Tuesday, September 19, 2006

November election in Poland?


It feels a little like Groundhog Day, but we appear to be on the verge on an early election. Again.

A row within the ruling coalition over the amount and type of government spending in the 2007 Budget Bill has given one of the minority parties – Samoobrona – the chance to leave the government after being seen to be fighting for causes popular with its constituents – farmers and poorer Poles.

The announcement of more troops to Afghanistan – a deployment too far for many – has seemingly given extra impetus to Andzej Lepper’s (photo above, in favourite pose) threat that he will not support the Budget.

PM Jarolsaw Kaczynski said:

‘Andrzej Lepper has to decide whether he wants to govern and change Poland, whether he wants to serve his electorate in the countryside and small towns, or whether he wants to destroy it all. One thing is obvious, it’s impossible to go on governing in this way, from one quarrel to the other, because it’s totally ineffective.’

We have been here before. Many times. The difference to the many previous ‘election scares’ over the past year is that both minority parties have been in the government for a few months and can demonstrate to their constituencies that they have ‘done their best’ but the ‘big bad nasty government is unbending, and we can leave the government with our honour intact’.

We also have a resurgent opposition PO in the opinion polls.

The latest survey, which is inline with recent polls, puts the free market PO at 30 percent, with the majority party in the ruling coalition PiS at 24 percent (minus 1 in the beatroot’s PiSed-Off index).

A few months ago, when PO declined the opportunity for another election, polls were showing that Poles did not want another election so soon after the last one. But now the mood has changed. People are fed up with the uncertainty of a coalition at war with itself.

It’s difficult for LPR (which has a declining support) but for Samoobrona and PO the temptation to go to the country must now be very tempting.

The Budget Bill should be finalized by the end of the month. But a meeting began today among the three coalition parties will resume tomorrow. So something has got to give soon. Six months ago the government would have expected to win an election. Now they are not so sure. But the chances, and the will, to pull another late rabbit from another late hat is receding tonight.

7 comments:

Gustav said...

I dunno if there's going to be new elections or not, but I do know two things:

1. If there is an election, PO will find a way to lose it.
2. The next Prime Minister of Poland will be Andrzej Lepper.

Michael Farris said...

"The next Prime Minister of Poland will be Andrzej Lepper."

I wouldn't bet against it. And, in some ways, as awful and wrongheaded as his policies generally are, he'd be a better PM than the duckling or anyone from PO.
He's managed to be totally, spectacularly wrong about what the effects of joining the EU would be and done less than nothing as minister of agriculture and still hasn't lost his base: he's a political survivor who can generally keep his underlings more or less in line.
And his rough and ready style appeals to a majority of Poles who like straight, rough talk coated with a veneer of politeness. Mostly they react negatively to the convoluted word salad of Rokita or unassertive bunny-wabbitness of Tusk which means even people who support PO's platform will vote against them.

Gustav said...

It's talk like that that's going to make moderates vote for him too - which is why he'll win.

God save Poland.

beatroot said...

Lepper's rough and ready style appeals to a majority of Poles who like straight, rough talk coated with a veneer of politeness. Mostly they react negatively to the convoluted word salad of Rokita or unassertive bunny-wabbitness of Tusk which means even people who support PO's platform will vote against them.

And I think I am becoming a Pole! I think the guy is much less calculating than PR drives politicians. He is criticised for being manipulative but actually the guy does how he feels.

Rough maybe, but you can see why people think that is refreshing by a population turned off by PR driven politics.

And they dare to call him populist! PR politics IS populist politics.

Michael Farris said...

"populist" is an empty term anymore that needs to be put out to pasture. It's like saying someone 'has an agenda', everyone has an agenda.

I do think that the Lepper of today is a great improvement on the Lepper of ten or five years ago.
He's had his real first whiff of that intoxicating perfume called 'power' and wants more and realizes he has to tone things done to do that.
I still wouldn't vote for him and a Lepper administration would probably break all records for corruption (even if he behaved, SO MP's seem to make financial irregularities a way of life).

beatroot said...

He's had his real first whiff of that intoxicating perfume called 'power' and wants more and realizes he has to tone things done to do that.

I defy you Mike to show me a politician qho does not want or like power. That is what politicians are for - to get power and then try and realise their view of how the country should be run.

Nothing unusual in that.

Romerican said...

Lordie, does that photo ever speak volumes!