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They really are learning!

My recent posting on Slovakia contained a scoop and I missed it. The leader of the Slovak governing party’s campaign for the European elections tomorrow is former ice hockey player Peter Stastny.

I knew the name (one of the few names in ice hockey I ever knew of), but failed to connect it to the poster boy of the Slovak Democratic Coalition.

From the comments to my last posting, my description of SKDU as conservative-libertarian is controversial. Considering that the new Libertarian Party candidate in the USA was selected because he campaigns on sticking to the Founding Fathers’ intentions (nationalized Post Office and all), I stand by my description for now.

What is amusing is the contrast between the Slovak and the Austrian election: the posters in Austria oppose reform, the Slovaks put a celebrity on the poster and bring in massive tax reforms in the right direction. American show-biz versus Austrian corporatism. I know which I prefer.

[Thanks to Tim Evans at CNE for providing the tip-off about Peter Stasny.]

7 comments to They really are learning!

  • PaleoMan

    I know our US Libs turned down a zillionaire movie producer to put up an unknown computer programmer for president, but is he serious about respecting the Founders’ principles?

    If so, he must be condemned as a heretic by the editors of Samizdata.net for failing to support the ME Crusade. There are an awful lot of “monsters to destroy” out there, and George Washington’s scruples have no place in a world which needs more than 700 US bases around the world to safeguard democracy and liberty.

  • snide

    Huh? So PaleoMan, what does any of that blather have to do with the contrast between former Communist Slovakian and so called ‘western’ Austrian politics? Do you actually read the articles beforew commenting? What a doofus.

  • Ted Schuerzinger

    Is PaleoMan just another nym for Scott?

    As far as trolls go, can we get Kodiak back? While he may have been puerile, he was always a hoot to read.

  • Antoine: I knew that, Slovaks know that, how’s that a a scoop? Also, just because someone pursues policies that you might describe as ‘libertarian’ does not make them so in the slightest. For example, an incurable statist might still reduces taxes because he believes in the economic theory that lower taxes bring more revenue. The statist in him will use it to increase the hold of the state over its citizens. In Slovakia’s case, they are desperate to attract foreign investment. So far, so good, but first you need to look at what they intend to do with their revenue and the economy as a whole, before you jump to any conclusions. We are rather past the times when a mere hint of lowering taxes would send libertarians into paroxysms of delusion that they had impact in the mainstream political scene… And I was never one of those either.

    As for Stastny, the hockey-player, how is it somehow ‘better’ to put a celebrity on a poster? He is rather dumb and the whole thing is a blatant and pathetic pandering to popular tastes rather than any political substance. Well, nothing new there but why does it deserve a mention?

    One of the problems in Slovakia is that the political system is going the continental way – nepotism, many political fingers in corporate pies, corrupt or ineffective courts, and a rather primitive understanding of international political realities.

    No, they are really not learning! Here you can find more than sound bites about my opinion of Slovakia(Link).

  • PaleoMan

    “Considering that the new Libertarian Party candidate in the USA was selected because he campaigns on sticking to the Founding Fathers’ intentions (nationalized Post Office and all), I stand by my description for now.”

    Snide- That’s what I was commenting on. Thanks for your concern.

  • I don’t know if I would characterize the SDKU as libertarian — my recollection of them from when I lived there between 96-99 was that they were, at best, Christian Democrat in the German tradition. But still far better than the usual Euro alternative.

    By the way, the slogan is a play on his name — Stastny means “happy” or “fortunate” depending on the context. The poster says (my Slovak is rusty) “I will be happy for us to build [reinforce, construct, something like that…not certain of the verb, but the sentiment is generally in that direction] a strong Slovakia.”

    My translation issues notwithstanding, I’m pleased that Slovakia appears to have turned the corner from the dark days of Vladimir Meciar.

  • mike

    Peter Stastny was one of the best hockey players of the 1980’s. I believe that in that decade only Wayne Gretzky had more points. For those of you who don’t follow hockey (as you really should) He was the first prominent east european player to defect to North America. In 1980 he was spirited with his brother, also a very good player, across the iron curtain in the trunk of a car,if I remember correctly
    (Link) .