead talks about 10+ percent but I think she doesn't believe it herself), it may be exactly the situation in which you should support such a party because the difference in the number of deputies is massive for gains 4.99% and 5.01% because the outcomes are qualitatively different.
- There is a nonzero probability that Tricolor gets above 5% and I just don't want to become a traitor in my own eyes.
Assuming some realistic scenarios, I do hope that Babiš will remain the prime minister and he will shape a coalition with SPD (and/or, ideally, Tricolor) and/or, less ideally, with Spolu/ODS, especially if some selection within Spolu is right-wing enough. I would find it OK if such a government depended on the support by the communist party (which is a much smaller problem than the Pirates these days). Pirates-Spolu seems like the most catastrophic outcome among those that are possible. Czechia would become a Protectorate of Germany again and all the absolutely crazy things that are getting normal in Germany (and Western Europe) would be pumped into my homeland through a top-down trajectory. My country cannot afford such a thing.
Ondřej Hejma has been a great supporter of Tricolor. He has given concerts to attract folks to Tricolor rallies across Czechia. Instead of some old hits, I embedded this 1-year-old "Blanka the European Woman" because it's comparably cool to his older hits. If you need to know, Blanka is an employee of an NGO, a comrade who is saving the world even though she looks nothing like Greta, and she is a wonderful companion, too. They live in the NGO headquarters but sometimes they will buy a duckbill and move from non-profit to profit... I am proud of having spoken to him a few times.