Thinking Citizen Blog — Good News from Czechia — Is the Tide of “Pluto-Populism” Turning?
Thinking Citizen Blog — Monday is Foreign Policy Day
Today’s Topic: Good News from Czechia — Is the Tide of “Pluto-Populism” Turning?
If it bleeds, it tends to lead. I’m always desperate for good news. Constantly grasping at straws. Today, a hint at the possibility of a positive trend. His name is Petr Pavel, a pro-Western former general recently elected President of Czechoslovakia who defeated Andrej Babis, the pro-Russian former Prime Minister, by a decisive 58% to 42%. Today, a few more notes on Pavel and Czechia. Have you heard any good international news lately? Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
PAVEL IS THE FORMER CHAIRMAN OF THE NATO MILITARY COMMITTEE (2016–2019) AND CHIEF OF STAFF OF THE CZECH ARMY (2012–2015)
1. He has no political experience.
2. His campaign slogan: “Enough chaos. I offer order and dignity.”
2. Czechia has a parliamentary system. Real executive authority lies with the Prime Minister.
NB: Pavel had joined the Communist Party in the 1980s but renounced it later.
THE PRIME MINISTER OF CZECHIA IS PETR FIALA, A CENTER-RIGHT, PRO-WESTERN CATHOLIC
1. He has opened the Czech borders to Ukrainian refugees — letting in more per capita than any other country.
2. Former Minister of Education and rector of Masaryk University.
3. He was the first professor of political science in the Czech Republic.
NB: He is fiscally and culturally conservative.
OUT GOING PRESIDENT ZEMAN
1. Although generally viewed as pro-Kremlin, he did oppose the invasion of the Ukraine in 2022.
2. The first democratically elected President. His predecessors, Vaclav Havel and Vaclav Klaus were elected by the Czech Parliament.
3. First elected in 2013, he was re-elected in 2018.
Czech Voters Deal a Blow to Populism
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
“In my walks, every man I meet is in some way my superior and in that I can learn of him.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
#1 A graphic guide to justice (9 metaphors on one page).
#2 “39 Songs, Prayers, and Poems: the Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People” — Adams House Senior Common Room Presentation, 11/17/20
PDF with headlines — Google Drive
Please share the coolest or most important thing you learned in the last week, month, or year related to foreign policy. Or, even better, the coolest or most important thing you learned in our life related to foreign policy.
This is your chance to make someone else’s day. And to consolidate in your memory something important you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than otherwise about something dear to your heart. Continuity is the key to depth of thought. The prospect of imminent publication, like hanging and final exams, concentrates the mind. A useful life long habit.