Monday, October 26, 2015

Sunday Leftover: Polish Election a Joke

Aren't they all?

"Polish voters are driven by morality and the economy" by Vanessa Gera Associated Press  October 24, 2015

WARSAW — When Adam Jerzy Kowalewski steps into a voting booth Sunday, his choice in the parliamentary election will be shaped by deep Roman Catholic faith and reverence for his late father, who was tortured by the Germans during World War II for taking part in Poland’s resistance to the Nazis.

Yeah, okay, but torture not a good subject to bring up here in the early 21st-century.

Only one party suits the 43-year-old: Law and Justice, a political force that mixes conservative and patriotic values with promises to do more to help the disadvantaged.

He is impressed that party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s father — like his own father — was part of the resistance to the Nazis. “Law and Justice is made up of people who love God and who love the country,” he said.

I don't even want to get into those long ago dead guys from the last century because we have new Na$is now, true Na$is.

Kowalewski shares the party’s opposition to abortion and homosexuality. Its economic plans are also close to his heart.

Kowalewski hasn’t seen his life improve much despite years of strong economic growth. He says his wages are so low that he struggles to find the $67 he needs every month for epilepsy and thyroid medications.

He is convinced that the government of the past eight years, led by the probusiness Civic Platform party, only cares about business people and other elites. He says Civic Platform leaders — including Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz and her predecessor Donald Tusk, now the EU president — have done almost nothing to help people like himself.

“They don’t see the problems of the people,” he said.

I'll explain that below.

Radek Ciszewski has some misgivings about Civic Platform. He thinks the party could have encouraged an open attitude to refugees and legalized civil partnerships for gay and straight couples. “I expected more courage,” Ciszewski said.

Still, the 41-year-old business consultant says he will cast his ballot for the centrist and free-market party Sunday, mainly because of the huge economic growth it has overseen in the past years, and which is estimated at 3.5 percent this year.

He said its election program “is really fantastic” and would help this ex-communist country continue on its path toward achieving a standard of living comparable to that in Western Europe.

When Civic Platform began to run the country in 2007, per capita GDP in Poland was about 53 percent of the EU average. Now it is nearly 70 percent, a sign to Ciszewski that Poland is on the right track.

End print copy.

Ticking off other successes, he notes that exports have doubled since the party came to power eight years ago, and that unemployment fell from 17 to 10 percent. He is also pleased with the huge improvements in infrastructure, with cities being modernized, and thousands of new day care centers and pre-schools built.

It’s progress that he feels in his own life. Ciszewski lives in a village in the Warsaw region. Going by car to the capital used to be a journey of 2½ hours each way on a dangerous two-lane road. Thanks to a new motorway completed in 2013, the trip now takes only about an hour and 20 minutes and is much safer.

Law and Justice will certainly not get his vote. He has no sympathy for its antimigrant stance, with party leader Kaczynski recently warning that migrants could carry “parasites and protozoa” to Europe.

“He only said that to get voters on his side,” Ciszewski said.

Not funny anymore.


Maybe it was the Globe coverage that's the joke.

"Right-wing party wins parliamentary election in Poland" by Monika Scislowska Associated Press  October 26, 2015

WARSAW — Poland took a decisive turn to the right in its parliamentary election Sunday, tossing out the centrist party that had governed for eight years for a socially conservative and Euroskeptic party that wants to keep migrants out and spend more on Poland’s own poor.

So that Sunday slop served up by the Globe, in all its censorship, was just that -- slop.

An exit poll showed the conservative Law and Justice party winning 39 percent of the vote, enough to govern alone without forming a coalition.

The Polish people have spoken, and they are the butt of jokes no longer!

The ruling pro-European Civic Platform party received 23 percent of the vote, according to the exit poll that prompted Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz of Civic Platform to concede.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of Law and Justice, promised his party would govern fairly.

‘‘We will exert law but there will be no taking of revenge. There will be no squaring of personal accounts,’’ he said. ‘‘There will be no kicking of those who have fallen of their own fault and very rightly so.’’

Kaczynski credited his late brother, former Polish President Lech Kaczynski, with the party’s strong showing. His brother was killed in the 2010 air crash in Russia that claimed the lives of the president and many of Poland’s top leaders.

There are some questions about that, and its all part of the plot.

If the exit poll results are confirmed, the Law and Justice will take 242 seats in the 460-seat lower house of parliament and 58-year-old lawmaker Beata Szydlo will become Poland’s next prime minister. Civic Platform will get 133 seats and only three other parties will make it into parliament — two of them for the first time.

Law and Justice is strongly pro-NATO but more skeptical of the 28-nation European Union, of which Poland is a member. The party opposes adopting the euro currency and is anti-migrant, positions that are expected to have a broader impact on the whole EU.

The Civic Platform party was seen as falling out of touch with what was happening in Poland and with ordinary voters. In her victory speech, Szydlo promised to not let that happen.

‘‘We are the same as our countrymen, we have not detached ourselves from reality,’’ she said. ‘‘We must always remember that we are serving.’’

That's become an epidemic amongst increasingly-segregated elites.

The Catholic Church was seen as backing Law and Justice, as were many Poles who have not benefited from the country’s strong economic growth, expected at 3.5 percent this year.

Law and Justice has promised to reverse an unpopular rise in the retirement age and put more money into the pockets of struggling families with tax breaks, monthly cash bonuses for children under 18, and free medication for people over 75.

It also wants to raise taxes on the mostly foreign-owned banks and big supermarkets in Poland and give tax breaks to smaller local businesses and those that adopt Polish technologies.

I hope this guy has better security than his brother, and stay off planes at all costs.

For the first time in Poland’s post-communist history, no left-wing forces appeared to have won enough votes Sunday to enter into parliament, according to the Ipsos exit poll.

The "left" is dead.

It showed that only five parties gained enough votes to make it into parliament: Law and Justice; the centrist Civic Platform; a right-wing party led by rock star Pawel Kukiz; the new pro-business party Modern Poland led by a former World Bank economist; and the Polish Peasants Party.

Two left-wing forces had been in the running: the United Left, a coalition of several parties, and a new party, Together.


Nobody laughing now.


"Beata Szydlo, 52, says her success lies in listening and talking to ordinary people, and that personal touch may be an asset as she tries to bridge a divide between Poles who have benefited from the economic boom and those who feel they have been left out. Szydlo was born Beata Maria Kusinska in 1963 to a coal mining family near Oswiecim, in southern Poland, where she was raised in the shadow of the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz. Her maternal great-grandfather died in Auschwitz as a Polish inmate. In spring, she ran the presidential campaign of Andrzej Duda, a little-known figure who pulled off a shock upset of the incumbent. Three other parties will also make it into Parliament: a party led by the right-wing rock musician Pawel Kukiz, which got 8.8 percent; a pro-business party led by an economist, Ryszard Petru, with 7.6 percent and the agrarian Polish People’s Party, with 5.1 percent." 

Wasn't he a leftist?