Final Word from Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The biggest problem with Bohuslav Sobotka's bungled internal party referendum is that he can't use the "triple success" of the plebiscite as a theme in the ČSSD election campaign. The very purpose of the referendum has therefore been defeated. Sobotka wanted to use the internal party vote to strengthen his position going into the Oct. elections, but he has instead weakened his position. Some readers say we're making a mountain out of a molehill, because it's clear what Sobotka meant in drafting the all-important Para. 38 of the referendum rules. We should forgive him his mistake, they say. However, even if we are magnanimous in our interpretation of Para. 38 (by analogously applying Para. 19 to a mail-in referendum), the referendum question about a 40% quota for female candidates still didn't pass. So instead of being able to boast about quotas, Sobotka must find other campaign topics, such as sanctions against Russia. [Czech Republic European Union municipal Senate 2014]

Glossary of difficult words

bungled - (of a task or action) carried out incompetently, leading to failure or an unsatisfactory outcome; mishandled or mismanaged;

plebiscite - the direct vote of all members of an electorate on an important question;

to make a mountain out of a molehill - to exaggerate the importance of something trivial;

magnanimous - very generous or forgiving.

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