For the last few years, comparable public polls dealing with different topics have been carried out in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland within the international cooperation based on CEORG. These countries were occasionally joined by other states from Central, Eastern or South Eastern Europe. These more or less regularly repeated polls include questions asking about the country’s economic situation and household living conditions.
From the end of the Second World War until the beginning of the nineties planed parenthood in the Czech Republic was reduced to termination of pregnancy, that is, to contraception ex post. In the time of highest abortion rate – the second half of the eighties - almost one half of pregnancies ended by induced (unnaturally awakened) abortion. In this almost fifty-year long period there was an inverted relation between fertility and abortion: if the number of abortions increased, the rate of fertility decreased and vice versa (increase and decrease of induced abortion was caused predominantly by changes in the abortion legislation).
Nowadays, painless connection of professional and family life is an ideal desired virtually by all parents in the Czech society. It is certainly difficult to be engaged at work and in the family life as well. All parents face the problem of how to divide their attention and time. Whether this decision happens knowingly or rather intuitively, in the end, the parents have to find a certain compromise between their professional and family life.
On a regular basis, the Centrum pro výzkum veřejného mínění (Public Opinion Research Centre) asks questions relating to the environment several times a year. A part of the questions focuses on the behaviour of respondents and their households, to what degree they themselves try to do well to the environment and whether at all they think that such efforts may have any meaning. Other questions deal with assessing activities of various institutions active in environmental protection and, in general, the behaviour of companies, residents and legislation.
We will not diverge too far from the truth if we assume that most reserachers taking part in social research consider the period of field data collection as a sort of unwelcome pause between two important acts: preparation and evaluation. As if their work stopped at that moment, as if the raging mountain river of current research hid somewhere in the rocks and underground caverns in order to reappear after a time quietly burbling somewhere down in the valley.
Motivation context for party preferences and the election act criteria are a very multi-faceted variable difficult to grasp and cannot be isolated from the entire process, in which opinions are formed. Understanding or interpretation of natural laws behind actual election behaviour is, therefore, an immensely complex and multi-faceted issue. Political opinions of individuals, in principle, derive from identification with various specific and/or reference groups such as family, internally homogenous work, religious, ethnical groups and – last but not least – party and class collectivity.
Issues from global politics do not appear in sociological investigations or public opinion polls very frequently although their results tend to be relatively interesting and, oftentimes, they meet with extensive interest and response from media as well as the general public. Centrum pro výzkum veřejného mínění (Public Opinion Research Centre) strives, as its possibilities allow, to include questions from this area in its continuous investigations.
* Analysis of the European Parliament elections 2004 in the Czech Republic. Is the theory of second-order elections still valid?
The results of the European Parliament elections in the Czech Republic were surprising for party participants, as well as for observers and students of political science, both from the viewpoint of election turnover, and success achieved by certain political parties. Even though the pre-election polls predicted election turnover of forty percent, no one expected participation at 28 %. High election gains of the opposition parties, ODS (Civic Democrats) and KSČM (Communist Party), were expected.