Final Word from Tuesday, November 1, 2011

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, the road to dictatorship is sometimespaved by referendum. This isn't to say that a people will voluntarily chooseauthoritarian rule; rather that a vote by the people at the wrong time can result insuch bad political and economic policy that it leads later to an even worse outcomethan if the popular vote had not been called at all. This could be where the newly announcedreferendum in Greece on the EU bailout is headed. If Greek voters reject theplan, they'll be signing a warrant for worse policies later that they certainly won't relish.The same goes for ODS's referendum on euro adoption. Mentioning the idea nowof a decision that won't be made for years, if at all, gives Czechs the false securitythat their economy and money are somehow sounder than the eurozone's. Denyingthe true plight of the nation today paves the way for authoritarian policies tomorrow.

Glossary of difficult words

the road to hell is paved with good intentions - something that is meant well might turn out to be bad in the end;

warrant - justification or authority for an action;

to relish something - to enjoy greatly;

plight - a dangerous, difficult or otherwise unfortunate situation.

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