Consolidation of Left in the Czech Party System: Internal Relations and Processes


The consolidation of the Czech left was an important part of the development of the Czech party system after 1989. The Left in political space can be defined as the tendency to promote societal homogenization at the expense of societal stratification and to support governmental engagement in the economy and social security issues. The major forms of left politics in the Czech political spectrum are social democracy, communism, democratic socialism, national socialism, leftist green politics and non-ideological and single-issue left wing populism. Since the middle of the 90s, the social democratic party (ČSSD) has occupied the left-centre space and the non-reformed communist party (KSČM) the far left space. The position of the KSCM is the result of strong support for the communist regime among sections of the public at the end of the 1980s (the KSC achieved its best electoral results in 1990). The internal consolidation of the ČSSD was a necessary condition for its rise after 1993 at the expense of the Czechoslovak Socialist Party and other left-wing and centre parties. The ČSSD is not only the authentic successor of historical and exile social democracy, but also the partial legacy of the 1968 reformist communism (including ex-OF and ex-OH quasi-liberal legacy) and leftist Czech national socialism. The left spectrum has been relatively stable since 1996 (in the sense of relevant subjects); by contrast, the rightist-centre has changed its representation. The definitive stabilization of the left depends on the establishment of a model of cooperation between the CSSD and the KSCM at governmental level, the future development of the KSCM, and the possible rise of the new left-wing parties. According to the author, three future scenarios are possible: a) the continued separate existence of the ČSSD and the KSČM, b) the establishment of a far left block (with the KSČM) or c) the rise of a new left-wing populist party.

party system; consolidation; left; Czech Republic




PDF views