Final Word from Monday, June 8, 2009

About 35 political parties received statistically significant votes in the CR over the weekend, but only four of the parties made it past the 5% hurdle needed to win a seat in the EU Parliament. A full 24% of the total vote went to losing parties and was divided up among the four winners (ODS, ČSSD, the Communists and KDU-ČSL). The small parties whose votes were frittered away are disparate in their interests but have a common denominator: Their voters aren't happy with the current state of politics. The situation cries out for someone to unite them. Miroslav Kalousek sees his Top 09 party as the unifier of the 7-12% of the mostly non-socialist vote that he expects to be wasted this fall, but if he succeeds in amassing these votes, they'll merely go to ODS. He's not the white knight the small parties need. Instead, he's the spoiler who will make sure that none of the small parties can make a real difference.[Czech Republic European Union MEP]

Glossary of difficult words

statistically significant - large enough in number to make a statistical difference (in this case, at least 0.01% of the vote);

hurdle - barrier, bar;

frittered away - wasted; divided into small pieces or numbers;

disparate - containing elements very different from one another;

common denominator - a feature shared by all members of a group;

to amass - to gather together or accumulate;

white knight - a person or thing that comes to someone's aid;

spoiler - a person who obstructs or prevents an opponent's success while having little chance of winning himself.


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