Final Word from Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Is there room for morality and integrity in Czech politics? Jiří Dienstbier Jr. of ČSSD is testing the bounds by adamantly refusing to rescind his pre-election vow not to form a coalition in Prague with ODS. Asked by Czech Radio under what conditions he'd give the nod to a grand coalition, he said "none." Interestingly, he has support for this principled stance from Bohuslav "Suitcase" Sobotka and David "Smell a" Rath of ČSSD, two people whose names are rarely mentioned in the same sentence with "morals" and "integrity" by businesspeople who have had run-ins with them. When developer Sebastian Pawlowski wanted to support a grand coalition, his Týden magazine dug up housing dirt on Zdeněk Tůma of TOP 09. In the case of Dienstbier, the dirt might have to be fabricated. In the case of Sobotka and Rath, the fat files are no doubt ready for quick distribution if the battle over a grand coalition gets nastier. [Czech Republic municipal local elections mayor]

Glossary of difficult words

integrity test - a test or unprincipled offer used to determine a person's level of honesty or adherence to ethical principles;

to test the bounds - to see how far one can go without overstepping a certain limit; in this case, to see how much integrity is allowed in Czech politics without provoking a negative response;

adamant - refusing to be persuaded or to change one's mind;

to rescind - to revoke, cancel or repeal;

vow - promise;

principled - acting in accordance with morality and showing recognition for right and wrong;

to smell a rat - to suspect trickery or deception;

run-in - a disagreement or fight, esp. with someone in an official position;

nasty/nastier/nastiest - unpleasant, ugly or spiteful.


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