Final Word from Tuesday, November 5, 2019



It wasn't evident at the time, but since the Constitution was amended in 2012 to allow for the popular election of the president with two final candidates, Czech society and the entire Western world has moved toward a sharply divided, bifurcated structure. The next Czech presidential elections probably won't be a "left vs. right" affair, but rather one of "democrat vs. illiberal." Parliamentary elections are gradually taking this same shape, although it's less apparent, because voters have so many parties to choose from. The process of consolidation could accelerate if, as MFD suggested last week, the Constitutional Court rules in favor of STAN and strikes down the 5% threshold needed for each member of a multi-party coalition to make it into Parliament. Instead of promoting diversity, this might lead over time to a consolidation around two main parties, one "democratic," and one "illiberal." Any party that tried to go it alone would risk failing to pass the 5% threshold. [ Czech Republic electoral law amendment senators ]

Glossary of difficult words


to bifurcate - to divide into two branches or forks;

threshold - a level, rate or amount at which something comes into effect;

5% rule - as an example, a three-party coalition currently needs 15% of the vote to make it into Parliament; the Court might rule that only 5% is needed;

to go it alone - to act by oneself without any assistance or collaboration.

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