Friday, September 23, 2005

Last minute scramble for votes

Latest General Election opinion poll: Civic Platform 32%…Law and Justice 30%…Self Defense 12%…League of Polish Families 10%…SLD 7%…
What to do when you are a conservative and your party is neck and neck with another rigthwing group in the polls? How about a bit of queer bashing?

In the last remaining days before the General Election, the result looks pretty clear. A coalition between right-wingers Civic Platform and Law and Justice (PiS) is on the cards. The only uncertainty is: which party will be the largest in parliament, and senior partner in the coalition? This matters, as the larger party will get the top job of Prime Minister, Finance Minister and or Foreign Secretary.

According to the last opinion poll (see scroll above) before Sunday’s vote, Civic Platform and Law and Justice should get around 170 seats each in the 460 seat parliament (Sejm).

Self Defense, the radical farmer’s union will get around 60 votes and the far-right, slightly barmy League of Polish Families, 36.

The SLD – the ex-communist, and current government party will get a mere 30 seats. At 7%, the SLD is dangerously close to the 5% limit – below that they will not even be in parliament at all.

Dire straights

So, a last minute scramble is underway to make sure core supporters get out and vote on Sunday.

Law and Justice – the more conservative of the two rightist parties – have been trying to appeal to the more base instincts of some of their supporters by raising the gay bogey man in Poland (yawn!).

"Homosexuals...should have normal social and citizen rights, but maybe they should not be employed in certain professions," said Jaroslaw Kaczynski, one of the twins leading PiS.

Professions he has in mind include school teaching. Kaczynski is playing on the primitive views of many of the electorate who ‘think’ that gays are somehow the same as pedophiles – a view, we should remember, that was common in the nineteen-sixties in the West.

Szymon Niemiec, from the Gay and Lesbian Association in Warsaw says: “'His remarks remind me of the 1930s. The Nazis also persecuted minorities.”

Law and Justice have a record of stirring up prejudice towards Polish gay and lesbians. This May, Jaroslaw’s brother, Lech, banned a Gay Pride march for the second year running in Warsaw on the grounds that it might ‘promote’ homosexuality. The European Court of Human Rights is currently looking at the case as the ban breaks EU agreements and the Polish Constitution.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski – who might be PM or Foreign Secretary after the election – is unmarried and currently lives at home with his mum.


Holender said...

"Jaroslaw Kaczynski – who might be PM or Foreign Secretary after the election – is unmarried and currently lives at home with his mum."

And it's even said that he's gay...

Gustav said...

The best we can hope for is a PO win tomorrow night, but they've also come out as anti-gay rights (they're just not so vocal about it) and anti-abortion. Jan Rokita is too confrontational to lead a government effectively.

Who I'd really like to see win is the Democrats, but their platform never took with the public. They've got some great ideas. Why do you think they can't manage to garner any support? Is it because the left is so fractured?