The vote of confidence in parliament Thursday means that Poland finally has a government. But for how long?
It was no surprise, really. Two hundred and seventy two deputies voted for the Law and Justice (PiS) led government – including lawmakers from League of Polish Families and SelfDefence, and 187 voted against, including ex-communists SLD and the largest opposition party, the free market Civic Platform.
This gives the government, headed by PM Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, the go ahead for their slightly vague program. Details include; trying to forge closer links between the US and the EU; no privatizations of key state industries such as the postal service, public television and radio, banking and energy; a simplified (but not flat) tax system, the end of capital gains tax on stock market earnings, and a 30 billion zloty (8.75 billion dollars) ceiling on the budget deficit.
But what to call this new arrangment?
"We are going to develop these companies to create a Polish brand name and Polish capitalism," Marcinkiewicz said after the vote last night.
Polish capitalism? Throw in some of PiS’s more socially authoritarian policies and what you get is a Polish conservative-socialism!
PiS are presenting all this as a pragmatic agenda and not an ‘ideological’ one. This is wise as it gives them more room to change their program as external political realities dictate.
The support achieved by PiS in parliament in the vote of confidence from smaller, more extreme populist parties is provisional. Roman Giertych, head of the far-right League of Polish Families gave PiS a warning that they could not expect his party to just vote for everything that comes their way: "We won't give this government another chance if it departs from what has been announced in the policy statement," he said.
In an attempt to stabilize the situation, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, head of the parliamentary wing of PiS, said yesterday that he did not rule out a more formal arrangement for a coalition government with the farmers union, SelfDefence.
Friday, November 11, 2005
Posted by beatroot at 11/11/2005