Final Word from Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Political debates are always a negotiation. The stronger the position of the politician or his party, the more he can dictate the terms. The weaker the position, the more the terms are set by the other side or by the organizer. No one has an inherent right to host a debate or to be invited to one. It is always a negotiation. There has been a debate epidemic during these Czech parliamentary elections. Practically every media outlet has caught the bug, and the result is more than three dozen debates. Czech TV alone thinks it has an inherent right to host the final debate and said that if an election leader does not show up tomorrow night, his seat will be left empty. This sort of authoritarian rule would not be tolerated in a liberal democracy. Andrej Babiš must decide whether to condone such behavior by giving in to Václav Moravec's extortion, or to put his foot down by issuing a statement explaining why the empty seat says more about Czech TV than it does about him. [Czech Republic Television pre-election]

Glossary of difficult words

inherent - fundamental; existing in something as a permanent, essential, or characteristic attribute;

epidemic - a sudden, widespread occurrence of an undesirable phenomenon;

bug - an illness caused by a microorganism;

to condone - to accept (behavior that is considered morally wrong or offensive);

to put one's foot down - to adopt a firm policy when faced with opposition or disobedience.

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