11. Excerpts from speeches of presidential candidates in the Czech Republic February 2008
Czech Republic needs continuity with reasonable corrections.
Today I'm even more convinced than before, that main task for a president is to defend the fundamental dimensions and rules of our political and public life. As a president I want to stand where the free and democratic space for political competition within the state borders with the protection of interests, individual rights and freedoms of citizens.
I want to strive for maximum freedom and democracy… (8 February 2008)
Esteemed electors, if what you desire is a tomorrow, where your free voting is controlled, and everybody who dares to voice own view is intimidated, then I am definitely a man of yesterday. If you feel well in the atmosphere of hostility, conflict, denounce and ridicule, I can't be your candidate, because I have stood up for fair political competition and looked for consensus through my political career, and I have always refused rudeness and offences.
If you don't want to follow the millennia of tradition of our civilization, its Christian values, emphasis on traditional family and respect for every human life, don't vote for me, as I do respect these values. If you want to live in a world made of fashion waves, where smoking is prohibited, but drugs are tolerated, where husband and wife will be endangered species, and couples will be interested only in registration, where the old and the sick will be deprived of life mercifully, where we will be instructed what to eat, drink and say, then you should know this is not my program. It is not my idea of the future. (15 February 2008)
Czech Republic has chosen "European Union without barriers" slogan for its membership. I am offering you "the Czech Republic without barriers" as my presidential slogan. We have our own barriers that prevent us from being more successful. I don't speak about walls or electric fences. These are barriers in our minds, barriers in our behaviour, barriers that divide our society. We will need patience, imagination, courage and self-confidence to remove them.
Let's demonstrate that politics is for the people, that it can change things for better. (8 February 2008)
…to remove barriers does not mean to destroy all the limits. On the contrary, we have to build walls against populism, vulgarity and dirty methods. As I have said, I am offering you common project: renew citizens' trust in the politics. Political culture does not pass around president miraculously, he is its co-creator – and the state of politics predicates about him as well. It is my belief that the atmosphere of election struggle does do a credit to the candidate who strives for the second term in the office. (15 February 2008)
How many more years will we need to be able to find accord in our lives? And by this I really don't mean false unity of views and positions. On the contrary – the more varied the positions, the better the conditions for common strength and prosperity. By accord I mean the ability to agree on the essential matters that make the society a human one. It is freedom and responsibility, tolerance and willingness to listen to a different view, respect for one another, and protection of the weak against possible arbitrary behaviour of the powerful.
Ladies and gentlemen, I'm afraid we are on an edge. Not a leap, just a small step is enough to fall into the abyss of mafia regime, where there is no real democratic choice, freedom, tolerance or respect. In a regime where there is no place for normal decent man. In a system, which tramples the rights of the weakest under its feet, being governed by despotism of the powerful. We have taken wrong direction. As fast as the ideas and democratic political competition disappear, corruption and rough power take their place. (15 February 2008)
JUDr. František Venzara
783 13 Štěpánov u Olomouce