A journal of political, social, and other important, possibly even somewhat related affairs, including but not limited to: Central European Society, The European Union, HC Kometa Brno, American Politics, Film, and Beer.

21 January 2010

Democracy in Czech Republic

This article is a little old, and your correspondent has been thinking of how exactly to tackle it. It concerns the Czech supporters of the return of the Austro-Hungarian Kaiser to the Czech throne. At first, I was considering the idea of paraphrasing Walter Sobchak that "Whoa. I mean, say what you want about the Dělnická strana, [the Czech neo-Nazi party] or the KSČM, but at least those guys want a republic." Then I realized that the monarchists probably would prefer a benign form of constitutional monarchy, perhaps with greater power for the Kaiser than in the bicycle monarchies, but certainly not absolutist. And indeed, according to their website, that is indeed what they want, of the "current western European type."

In any democracy, there is a tension between the need for stability and the need to respond to public problems. We should perhaps not be surprised that a Czech population that continues to vote for "the good old days" before 1989 15% of the time still has a few who find the K. und K. a favorable, unifying figure. As Petr Placek, quoted in the Prague Monitor, notes, the king would be independent of lobbyists and pressure groups. In Czech Republic, voter disillusionment and apathy is significant enough that we should not be surprised at this sort of response, impractical as it may be. The monarch would be able to take a long-term perspective on things, he would have a political, linguistic, diplomatic and military education, and would be a morally upstanding character, the living flag of the land.

There would be some difficulty in implementing this strategy, as the current Habsburg Crown Prince, Otto, is (I have heard) not allowed to set foot in the Czech lands, though he has citizenship in the republics of Austria, Hungary, Germany, and Croatia. He is also 98 years old, and would likely have to come out of retirement.

Send an email to these guys to sign the petition! Support the Schwarz-Gelbe Allianz!


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