There’s a new button on this blog that leads to a new page with graphs of all major Czech political parties in all major polls. This took longer than I had hoped, but I introduce it today with delight because it allows me to return to something I have always loved.
I started my life in Eastern Europe in Bohemia (in Plzen) and the Czech Republic was central to my dissertation and book research. My interest waned a bit in the early 2000’s, however, as the country’s politics seemed to be settling into a rather dull alternation between left and right governments. But the emergence of the Greens in 2006 sparked my curiosity and the developments in the last several years have brought me back to the Czech Republic with great interest. This is not necessarily good news for the Czech Republic: “May you live in interesting times” is not really a Chinese curse, but there should still be some sort of travel advisory for countries frequented by political scientists.
So what is new about the Czech dashboard. Those who read this blog’s posts on Slovakia may already have seen the Slovakia dashboard. The Czech version is both more and less functional. Here’s what you get:
The second feature of the dashboard is a shorter term view for each party showing the level and trend of each public opinion poll as well as an overall monthly average. The use of multiple polls is a far better approach than approaching each poll tabula rasa and drawing conclusions that change dramatically from day to day. Several sites including Lidove Noviny and MFDnes and the idiosyncratic but excellent Volebni Preference have begun to aggregate surveys, but they do only for individual polls or, at best, trends found by individual polling firms over time. The following graph, for example, shows development of preferences for the last 18 months for ODS for all major firms.
This dashboard is not the final word–it lacks an estimate of the overall number of seats (more complicated in the multiple-district Czech Republic than in single-district Slovakia) and a more contextual analysis. The first of these tasks will have to wait until the coming election provides me with a baseline. The second is much easier and in coming days I will provide much more detailed analysis of Czech public opinion dynamics and, with a bit of luck, more extensive election-eve coverage.
One last note: unfortunately these graphs don’t work on older versions of Internet Explorer (and for all I know, new ones too). I hate it when websites say “best viewed with…” but in this case there simply is no analog that I can use for these graphs that works with IE.