19. září 2016 | News

Michaela Tejmlová: Jaké politiky bych si přála aneb lidskost nadevše?

Monday Comment

With the approaching regional and Senate elections, I wonder what kind of politicians I would actually wish in my society, and how actually I perceive those who are, for the time being. I am partial to how this country is being managed and believe nobody here should stay indifferent to the nagging question. I often hear people say, “I certainly won’t go to the polls,” or “Whoever gets there, it will be all the same and nothing will change”, or “Politics is dirty and why should I put dirt on my hands, decent people can’t do anything in politics”. Another conventional wisdom is that “although politicos steal, but then again, if you are in politics, you would be a fool not to get personal perks from it”. Could this still be that old undying tenet from the Communist times that “If you don’t steal from the state you steal from your family”?

Well, if such attitudes still prevail in our society, small wonder we still have politicians here that heartily subscribe to this tenet. If most of the people want their politicians to be tough, unscrupulous or cunning as a fox, and actually admire or at least condone to their behaviour, one cannot be surprised to see what politicos win Czech elections. But if we say that we’d like to see hard-working people in politics and start appreciating such qualities, politicians in this league will start cropping up. Political representation is a mirror of our society.

It should likewise be borne in mind that while some political leaders receive millions of crowns from their parties to wage a campaign, some others pay for it from their pockets. Consequently, if a candidate does not smile at you from billboards, it does not mean they don’t care about contacting their electorate. Some candidates single-handedly distribute their leaflets to your mailboxes, while some others hire a professional PR agency to look after their affairs. Worthy candidates need your support: design your banner and post it in your window, for example. Actually, the candidates who see millions of crowns landing on their campaign accounts may not be that much independent and may later heed their sponsors’ calls. Ideally one should check if the candidates have supported or obstructed the Reconstruction of State anticorruption bills, their political past, and the measure of their dependence on various behind-the-scenes actors. Do please spend an evening to learn about the candidates running in your area. Don’t please take it as a duty, for nothing could be farther from your mission. Savour a situation when you are not a puppet and can support decent candidates.  

Economist Tomáš Sedláček once said that a politician should be a human person in first place, and that got me. An IQ of 150, ten academic degrees, sitting on ten company boards or possessing large riches certainly does not give guarantee of political responsibility. I want a politico to be human in first place. Humaneness tells.

Michaela Tejmlová - external NFPK collaborator, now she is working for the service of the European Citizen Action Service