Obstinacy 'R US
Jan Ruml's Freedom Union party has played its post-election hand dogmatically and thus rather foolishly. If the ODS/CSSD wink and nod becomes a formal agreement, Ruml will only have his own obstinacy to blame for his party's lack of influence in this country and perhaps even for his young party's ultimate destruction.
Even if the big-party agreement breaks down and Klaus gets a chance to form a government, it is hard to imagine that US will get more ministerial positions from Klaus than were on offer from Zeman. Zeman's offer of four ministerial positions in a government led by Lux must be considered generous considering the election returns. The Freedom Union could have had quite a decent position for the next four years and just for the price of tolerance. They would not have even been in the government, they could avoid major responsibility and they could have criticized the government in opposition from a threatening position of strength.
Ruml's demands on Klaus are even more absurd and pathetic because the only reason Ruml's party exists at all is because of a revolt against Klaus. And now Ruml prefers to join a coalition with him - but only if Klaus changes his ways. Ultimatums that Klaus alter his behavior are unlikely to bear fruit. Klaus is Klaus, after all. Still, Ruml sees more hope in him than in Zeman. You think he would have learned after all those years.
That Klaus and Zeman want to rid themselves of these pesky, uncompromising parties is hardly surprising. The irony is, of course, that they might do this using a switch to a first past the post electoral system for the Lower House - a move which Ruml himself has loudly supported.
Despite the rhetoric of all parties, politics always comes down to compromise. No party leader can expect to fulfil his party's entire electoral program, and the voters are well aware of this. It is interesting that this is forgotten in the post-election period when every politician interprets the election results and declares what he does and does not have a mandate from the voters to do. With the need to compromise in the current political system well known to almost every voter before and after the election, it is clear that every leader has a mandate to compromise to some extent.
Ruml's obstinacy is foolish if not politically suicidal.