Final Word from Wednesday, July 30, 2003

The Špidla cabinet will face a tough test in the fall, when its reforms go before Parliament again. This creates uncertainty, but not everyone is worried. Some businesspeople prefer a weak, unstable government, because it gives them the upper hand in dealing with state officials. Michael Kraus, a professor at Middlebury College in the U.S., wrote in the Journal of Democracy that there's been a major shift in the CR from strong to weak governments. In the first half of the 1990s, there were stable cabinets with solid public mandates and strong personalities. After this, the cabinets were unstable, volatile and often ineffective. The current government, he said, is no exception. It's clearly in the long-term interest of the country to have a strong, effective government. But short-term business interests will at times tend to support a government that has one foot in the grave.


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