Final Word from Monday, May 16, 2011

Karel Schwarzenberg stated the obvious when he told Právothat early elections would mean the end of the cabinet's reforms. Less obvious is what would happen to the reforms if the cabinet survived. For example, VV wants to link the public-procurement bill to a confidence vote, which at first glance might seem like a good idea. It would encourage the coalition to rally around VV's pet cause, transparency. What it would also do, though, is make ČSSD turn against the measure. ČSSD's MPs simply couldn't vote for the bill if it meant giving the Nečas cabinet a vote of confidence. What is more, the country would find itself in the position for the first time of seeing the Senate, which is now controlled by ČSSD, veto a bill that had been linked to a confidence vote. Or the Senate could return the bill to the lower house with changes. Either way, passage of the law would become very messy. Which is music to the ears of the interest groups that would rather see the world end than have an effective public-procurement law passed.

Glossary of difficult words

public procurement - also called government procurement or public tendering, it is the action of obtaining goods and services on behalf of a public authority;

to rally around - to come together to support a person or cause;

pet (project or cause) - denoting a thing to which one devotes special attention or feels particularly strong about;

music to one's ears - something that is pleasant or gratifying to hear or discover.


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