Christian Democracy in the Czech Lands
Miller, William, Vedrashko, Alexandra, The New Presence: The Prague Journal of Central European Affairs
During the past twenty years in which political parties have enjoyed freedom in the Czech Republic, the Christian Democratic Party (KDU-ESL) has struggled to gain significant influence while Christian parties have flourished in neighbouring countries. The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Germany remained dominant in the coalition government after its September elections. The Austrian People's Party, OVP, has maintained support of the vast majority in Austria, and Poland's Law and Justice is the second major political party in the country. In the upcoming Czech elections currently scheduled for June 2010, the KDU-CSL is at serious risk of gaining too few votes to be included in parliament. Why has the Christian democratic movement faired so poorly in the Czech Republic compared to these neighbours?
The only significant role that the KDU-CSL can claim in the last twenty years is its involvement in coalition governments. However, the manner in which it has shifted from an alliance with the centre-left Social Democrats after the 2002 election to an alliance with the centre-right ODS in the mid-nineties and later in 2006, calls into question its core commitments. The inability to pin down the Czech Christian Democratic Party within the traditional left-right spectrum is nothing new for Christian democracy in Europe. Since its origins, the European Christian democracy movement has never demonstrated a consistent stance on the political spectrum, combining commitments as diverse as social welfare on the left with traditional social values from the right. The European People's Party (EPP), a Europarty which unites many Christian parties including the KDU-CSL, is a great example of Christian democracy's reluctance to be labeled in terms of the traditional left-right spectrum. Referring to liberalism, …
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Publication information: Article title: Christian Democracy in the Czech Lands. Contributors: Miller, William - Author, Vedrashko, Alexandra - Author. Magazine title: The New Presence: The Prague Journal of Central European Affairs. Volume: 12. Issue: 4 Publication date: Autumn 2009. Page number: 37+. © 2009 Martin Jan Stransky. COPYRIGHT 2009 Gale Group.
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