>Czech politics: The urge to merge?

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The ink’s hardly dry on the Czech coalition agreement and the Civic Democrats (ODS) haven’t even yet been routed in the local elections – although we still haven’t the foggiest who their candidate for mayor of Prague is – and already ODS MEP Hynek Fajmon is weighing in on his blog Spojit ODS a TOP09? Ne! Blog – Hynek Fajmon (blog.iDNES.cz) to say his party should not merge with TOP09. He’s  dead right that it wouldn’t work for organisational reasons – ODS is too structured and locally embedded, compared to TOP for merger to be an easy prospect and, for the same reasons, a loose electoral alliance like a join list would probably flounder. The stuff about ideological incompatibilities is – ODS is eurosceptic and anti-environmental, TOP a load of tree hugging europhiles – is, however, wishful thinking. True believers like Fajmon are becoming something of rare breed in ODS these days even in the rareified environment of the European Parliament. After all, the two parties signed a coalition agreement on time and in good order with most of the cracks down Public Affairs’ esoteric demands on referenda and the the like.

And, call me a fashion victim if you will (curiously, no one ever does…), but with sweaters like the one sported by Mr F. on his blog, you do begin feel that the days of the Civic Democrats may indeed be numbered…I own a similar one myself.


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