Remember the year 1989? The year of peaceful revolutions in East Germany, Bulgaria and… Czechoslovakia?
Nineteen years ago Czechs and Slovaks got rid of the Communist regime. It was Friday, November 17, when riot police forces suppressed a student demonstration. This lead to a significant series of events that included the resignation of then-president Gustav Husak, or student leaders meeting the PM, or the election of Vaclav Havel as the first democratic president since 1946.
Just like most Americans remember where they were when Kennedy was shot, most Czechs remember where they were on November 17 just as the police were using their batons against students who had been singing and chanting “We got bare hands”.
The Iron Curtain was removed from the border with Germany and Austria in early December 1989. This was also the end of communist oppression instruments, like the secret police, restrictions on travel, or one of the most terrifying ones: the Communist Party’s power over people’s jobs and fates (enemies of the state were being fired from jobs and often made to have demeaning jobs, compared to their previous ones).
And still, 19 years after the end of Communism as a rule, over 15 percent (in average) of people would still vote for “the new communists“!!! (both in Parliamentary and regional government elections)… These people think their lives used to be better before 1989, simply because the communist regime used to take care of everything and they did not have to take responsibility. And just because “everybody had equally little”. And just because “the institutions of the communist oppression did not do anything to their families”.
I think I am not going to comment on these people because I would have to be extremely rude. But I think it is legitimate to say that this country will not change until the voters of the communist party who remember the prior-1989 life will have died out…