Michael’s Blog

For the Chamber of Deputies there is essentially a national popular vote to decide which parties will receive seats (and how many seats). These races occur in 14 districts (Hlavní město Praha; Středočeský; Jihočeský; Vysočina; Plzeňský; Karlovarský; Ústecký; Liberecký; Královéhradecký; Pardubický; Olomoucký; Moravskoslezský; Jihomoravský; Zlínský) throughout the country. It might be easiest to think of these regional districts as states in the context of American politics. These regions differ in size (both in terms of land and in terms of population). However, in the Senate there there are 81 single member districts each with approximately the same size population. 

There were some questions yesterday as well about public opinion in the Czech Republic. Here is some data that the Pew Research Center about public opinion in the region decades after the fall of communism:

European Public Opinion Three Decades After the Fall of Communism

While the report covers results from a variety of countries, it also certainly has a lot to say about contemporary political attitudes in the Czech Republic—including with respect to attitudes regarding the judicial branch which was a topic of conversation yesterday.

Also, there was some interest in Havel’s rise to the presidency and I wanted to share this profile from David Remnick of The New Yorker about Havel, his elevation to the presidency, and challenges with the Prime Minister:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2003/02/17/exit-havel

One last thing, we have talked many times about the age of elected leaders in the Czech Republic. I have not been able to find that information summarized, but you can go to this site to find the birth dates of all current elected leaders in the Chamber of Deputies:

If you can find the average age of representatives in this chamber and compare that to the average age of representatives in the House of Representatives and describe why you think that difference may or may not be important we will give extra credit (10 points on your next quiz). You can email that to me any time before we hold our in-person class session next week. 

I hope you all are having transformative experience and I look forward to the rest of our journey.

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