Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Polish First Lady - eco-warrior


Has the First Lady, Maria Kaczynska (she actually is the one on the right of the picture, the beatroot believes) been backseat driving u-turns in government highway development policy?

An interview in a national daily last week, where Mrs President declared that she was not happy about the planned Rospuda bypass (see the previous posts) - “It would be barbarian”, she said - came only days before her brother-in-law, Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, announced that work would be halted on the highway until a local referendum was taken.

But has the (completely unelected) First Lady had an influence on public opinion?

Well, PBS pollsters are reporting today that 65% of Poles are against the bypass.

But the people of Augustow, the town where the bypass would take away choking amounts of traffic and bring economic development to the area, are firmly for the proposal. Eighty one percent said they want the highway.

So it appears Poland’s new eco-warrior is having a limited influence on the inhabitants of Augustow, but maybe is having an influence inside the Polish government.

What a shame that unelected family members of politicians can’t seem to keep their mouths shut. Who does Maria think she is: a 1990s Hilary Clinton?

10 comments:

Renegade Eye said...

The answer to your question, must be yes she thinks she is Hillary.

What amount of eco destruction involved?

Michael Farris said...

Could you give a link to the poll?

If not, I'm curious about the options offered in the poll and what percentage was:
- against any bypass
- in favor an alternate route for the bypass (my own position)

opamp said...

- against any bypass
- in favor an alternate route for the bypass (my own position)


No sane person would be against any bypass; and no one would oppose a bypass by an alternate route.

But, this is not the issue. The issue is that people of Augustów fear that if this unfortunate project is killed, it will be many years (and many people's deaths) until a new one is proposed and implemented.

beatroot said...

Mike: PBS poll was published in Gazeta Wyborcza today...

and my point, opamp, is that First Ladys who have influence in the media, etc, just because they married someone who is an elected person, are a pain in the arse.

Michael Farris said...

"No sane person would be against any bypass"

Well there's no shortage of unsane folks running around.

"people of Augustów fear that if this unfortunate project is killed, it will be many years (and many people's deaths) until a new one is proposed and implemented."

Then perhaps they should have thought of that earlier. The resistance to paving over an econological niche unique in Europe was absolutely predictable and if the planners didn't realize that they're incompetent.

Frankly, this whole thing stinks of backroom deals and I'd bet a considerable sum that the course of the original bypass was changed in order to line someone's pockets.

Michael Farris said...

And beat's complaint about outspoken first ladies falls on my very deaf ears.

For a long time now, US first ladies have been part and parcel of their husband's campaigns and are definite political players and influence the elections and are in a sense indirectly 'elected'...

beatroot said...

Mike, as an American you should be outraged that someone screw around with your constitution like that.

In fact, come to think of it, all the important people in the States are unelected, except the president.

Maria Kaczynska is like Condi Rice!

Michael Farris said...

First ladies as political players is less disturbing to me than the idea that an elected politician is not going to be influenced at all by their spouse or that the spouse of an elected official should pretend to be apolitical.

Henry Grodsk said...

Won't somebody please think of the definite article! Beatroot writes: "But the people of Augustow, the town where the bypass would take away choking amounts of traffic..."

Not the bypass -- a bypass.

Readers might be interested to hear about what happened to a Warsaw road development. It's been on the cards for some 20 years but in the last few weeks it took a dramatic change of course -- to avoid going through the minister for the environment's neighbourhood.

www.webhablada.es said...

I absolutely tie in with anything you've presented us.