Thursday, May 27, 2010

The election campaign, that never was

Imagine: three weeks before a presidential election and no campaign posters trumpeting and sloganeering their candidate, dominating the street furniture of downtown. Welcome to Poland’s weirdest election campaign - ever.

There’s nothing. No mug shots of photo-shopped hopefuls with leering catchphrases - just two with a hope of winning, two with a hope of raising their profile, and the rest: self publicising narcissists that democracy attracts like a kid to the ice cream parlour, on a wet Sunday afternoon.

Imagine: you are a campaign manager of a presidential candidate, in hustings done in the shadow of a) the Smolensk horror, and b) the floods. You had been planning your most sophisticated campaign. And then - national mourning, and later the unimaginable stench of flooded homes and lives. Pity poor campaign manager.

The thinnest tightrope walker, of a field of 10 in the presidential elections on June 20, is Bronislaw Komorowski. He’s juggling three balls in the oddest election non-circus on Earth: being an acting president, speaker of parliament and a presidential candidate. Three roles means three opportunities of screwing up. So far, neutrals think he is just about managing to walk the rope without mishap. He’s a clear leader in the polls, too, but they may be giving a skewed picture. He’s been doing things within his current functions, but not actively campaigning.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, meanwhile, has been the most conspicuous in his absence from the campaign. Still wearing the black suits and tie of mourning for his twin brother, he holds few press conferences, a brief appearance at an election rally, and a video expressing peace and love for Russia and thanks for every tear they shed for Smolensk. It’s been called “Jaroslaw‘s metamorphosis”.

He’s saying: Jaroslaw has changed.

All the other candidates have not been pushing the campaign - many have called for the ballot to be put off till the autumn because of the disruption of the floods.

Whatever: I bet election campaign managers sleep like a baby, these days - waking up every 20 minutes, crying their eyes out.


ge'ez said...

The BR lives? And is well enough?

Good for Jaroslaw. I didn't think he had it in him. Personal tragedy does change people.

And as an aside, I just looked at the England roster for the big game coming up. Holy shit. On paper, I don't see how we have a chance. Maybe Argentina could loan us a striker for that game, they sure have enough of the best.

sonia said...

Komorowski vs Jaroslaw Kaczor = a bore vs a tedium.

PO should have picked Radek. At least the sparks would have fly.
would have flown ?

beatroot said...

Long time no see, Sonia. Still yet to visit a clothes store, I see.

Geez - Kaczynski had a deep deep personal tragedy, plus Law and Justice did focus groups which told them agression in politics is turn off for voters.

As far as world cup is concerned, USA lost to Czech...not a good sign. But you could still beat this England team...

ge'ez said...

Politics sure has changed in Poland -- and in the US, too. Used to be that attack, attack, attack was the way to go. No more. And it seems to be for the better.

Against the Czech Republic, the US was largely staging tryouts for backup positions, with a few exceptions where guys needed and still need to get in shape. But the England team still looks like a bunch of all-stars to me albeit with a couple weak spots. Soccer enthusiasm in the US is at an all time high, I'd say. MLS teams games are consistently drawing more per game than most major league baseball teams. And more kids(over 20 million)ages 5-19 play organized soccer than youth football, basketball or baseball.

BTW, there's something weird going on making it difficult to post. Had to try this a couple times, the second previewing it first to be successful (I hope).

beatroot said...

And so it was....

The stiry about the opinion polls here might be significant. There has been no presidential polls for four days...I think the pollsters are scared they might get this completeky wrong. We will see. The flooded areas are usually in poorer areas where Kaczynski gets much of his support from. If they have not been sampled properly then the result might be a lot closer than we have bargened for.

On the football/soccer...the England team have problems in many areas...the goalkeeping is weak...the back four look iffy, no holding mid fielder...and who to partner Ronney up front?

The coach doesn;t really know what his first team is...two and a bit weeks before the start of the finals...

Not good.

beatroot said...

And there is something weird going on with comment right click and copy comment before chancing on clicking publish...

ge'ez said...

I was just reading about the problem with the holding middies:

But Rooney and yer offensive middies are still killer. I don't spoze Ferdinand will be ready for the US game, or will he? There's substantive analysis at the above American website about the US team, too (as well as other soccer stuff). Watch out for the abundance of US strikers - I think a couple of the backups might even be better than the starters. One leads the Mexican League in goals, the other leads the MLS.

varus said...

Hi, just noticed you'd written something. As far as the "self publicising narcissists that democracy attracts" goes we started off with 22 and so 10 is a lot better.
As for Bronislaw Komorowski not slipping up, I'm not so certain he hasn't. When a youth group visited the crash site and saw freshly unearthed body parts lying around, his "Presidential" response was rather short. He said what many people may have thought but a president should not say.

beatroot said...

Opinion poll results - for what they are worth - remain remarkable for a government in its third year. Komorowski is an unremarkable politician who seems boring enough for people to acceptas a presideent.

Geez - england were woeful against Japan today. In fact, Japan scored all three goals in a 2-1 loss!

I am not pptimistic.