Sobotka's failed referendum

26.08.2014 - EB

Bohuslav Sobotka has a big, big problem, and he had his entire summer vacation to think about how to extract himself from the mess he has created. The three questions he posed in the internal ČSSD party referendum did not pass, and he misled his party and the public about this. The issue is the meaning of "hlasující" ("voter" in English), which is explicitly defined in Para. 21 of ČSSD's Rules for an Internal Party Referendum. A "hlasující" is a ČSSD member in good standing. According to Para. 38 of the Rules, individual mail-in referendum questions pass if "more than half of all 'hlasující'" vote in favor. ČSSD had 22,577 members in good standing, which means that 11,289 needed to vote Yes for a referendum question to pass. The referendum question with the most Yes votes received only 7,995 votes. None of the three questions therefore passed. Sobotka will likely try to argue that "hlasující" has two meanings, "eligible voters" and "actual voters." Nonsense. The word has only one meaning, and Sobotka, as sole author of the Rules, is the one who defined it.

Glossary of difficult words

to extract - to remove or take out;

to pose (a question) - to ask, raise or suggest;

in good standing - having complied with all of one's obligations to an organization;

eligible - having the right to do or obtain something.

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