Hello everyone, welcome to my blog in Week 6! This week we were talking about the connection of politics and the Internet. Since I am an international student and I am not eligible to vote in Australia, I decided to reflect on some issues from the Czech Republic. Recently, we had a chance to face very interesting internet campaigns related to the politics in the Czech Republic. In January 2013 the presidential election was held. It was the first presidential election where the Czech citizens chose their president directly.
Originally, there were 11 candidates. “…there’s a Czech, Japanese, Austrian, Jew and Avatar… no, this is not an opening of a joke, this is an opening of Czech presidential election.” Czech people tend to make every situation comical. This joke that was posted on the social networking sites when candidates announced their nominations. It refers to the former Prime Minister, Jan Fisher, and his Jewish roots and to the current Minister of Foreign Affairs, Karel Schwarzenberg, and his Austrian roots. Next candidate, Avatar, was music professor Vladimír Franz who has tattoos on his whole body including his face. Last candidate in the joke is the Senator Tomio Okamura who has Czech-Japanese origin.
The internet and new communication technologies in general played very important roles in this election. Candidates tried to reach out young voters via social media. Thanks to this promotion, they persuaded a lot of young people to vote. They promoted themselves or cast a slur on the other candidates. Finally, the presidential election had an impact to each person in the Czech Republic. Thanks to new communication technologies, the election became a viral topic. The candidacy of Vladimir Franz came from the Internet. Initially, his candidacy was meant as a joke but young people started to support him more and more. It perfectly reflected people’s satisfaction with the political situation in the country. We needed the change! Unfortunately, the change did not came.
Finally, the former Prime Minister Milos Zeman won the second round of the Czech Republic’s presidential election. He won 55% compared to Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg’s 45%.
Czech presidential election, 2013. (2013, 26 August). Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_presidential_election,_2013