FairElection.cz: People can help make elections a fair business—for the first time
Praha, 8.9.2017 – The Rekonstrukce státu (Reconstruction of State) Platform presents a new website application, which would introduce voters to the new election campaign rules and enable them to help sort out miscellaneous disputes. Thanks to the bills we have helped to assert, the electorate will be able, for the first time ever, to see how much money parties are spending on their campaigns and how an often misused electoral effort is used against other candidates.
“We have succeeded in enforcing legislative change that would lead to a more transparent funding of political parties and prevent irregularities such as the often used anonymous advertising against rival candidates or an unlimited third-party campaign effort. Now we want to see these rules clarified and practically asserted as soon as possible,” notes one of the guarantors of Rekonstrukce státu, head of EconLab Club Jiří Skuhrovec.
Rekonstrukce státu presents the website, fervolby.cz. It provides the voter with a clear and succinct description of all the new rules affecting both the parties and their loyalists. “We want to use this website to encourage the general public to help us collect examples concerning the current election campaign. Citizens now have a unique opportunity to share in the clarification and implementation of new rules,” Skuhrovec explains. Miscellaneous situations and various conflicting examples that citizens can input in the application by a few simple clicks on their smartphones or computers will be forwarded to the members of a newly elected administration. They will evaluate these submissions, issue a statement and start administrative proceedings if need be. The examples collected in this way will added up to provide a valuable font of good and bad practice that would inspire parties and their loyalists in any future political campaigns.
“At the same time, however, we do not wish to furnish such an office with dozens, indeed hundreds of submissions, all boiling down to one thing, and the inputs to this web application will be at first checked by our lawyers for their relevance, amalgamated into a single submission, and only then forwarded to official quarters," explains Josef Karlický from Frank Bold. “From its inception, the new office will face quite a unique situation to work in and interpret brand-new principles, which effort certainly will not be alleviated by so many political figures, but the general public could be of significant help here. The application we have created should greatly simplify communication between the citizen and the office.”
“Now is the time to decide about new rules, such as what is or is not a campaign and what counts towards the financial limits for parties and third concerns. Such decisions will be a precedent for the future elections. Therefore we deem it essential that the general public take part in their formulation, Karlický notes.
This application works for the parliamentary elections this coming autumn. However, it is a long-term project, applicable also to the presidential, Senate, regional and local elections.
For details, please contact:
Jiří Skuhrovec, EconLab, Rekonstrukce státu guarantor
Phone: (+420) 602 693 748
“Surely some mistake” – Recent election campaigns
Presidential Election 2013: Full page ad against Karel Schwarzenberg
On the date of second round of direct presidential election, Blesk daily carried an anonymous full-page advertisement targeting one of the candidates, Karel Schwarzenberg. As it turned out later, it was inserted by Prague lawyer Vladimír Zavadil. The Czech Bar Association subsequently fined the insertion CZK 850,000.
Parliamentary Election 2013: Vodňany Chicken Affair
Much talk before the last parliamentary elections was about a commercial, showing ice-hockey star Jaromír Jágr and the leader of the ANO Movement interacting on the screen in an advertising spot, broadcast in scheduled advertising slots and not in slots reserved for political publicity. This video started a debate on third persons stepping into campaigns and the content of what is a campaign.
Presidential Race 2017: President visits regions
Campaign irregularities are the bone of contention for President Miloš Zeman and the Office Monitoring the Funding of Political Parties and Movements. The Office maintains that meetings with the public during the president’s regional outings are a part of his campaign and the president should count their costs towards his campaign limits. The president rejects this interpretation.
Regional Elections 2016: Governor Zimola promotes Lipno Olympic Park
Billboards with then-Governor Jiří Zimola (ČSSD) were posted across the South Bohemian Region in July 2016. The Olympic Park was funded by public budgets and the billboards were paid for by the regional chapter of the ČSSD, but they did not carry the party logo and name.