Ray of Hope in Eastern Europe
Environmental Issues Help Foster Victory for Democratic Forces
The world got some very good news yesterday when political newcomer Zuzana Caputova, a political newcomer, won a smashing victory in Slovakia’s President elections. Unlike the right-wing authoritarians like Hungary Viktor Orban and Poland’s Law and Justice Party, which have dominated east European politics in recent years, Caputova, is a political liberal, strongly committed to democracy and human rights. She supports same-sex marriage and reproductive rights. She is also Slovakia’s first female President, and will not only command the armed forces but also appoint judges.
But of particular interest to the Legal Planet…uh..planet, she became politically prominent through her environmental activism, winning the prestigious Goldman Prize in 2016. An environmental lawyer, she spearheaded the fight to shut down a toxic waste dump in her hometown. As always, land use is all — or at least the way that people can most viscerally appreciate environmental issues. And it shows that far from being some sort of elite issue, environmentalism can play a crucial role in buttressing and advancing democracy.
Here is the video about her. Check it out.