- Hans Weber
- September 29, 2023
Health as a theme in the presidential campaign. After Zeman’s era, adepts at the Castle indulge in physical activity
Compared to 2018, when the last presidential election was held, the field of candidates for the highest office in the country has become significantly younger.
Of the six strongest candidates for the Castle this year, the oldest is Andrej Babiš (ANO), who will be 68 years old at the time of the election, and the youngest, Danuše Nerudová, who will be 44. The average age of the candidates who, on average, are above five percent in preferences is 55. 3 years.
Four years ago, the oldest candidate was defending president Miloš Zeman (73 years old), the youngest in the peloton of candidates above five percent of preferences was Pavel Fischer (52 years old), and the average age of these stronger candidates was 64.3 years. (Editor’s note: The pre-election preferences of the then almost forty-two-year-old Mark Hilšer averaged under five percent. If he were included in the calculation of the average age, the average would be 60.6 years.)
The group of people interested in the Castle, whom people now trust the most, is nine years younger on average this year.
This may be related to the gradual change in the country’s political climate. Older candidates, in particular, traditionally emphasize experience as an advantage, but in recent years it has become clear that energy, the ability to orientate in a rapidly changing world, and activity are no less important.
In an exclusive March research for Deník N, the company Ipsos found that over 70 percent of people would appreciate the president’s activity inside and outside the country, and even 80 percent would appreciate the ability to represent the country abroad.
It does not say much about whether activity is a key attribute for the survey respondents, but agreement on it is still relatively high. It is also the opposite of how the current head of state, Miloš Zeman, performs his function at the end of the ten-year presidential term.
Physical activity as proof that they are “fit”
The current presidential candidates seem to be aware of what is fairly common in the Western world. It is precisely a certain physical fitness that can be a measure of how active a candidate will be in office later on. They also realize that if the president closes himself behind the walls of the Castle or the Lánská chateau, he will not understand his own country very much.