The Congress of the Civic Democrats showed two different political styles. One was presented by the party chairman Petr Fiala, and the other by the mayor of Prague – Řeporyje Pavel Novotný. To what extent are they compatible and which one has a future? Will Fial defeat the political clowns he declared the campaign, or will one such clown replace him one day?
Petr Fiala was re-elected chairman of the Civic Democrats. He has been since 2014 and after the end of his two-year mandate, he will be the longest serving ODS head after Václav Klaus. It will surpass Petr Nečas and Mirek Topolánek.
The sober political style of the former Rector of Masaryk University and the former Minister of Education is quite sympathetic perhaps precisely because it is beyond what is worn today and what is reaping success. Fiala is betting on seriousness, prudence, but to the extent possible she tries to excite and be urgent.
Sometimes the resulting mix is a bit boring and more suitable for the department, at other times – like at the ODS Saturday's congress – well-managed rhetoric, determination and clear wording prevail. At the same time, Fiala goes on his own and resists politics, which builds on emotions, tabloid and scandal, focusing mainly on the effect and attracting attention. On the contrary, the President of the Civic Democrats is opposed to such a concept.
The difference between him and the recent trend in politics is winning and rolling opponents is clearly seen in comparing Pavla and Mayor of Prague – Řeporyje Pavel Novotný and comparing their candidate speeches to the ODS leadership (possibly Novotný as the 1st vice-chairman) ).
The festival of riots, multi-clubs and clowns on the rise
In his speech, Fiala said that the next parliamentary elections would also be a referendum on whether politics should be a theater, a show and a festival of disturbances, or a solid work and responsibility for the state that requires competence, program and results.
The ODS chief also stressed: “Yes, I am applying for a mandate to lead a decent and competent conservative-liberal policy against various political clowns, empty populism and all the masters of facebook lies.”
But what else is Novotný than a political clown who makes politics a theater and a show? When he wanted to send a letter to President Vladimir Putin at the Russian embassy, he came here in a multi-media and with the flag of Reporyje. And his other outputs are similar.
It's a brilliant show that takes up, and its media impact is huge. The Mayor of Řeporyjí and its borough are unmistakable. Also Novotny's speech at the ODS Congress was a theater of its kind, which had the appropriate reach. The former editor-in-chief of the boulevard cannot be denied that he is simply a master.
Where Fiala announces a campaign against political clowns, Novotný clowns proclaims, promotes and uses it as a tool to get to the fore and tear off a piece of valuable space. He is doing very well and would like the Civic Democrats to follow him at least in part.
In his speech, the present ODS members aroused: “In order to return order and common sense to this society, to promote our policies and visions, to take control, we need to be in the blockbuster and first in the goal, not in the peloton where we came back only thanks to people like Petr Fiala and his energy and energy. “
Insolence, show and theater performance
Interestingly, Novotný pretends to be an absolutely loyal member of the ODS and declares that a single message, for example from Fiala, is enough and he leaves the Civic Democratic Party, but goes against the policy pursued and defended by his party chairman. For example, the mayor of the city says: “We just have to play with the cards we have now, using sometimes methods that we don't like and feel are simply necessary in the arsenal.”
If the head of the Civic Democrats wanted, he could simply get rid of one clown in his own ranks, but so far there is no indication. At the same time, the fighter against political clowns and opponents of politics such as the theater and show Fiala became the chairman of the party, while the clown and showman Novotný was not elected first vice-chairman or ordinary vice-chairman. He remains a regular member and shows the ODS chief all respect and loyalty.
Yet there is a contradiction in this, on the one hand, Fiala says that the parliamentary elections will be a referendum on whether politics should be a show and a theater, and on the other, Novotný encourages something similar to the Civic Democrats.
He then serves as an example of how what Fiala criticizes works: everyone knows Novotny and Repory, but who knows the vast majority of delegates who attended the ODS Congress? Even in response to the congress, it was said that the Civic Democrats needed more of what Novotny embodies – energy, informality, novelty, ability to assert or enthusiasm.
Fiala, on the other hand, represents a different face of politics than the Mayor of Reporyje. But can the chairman of the party succeed in the long term and bring it to the prime minister? Or is the time of his political work presented by him, and who wants to be successful today must bet on the emotions and slightly tabloid presentation that Novotný manages (and does not avoid YES chairman, too)? So is it only a matter of time before Fiala's head is replaced by someone of his type?
Symbiosis of clown with professor and senior position
Perhaps it is not so stark in the end, and it is not necessary to choose either one or the other. And even Fiala and Novotný may work for the ODS in mutual symbiosis and it is not true that one must overwhelm the other, but both will work for the party in their own style, it will work together and will not try to push each other.
But can Foula's duel with political clowns be credible in such a case? It depends on how much Novotný and his tabloid concept of politics in ODS will gain momentum and how much the head of the Civic Democrats will let it go.
The forthcoming elections to the Chamber of Deputies will then be decisive for Fiala's continued position as party chairman. He wants his party to get into the government in senior position and hand out cards. So far it looks like a wishful thinking.
This year's regional elections will be an important stop on the way to fulfill Fiala's dream. Four years ago, the ODS achieved an average result of 9.47 percent. The best results were in the Plzeňský region (14.63 percent) and the Středočeský region (13.05 percent). The worst results were in the Zlínský (6.39 percent) and Moravskoslezský Regions (6.93 percent). Interestingly, such KSCM had an average result of 10.54 percent.
This year it seems that the Civic Democrats could top the Communists. However, if the Civic Democrats (ODS) are to prove in the regional elections that Prime Minister Fiala's ambitions are not merely a fabricated effort for positive thinking, its preferences should be well above ten percent and attack some 20 percent in some regions. The party should also acquire some of the governors, as its chairman wishes, does not currently have any. Otherwise, she may still dream of a senior position and deal cards, but it will be of no use to her anyway.
The chairman of the Civic Democrats in what he has set for the coming period may also be motivated by the fact that – whatever Pavel Novotny says – it is possible that if Fiala fails, indeed sooner or later some political clown in office will replace him, it may be the mayor of Prague – Řeporyje or someone else. Fiala should remember that, because in the end the question is whether clowns win in his own party.