Statisticians bar Moravians’ hopes of gaining influence
The Czech Republic has three provinces: Bohemia in the west, Moravia in the east, and little Silesia in the north east. Many from Moravia were hoping the next national census would explicitly include the option of choosing the ethnicity Moravian – but the Czech Statistical Office has denied their wishes.
“We have asked the Czech Statistical Office to change the method of collecting data and we know that the Office received several hundred similar proposals. According to the law on ethnic minorities, all ethnicities except Czech are minorities – paradoxically including the Moravians, who live in their own land. But on the other hand, Moravians are excluded from the list of minorities. There is for example no Moravian member of the government’s Council for Ethnic Minorities.”
Stanislav Drápal, the vice-president of the Czech Statistical Office, explains that a list of options to choose from when filling in the population census form would distort the results. Instead, they will leave it up each individual to fill in the ethnicity of their choice.
“Our decision is to include only the question ‘What is your ethnicity according to your personal conviction?’ There can’t be any concrete proposals such as Moravian, Silesian, Roma, Slovak, etc. because people should have a possibility to fill in their ethnicity according to their feelings.”
“The current state [of Moravian political agenda] is on a very low level because the wave of Moravian successes of the 1990s is now history. There is now only one small Moravian party – Moravians – and they are not very successful. There are also some small Moravian organisations but their influence within the Moravian society is very low.”
The decision of the statisticians leaves it up to the Moravian national activists, once again, to gain support among the Moravian community through day-to-day political work rather than through a question in the census form.