Thursday, September 06, 2007

Polish election coming – spend, spend, spend


Polish politicians are going nuts. An election is just around the corner and politicians are throwing money at the electorate in the hope of buying a few votes.

There is an expression in Poland – the election sausage. Political parties organize little fetes and political meetings, and in amongst the rhetoric there would be a few sausages, a beer and other ‘gadgets’ thrown in for free.

Well, politicians are not dishing out sausages anymore in Poland, they are dishing out child benefits, tax breaks on having kids, longer maternity leave and much more besides.

Take yesterday in the Polish Parliament. The government was determined to get through tax breaks for Poles who have kids. It had promised an extra 3 billion in a tax give away. So what did the parliament – all sides of the parliament – do? They voted to increase the give away to...6.5 billion!

Ooo, look at the size of that sausage!

The finance minister, Zyta Gilowska, was a little surprised and described the vote as ‘madness’ and the Polish equivalent of a parliamentary ‘cock up’.

The opposition - all types of it - had the gaul to criticize the government last week for coming to an agreement with the Solidarity trade union to increase the minimum wage. The largest opposition party, Civic Platform, claimed that such a move, just before an election this autumn, was a blatant election sausage if ever they saw one.

The government replied that they were just keeping to promises they had made earlier.

On Monday the government forced through parliament an increase in the length of maternity leave and an extra few zloty payment for each child born.

These 'pro-family' policies are in keeping with the government’s belief that if you pay Poles a few extra zloty for having children then everyone will go home and have an ‘early night’.

It’s the equivalent of a ‘child friendly sausage’ - or maybe even 'child abuse'.

But all this is going to leave the government’s budget plans in a bit of a mess. The next government – who ever that may be – is going to have to pick up the tab for a pre-election spending spree.

The Parliament will probably dissolve itself tomorrow which makes an election in late October a certainty.

16 comments:

michael farris said...

Polish politicians, you gotta hate 'em.

Anonymous said...

While politicians in general are pondlife, Polish politicians are among the worst in the civilised world.

Brad Zimmerman said...

Where do I sign up to get wooed? I want beer and sausage or perhaps reduced queues at the visa office or maybe a few extra cops on the streets that aren't asking for bribes or for some well-paid, competent doctors that at least pretend to care.

Comon, woo me! Woo me, dammit!

Anonymous said...

Smells like sausagialism to me.

I hope they use a lot of garlic but hold the marjorem.

beatroot said...

You don't like marjorem? I think marjorem is a widely misunderstood herb, actually. But not with election sausage.

Harry - would you like to construct an argument that proved that POlish politicians are 'among the worst in the civilizaed world'?

luridtraversal said...

As an upcoming father, I can't wait to get the whopping 500PLN!!! I can buy a month's worth of nappies and take myself out to McDonalds to boot!!! But the extra month off of work for my wife is cool though...

Anonymous said...

Sure thing BR: name three other countries in which a former government minister and a former head of police are arrested to prevent them from giving testimony to a parliamentary committee which is investigating the supposed illegal use of security services by the government to spy on media and business figures and members of the opposition as well as to carry out sting operations against government ministers.

When you're done naming them, name three countries in which a government official was filmed offering bribes to a former member of the governing coalition to encourage her to leave her party and join the governing party.

When you're done naming them, name three countries in which ministries openly refuse to distribute EU funding to certain groups solely because of the race, creed or sexual orientation of that group.

Shall I go on?

Anonymous said...

Oh, btw, these are the sorts of things I like about Polish politicians.

beatroot said...

Harry - what you have listed is the antics of THIS government, not POlish politicians. If you meant: 'this government is one of the worst in the civilized world' then say it.

Anonymous said...

I like not the stuff Harry listed, but the stuff about extending maternity leave, etc.... and free beer and kielbasa! Such a great country!

YouNotSneaky! said...

"The next government – who ever that may be – is going to have to pick up the tab for a pre-election spending spree."

Which is a good argument why the Central Bank should be left outside the political process. These politicians were, like it or not, elected democratically. If the head of the CB was likewise an elected office (or subject to control by elected officials) you'd get the same thing.

And I think Kaczmarek deserved it, if not for this then for some ol' shit.

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