Do We Need Educated MP’s?

In Politics on July 9, 2007 by Petr Bokuvka

Every once in a while there is a discussion going on whether a Czech elected politician must be educated. Is college degree a plus in politics? A Parliament member who has a J.D. degree in law must be, in principle, hardworking, must know at least some law, and psychologists would surely name at least ten other personal qualities that inherently go with what a person graduated from.

Or is it better for a John Q. Public to elect a long-time mayor of his small town or village who had done a lot for local community? It is obvious that Czechs, especially in small and mid-sized towns go for the latter. Not just because the biographies and dissertations of future MP’s are not distributed to the crowds at meetings with voters. The main reason is that common sense is a big issue in the Czech politics and voters go for it: they would rather go for a common-sense your-ordinary-guy than a politician who explains his moves and decisions by citing Plato. I know one, he is definitely smart but he doesn’t do politics the way a normal voter would understand.

Nevertheless, the list of Czech lower House members is very interesting, as for their education:

    82 have Ing. degree, which is equivalent to M.S. or M.Sc.
    45 have no college/university degree
    26 have Mgr. degree, which is equivalent to M.A.
    13 have JUDr. degree, which is equivalent to J.D.
    8 have PhDr. degree, which is almost equivalent to Ph.D.
    8 have RNDr. degree, which is “doctorate in natural sciences”
    7 have MUDr. degree, which is equivalent to MD
    3 have MVDr. degree, which is “doctor of veterinary medicine”
    3 have RSDr. degree, which is “doctor of political science”, pre-1989 degree
    3 have Bc. degree, which is equivalent to B.A. or B.S(c).
    2 have PaedDr. degree, which is “doctor of education studies”

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