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February 23, 2018
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Alena Gronzíková: Romale, don't be lazy, vote! Otherwise Okamura will govern us!

13.10.2017 9:18
Alena Gronzíková (2017).
Alena Gronzíková (2017).

There are just a couple of days left before the parliamentary elections in the Czech Republic and the campaigns are in full swing and becoming more intense. The current estimates for the outcome, however, are not predicting anything positive.

Generally the outcome for all does not look good, and that goes double for us Roma. There is just one way out of this vicious circle, and that is to vote and not give Okamura and those like him the chance to create the governing coalition in our tiny little country.

Recently a local tobacconist whom I would say is a respectable citizen who behaves very courteously to people brought me "to my knees" when I saw him handing out the electoral program for Okamura's SPD ["Freedom and Direct Democracy"] party in particular. Never in my worst nightmares would it ever have occurred to me that he would support such a party.

I do not even want to think about how many such orderly, respectable citizens I encounter and greet on a daily basis. We will see what the Lord God has in store for us.

Some candidates aren't spending much thought on their eventual voters. For example, I wanted to attend an event (held by a party which I will not name) at the beginning of September, one that has created a coalition with other small parties in my small town.

I was apparently the only audience member - which the nice gentlemen candidates didn't even notice. I got a coffee and waited for the debate to begin, because I had a couple of questions prepared.

Before I could even take my first sip, the gentlemen had gotten up, thanked their assistants, and left. They did not say a word to anybody else.

Wow, those guys have it pretty good, I said to myself. They put up their posters, create a Facebook event, talk to each other about how irreplaceable they are for our town and for this country, and leave.

They neither inspired or irritated anybody, because I was there alone. It was as if I were a ghost.

I don't want to be a ghost whose voice is heard by nobody. I am here, and it is also thanks to me and everybody else that all of these candidates and parties are playing this game.

As I wrote in the beginning, electoral polls do not predict anything positive. I do not want to watch the consequences that all of us will have on our conscience if we do not get off our lazy butts and go vote.

If any of you would like to meet and go through the different programs of the parties together, I would be glad to host such a gathering and learn something from you. I will be going to vote!

I am kicking my boyfriend, my family, and my friends to go too. I care about my town, about the country where I live, the place where my acquaintances, children, family, friends, everybody whom I care about, all live. 

Romale, let's wake up, let's not be ghosts here. May God bless us all.

Alena Gronzíková, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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