Anyone else see this bizzare story?
Rewards for anti-Communist Czech voters
PRAGUE (Reuters) – The prospect of the Communist Party returning to play a role in power haunts some Czechs so much they are offering voters rewards to shun the left in this weekend’s election.
Sports equipment retailer Rock Point said on Thursday it would give a 20 percent discount to anyone who turned in unused ballots for the Communists and the leftist ruling party, the Social Democrats.
“Do not vote for the red coalition. Vote for a 20 percent discount,” the firm said on its Web site. A similar pledge to Rockpoint’s appeared at an antique store in Prague.
Graphics studio Mowshe is running a campaign urging voters to send in as many Communist ballots as possible, and said it had received about 2,500 so far, including 12 collected by one family. Czech voters get ballot papers for each party by post.
Mowshe’s Michal Gregorini said the winners would receive prizes like anti-Communist T-shirts and a subscription to the weekly magazine Respekt.
The Communists have had no share of power since their Soviet-backed dictatorship ended in 1989, but the Social Democrats say after the election they may try to form a minority cabinet dependent on Communist support in some key votes.
The Social Democrats lag slightly behind the right-wing opposition Civic Democrats in opinion polls. No party stands a chance of winning an outright majority, so any winner will need partners to form a government.
Unlike their counterparts in several other former Communist countries, the Czech Communists did not change their name and have not made a clear break with their past