Thursday, October 27, 2005

Huff, puff and bluff

Have talks between Law and Justice and Civic Platform broken down completely, or is this a game of ‘who blinks first’?

Donald Tusk, Platform’s failed candidate for president, told a press conference yesterday that Law and Justice is only interested in accumulating as many posts in the new government as possible, rather than reaching a workable agreement on which a new coalition government can be based.

The final straw for Civic Platform – which came second in this autumn’s general election – was when the post of Speaker in the Lower House was given to Law and Justice’s (PiS) candidate, Marek Jurek. Platform had another nominee in mind, who had made comments after the results came through on election night to the effect that the Kaczynski brother’s PiS coming first in the poll was ‘bad news for Poland’.

Law and Justice are now flirting with other populist parties, such as the radical farmer’s union, SelfDefense, and the far-right League of Polish Families.

The Prime Minister designate, PiS’s Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, has said that Platform have been offered nine ministries, and only about ten percent of the negotiations are proving difficult.

But Jan Rokita from Platform, says that the distance between the two parties is much greater than that. He sites taxation, labour market and unemployment, the health service and decentralization of the state (basically the whole program!) as being sticking points.

The question now is: who needs the other more, Law and Justice or Civic Platform?


Kinuk said...

Marcinkiewicz is putting a good face to a bad hand...basically, he can say all the lovely things that he wants, but J. Kaczynski is holding a knife to his back and won't let him back down on any serious points.

In the long run, PO does not need PiS as badly as PiS needs PO. Let PiS get into bed with Samoobrona or LPR. Let them make concessions to both and let them completely mess up the country. Then, let PO swoop in to correct the mess after the next general elections. If PO distances themselves now from any mess that PiS get themselves into, all the better for them, I say.

After such a fiery start to the new government, I'm hoping for 2 years max before the next parliamentary elections.

beatroot said...

Anyone out there thinks two years is a bit optimistic?

michael farris said...

Let's see.

PiS treated their very small margin over PO in the parliamentary elections as a winner-take-all mandate to exclude PO as much as possible.

Kaczynski's deplorable presidential campaign compromised all the potentially good things about PiS and reenforced all the bad things about them. (hint: lay down with a leper and you'll get ....)

PO doesn't stand to gain much from the role that PiS has in mind for them. Most importantly, they're in no position to ameliorate the more harebrained PiS schemes and would stand to take a lot of the blame for the fallout. I say let PiS have at it all by their little selves and let's see where the chips fall.

Gustav said...

Just today the Sour One wouldn't exclude the possibility of early elections.

Let them completely mess up the country. Then, let PO swoop in to correct the mess after the next general elections.

Only thing is, with the country so messed up after PiS gets done with it, I'm far from sure PO will be the ones swooping in. Knowing Polish politics, it will be the left - most likely SLD - that will find its way back into the government.

Then we'll all be saying: "Just wait, they'll mess it up and then the centrists will get elected."

...and round and round we go. They keep messing up, but PO keeps coming in second.

beatroot said...

You can see, maybe, why some people (Jan Rokita) don't like PR as a voting system. Poland badly needs something constant and decisive - but it will never get that with all this horse trading and the other bull.

Kinuk said...


I'm not sure. If PO can run a successful campaign, get themselves out there more and make good with the "we're on your side" PR job. They could, in fact, be the PiS of this election campaign. They could do it, providing the election is within the next two years. Any longer than that, the Poles get bored of the rhetoric and no improvement and they will swing away from PiS. But will they swing towards Lepper and his cronies or back to SLD? Anybody's guess.

My view is that PO should be causing a huge, massive stink about this and any other issue that comes up with this government. They should be in the newspapers so much that I get sick of them.

beatroot said...

How about January 2006 for the date of the next election?

gumish said...

I think you all miss one point in all of this - which is the question of who gains control of secret services. Law and Justice is willing to give the PO most of the economy related ministries so why the heck the apparent liberal party does not take it. To me it is quite clear the economy is not a main issue for them. Law and Justice's determination to make this country lawful and just by getting rid of post-communist secret service cancer is enough to build a minority government, while PO is trying to obstruct. And only with this goal in mind (obstructing real change) is the Platform going to join PiS in government.

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