Should the EU ‘save’ Poles from their ‘radical’ government?
The outgoing president, ex-communist Aleksander Kwasniewski, told a British newspaper this week that the ‘EU and NATO’ will limit the more extreme tendencies of the new minority, populist, social conservative Law and Justice (PiS) administration.
The comment comes before a constitutional vote of confidence which PiS must pass in the Sejm (parliament) this Thursday if they are to remain in government.
To get through the vote PiS must find support from parties such as the League of Polish Families (policies of which include making still more strict Poland’s already strict abortion ban, even when rape is the cause of the pregnancy) and the SelfDefense farmers union (the leader of which gives his support to Belarus’ president, Alexander Lukashenko).
Since the general election last September, Law and Justice have been making policy noises that will certainly disturb many a Eurocrat in Brussels.
Finance Minister, Lubinska, has said that she thinks that foreign hypermarkets are not a positive investment in Poland and that smaller, indigenous retail units should be given more support (see below). The top layer of the secret services has been given the sack. The police force is being radically reorganized and up to 50% more police will be recruited and put on the streets to combat crime. Economic policies appear to fail to tackle Poland’s ballooning budget deficit. And PiS – long hot under the collar (and sweaty of palm) about homosexuality, have indicated they are considering legislation to ban gays from the teaching profession.
All radical, or reactionary, stuff. But should President Kwasniewski be calling for the EU to save Poles from PiS and their rather strange friends?
After all, nobody is claiming that PiS won the election unfairly. There were no ‘hanging chads’ clogging up the ballot boxes.
At a time when many educated Poles throw up their hands in horror at the dismal level of turnout in Polish elections (if 50% drag themselves out to vote then it’s considered quite a success in Poland – see my Silent Majority) then should we be hoping for the un-elected in Brussels to save Poles from themselves?
Many will find some of the policies of the present government repugnant, but hoping for bureaucrats somewhere outside the country to do something about it will only increase Poles disengagement from the ballot box, democracy and politics in general.
As has been said many times elsewhere, in a democracy, the people get the government they deserve. If Poles don’t like PiS then they can get rid of them next polling day.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Posted by beatroot at 11/09/2005