Friday, October 07, 2005

Fourth Republic

President Kwasniewski might vote for Tusk, and Kaczynski is 'too radical'. (pictured: Kwasniewski with Bush)

The outgoing president, Alex Kwasniewski, said yesterday – as he was endorsing no-hoper Marek Borowski for the job – that he thinks the program of Law and Justice in general, and candidate Leck Kaczynski in particular – is ‘too radical’. “We have to look for politicians who will not waste Poland’s achievements so far, but will use and develop them”, Kwasniewski said.

Besides the fact that Kaczynski is a ‘conservative’, - and conservatives do not usually go in for being ‘radical’ - what could he mean by this?

The Kaczynski election posters refer to a Polish ‘Fourth Republic’ – which does not exists at the moment. And that’s the point.

The Thirst Republic came into force after the fall of communism in 1989. Before that we had the Commie “People’s Republic', and then before that we had the Second Republic, which came into force after Poland regained her independence after WWI.

What Kaczynski – and much of the Polish rightwing – are arguing for now is a Fourth Republic, signaling the end of the post-communist phase of the nation’s reconstruction.

Kaczynski et al think that the gradualism of Poland’s approach after 1989 - when many of the former communists were allowed to stay in the civil service and top levels of the public sector – should be abandoned, and the ex-commies purged from positions of power – e.g. the Television and Radio Council, that watches over broadcasting in Poland, should be abolished.

In other words, the Fourth Republic would be a commie-free-zone, something which many ex-communist countries did right from the start.

President Kwasniewski, not surprisingly, does not go along with this, as he is one of those ex-commies (though of the reformist type).

If the presidential contest goes to a second round – where the top two contestants fight out a head-to-head battle in two weeks time – then President Kwasniewski has implied that he will be voting for Civic Platform’s Donald Tusk, as the lesser of two evils.

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