Democracy can be dangerous

24.09.2020 - EB

If PM Andrej Babiš knew months in advance that he would be best served politically by canceling the regional and Senate elections on Oct. 2-3, given that internal polls were starting to project a decline in ANO's ratings for next year's parliamentary elections, how would he go about it? Might he not push to reopen the economy early and to give the impression of Mission Accomplished? He could remove the face masks, open the borders and even take a vacation to a Greek island. Then he could start promoting a plan to sharply increase the testing while continuing to play down the risk of a second wave. When the numbers started getting bad again, he could accept a small share of the blame but use the situation to replace his health minister with a colonel who likes to give orders even when he isn't in charge. Then Babiš could watch as the economy was gradually militarized. When the epidemiologists came to the conclusion that gathering at polling stations was too risky, who would Babiš be to object? The beauty of this approach is that it might serve its political purpose even if next week's elections aren't canceled.

Glossary of difficult words

Mission Accomplished - famously stated by George W. Bush on March 1, 2003, when announcing the end of major combat operations in Iraq;

to play down - to attach little importance to.

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