Final Word from Thursday, August 16, 2007

From a young age, we're taught "it's not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game." How quickly it all changes in real life, esp. in politics. As James Carver noted in the FT yesterday, there's an obsession with winning as the benchmark of success in politics. MP Vlastimil Tlustý of ODS is being portrayed as the winner in the debate over tax reform. After all, he forced PM Mirek Topolánek to give in on the flat tax. Tlustý is now rubbing it in, telling F1 radio that Topolánek's right-hand man, Marek Dalík, is up to strange things and that Topolánek himself should be replaced as ODS chair. But is Tlustý the real winner? His credibility has been shot to pieces, and he didn't even achieve much in terms of taxes. He quietly dropped his VAT demands. Topolánek might have compromised, he might even have told some fibs along the way, but he's the one still standing, and that's what counts in politics.[Czech Republic Frekvence jedna Financial Times public finances]


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