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On Franchise and the Recent CR Parliament Elections
One important feature of parliamentary elections in advanced democratic States is the principle of franchise, i.e., the right of all citizens to participate limited only by age and a loss of civil rights or other legal incapacitation. However, participation in elections in the Czech Republic is practically impossible to a relatively vast number of citizens who are abroad on the Election Day without access to CR diplomatic missions. Most advanced democracies have dealt this problem for persons on business trips, working stays etc. simply. They make the postal voting method available to citizens outside the country on Election Day. This method has not yet been introduced in the Czech Republic.
The Democratic Club encourages the Czech Parliament to enact postal voting by the next Parliamentary elections. This enactment will establish an important democratic principle but also permanently solve the long-term problem of low voter turnout. Such laws in advanced democratic countries with elections procedures like those of the Czech Republic can be a model for parliamentarians to consider.
We are aware that postal voting can facilitate electoral frauds. However, we do not believe Parliament would de facto deny the franchise to citizens who are otherwise eligible to vote. We are confident that Members of Parliament would institute safeguards making attempts at fraudulent voting impossible, as they are advanced democracies.
Prague, November 14, 2014
Appeal for united proceedings of the EU Countries
These days, most of the Czech and foreign media announced that, the Czech delegation to the EU Summit, led by Prime Minister Sobotka, have reserved the right of exceptions from asserting the sanctions against Russia, as accepted by the Summit.
The Democratic Club consider the current Russia’s actions on Ukraine to be just aggression, constituting, taking into question the lasting occupation of the territory of Georgia, a part of a broader plan, representing a menace to democracy and sovereignty throughout Europe. Therefore they suppose, this aggressiveness has to be confronted by united proceedings of the EU, the NATO and the remaining democratic Countries. Considering the current situation that requires fast actions and unity of all the EU and NATO States, we do not consider the Prime Minister’s approach acceptable. The Czech Republic is being represented in both of the Organisations´ headships and we demand therefore of the Government to keep respecting the need of unity.
The Prime Minister’s acting may, as to our opinion, arouse the question whether the longed-for retreat from the anti-Union policies of the former Czech Governments does not appear at a declaratory level only, and at the level of symbols. Only an actual relationship to the EU and the NATO can give the Czech Republic the guaranty of permanence of the State and its democratic system.
Prague, September 8, 2014.
Obsah prvního Dk-Dialogu si můžete prohlédnout níže, či stáhnout kompletní PDF verzi (Ročník XXI/Číslo 1, Vyšlo 22.1.2012)
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Concerning the activity of members and supporters of radical parties and movements in the executive sphere
During the second half of February 2011, circulated was news concerning intentions of the Minister of Education to appoint as his first deputy a person who, in previous elections, led a list of the radical National Party in the region of Vysočina and who in his statements evoked the suspicion of supporting xenophobic and racial ideas. The Democratic Club vigorously defends the free exchange of opinions. But it also vigorously believes that persons with radical and extremist views cannot hold leading positions and functions in the executive branch of a democratic state. Furthermore, the Club believes that would mean tresspassing all tolerance and would eventually threaten the democratic character of the state.For that reason, we accepted and support a similar statement of Prime Minister Petr Nečas, and we expect that the appointment isn´t going to be made. At the same time, we are disconcerted that the President of the Republic has been backing a controversial candidate and who has expressed inadaquate critisism of some citizens who had refused appointment to a high position. It is the duty of democratic-minded citizens to step out against persons of suspected ideas and it is the duty of democratic apparatus in power to prevent such persons from influencing in particular the country’s education’s system, which is a very critical and sensitive sphere. Historically there is a number of examples when the inaction of citizens in similar situations resulted in endangering democracy or even in establishing undemocratic regimes.
Prague, March l3 th, 2011