As the dust settles in the wake of the European elections individual parties and movements are counting their political and financial gains and losses. The latter has little to do with the given entity’s political success, but depends largely on how much the party or movement spent on campaigning and whether they won enough votes to get a contribution from the state. In line with Czech law every party or movement that wins over 1 percent voter support gets 30 crowns for every vote collected.
So while the winning ANO party of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš lost around 20 million crowns in the elections, a joke movement called "Yes, we will troll the European Parliament" gained a million crowns after winning over 37,046 voters - amounting to 1.56% of the population.
Its four members promised to raise the minimum wage in the Czech Republic to triple the average wage, subsidise cucumber salads and to bring the landlocked country to the sea on the basis of which they ranked 10th in the European elections.
The head of the “trolls” Jiří Kyjovský says the idea was to “jazz up” the elections and get more people to come and vote, but admits that the promise of a financial reward from the state was also a big attraction.
The party spent a mere 11,000 crowns on campaigning, relying heavily on the persuasive powers of the movement’s popular you tuber “Serjoška” who has thousands of followers.
Even now, hundreds of “protest” voters who supported the movement are calling them and asking to join. Kyjovský says the fun is not over, revealing that the successful quartet intends to “troll around the country” to drum up more followers in preparation for next year’s regional and Senate elections.
As for the million crowns they gained – the joke movement may not see a great deal of it for failing to adhere to standard election procedures. For instance, the movement forgot to register financial contributions from its supporters within the given deadline – for which they face a fine of 300, 000 crowns and likely another fine of 200,000 crowns for failing to deliver an annual report of their activities to the Ministry of Interior.