The parliamentary elections in June of next year are expected to be a major confrontation between the ruling Social Democrats, who have been in office for eight years now, and the right-wing opposition Civic Democrats who are determined to take over the reins of power. The need to get an edge has made both parties turn to popular talk-show hosts and even Hollywood-style action heroes for help.
Never before has an election campaign been so colourful. The Social Democrats have put their money on Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek. The politician who has been nicknamed "the bulldozer" has been urged to show a human face to the public. He has agreed to travel around the country and take part in a popular show called Nobody's Perfect. In it the prime minister takes questions from the public -no holds barred. The premiere was last Saturday and Mr. Paroubek pulled out all the stops - sharing bits of his private life, telling Czech women that although he had travelled far and wide there was none to match their charm and beauty and even promising to go to the gym and work on his protruding belly - well, just as soon as he had won the next general elections. The shows will culminate with the launch of a book of the best questions and answers called "Mr. Prime Minister, are You perfect?".
Meanwhile, the opposition Civic Democrats, who aim to show that the PM is far from perfect, are leaning heavily on Indiana Jones. Made by a popular Czech film director, the clip shows Indiana Jones fighting his way out of a maze of sleazy, dark caves - the "socialist reality" brought on by the rule of the Social Democrats. He wonders around, coming across various dangers, barrels of explosives symbolizing the Social Democrat's corruption scandals, is confused by insincere slogans and then suddenly finds the words Communist Party branded on the wall. Eventually, worn and tired he comes across a series of blue arrows that lead him out of the maze into the sunlight - the road to safety and prosperity marked by the opposition Civic Democratic Party.
So could the perfect prime minister and Indiana Jones sit down at the same
table to discuss a possible grand coalition next year? The chances of a
post-election deal such as that reached in Germany are fairly slim, but
you never know.
Both parties are now assuring the public that they have their best
interests at heart and both are expected to spend around 100 million
crowns to get the message across. Meanwhile, the Christian Democrats, are
waiting quietly on the sidelines. They know for certain that whoever the
groom turns out to be in the upcoming election they will almost certainly
be the bride.
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