The last few weeks have been like Groundhog Day. (photo: PiS head, Jarolsaw Kaczynski, showing us his hands off governing style.)
The Law and Justice (PiS) government threatens to go to the polls if its Stabilization Pact partners don’t behave themselves. Coalition partners keep on being naughty, then shutting up again. But PiS can’t keep threatening elections for ever.
The pact’s junior partners - catholic-nationalist League of Polish Families, and mainly rural SelfDefense - are getting increasingly restless. SelfDefense has talked about the need for a new ‘government of experts’. That’s not an unusual idea in this part of the world, where experience in running governments is usually confined to the ex-communist parties. Roman Giertych’s League of Polish Families, on the other hand, is throwing its limited weight around, demanding tax subsidies for families with over four children, and saying that it wasn’t all that keen on renewing any pact at the end of the year.
Wojciech Wierzejski of the League to Radio Polonia:
"If we were asked whether the League could continue in 2007with its support of the Law and Justice government on the basis of the stabilization pact in its present form and principles and lack of implementation of election promises, the answer would definitely be NO!"
Jaroslaw Kaczynski, chairperson of Law and Justice, regularly threatens to go to the polls – thinking that this is what neither of the two junior partners want. Support for both parties fell shortly after last autumn’s general election. After Giertych’s recent comments Kaczynski said tetchily:
"If he wants to meet with me, he would first have to change his opinions quite substantially."
But the latest poll, on TVN tonight, showed that Law and Justice had slipped into second place (33%), two percent behind the opposition, free market Civic Platform (35%). And support for Self Defense and League had grown to 9 percent.
Some of Kaczynski’s supporters are getting restless, too. The government made some wild promises – on housing, in social and economic policy – but can show little from the last few months, except for passing the budget and threatening elections all the time if everyone didn’t behave.
But if PiS have any chance of getting a majority in parliament, then it’s got to be now, or never.
Although, I said that the last time I posted about this.
If you would rather read some intelligent blogging, about Polish political economy and more, then check out Our Man in Gdansk, and Piotr's new-ish blog Eurogoeseast.