This Sunday, October 13, legislative elections were held in Poland. The current government party, Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (PiS, Law and Justice), has won with absolute majority.
The best result obtained by a Polish party since 1989
As reported last night the Polish Radio, Law and Justice has obtained 43.6% of the votes, which would grant 239 seats of the 460 that form the Sejm (Polish Parliament). This is the best result obtained by a party in Poland in the 30 years of democracy that the country has been following the fall of communism. It must be taken into account that Law and Justice began its journey in 2001 with 9.5% of the votes, less than those obtained by Vox (10.26%) in the Spanish general elections of April. In 2005 Law and Justice rose to 27% of votes, managing to govern through a coalition of conservative parties. In the 2007 and 2011 elections Law and Justice was defeated by Donald Tusk and the coalition formed by the Citizen Platform and the Polish People’s Party, both partners of the European People’s Party. In 2015 Law and Justice won the elections by simple majority with 24.1% of votes and 138 seats. So, in yesterday’s elections Law and Justice rose almost 20 points and gets 101 seats more than four years ago.
New failure of the alliance between centrists, greens and post-communists
The Citizen Platform attended yesterday’s elections with a Citizen Coalition formed by that party, the Modern (Polish partners of Ciudadanos), the Partia Zieloni (Green Party, Polish members of the far-leftists of Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya and Catalunya in Comú) and some members of the post-communist Alliance of the Democratic Left (SLD), the heirs of the single party of the fallen dictatorship in 1989. This heterogeneous amalgamation of ideological parties so antagonistic had only one purpose: to win Law and Justice at whatever price. The Citizen Platform should have scuffed after what happened in the May European elections, which came with a similar coalition that also included post-communists. Then, in addition to not achieving its purpose, the Citizen Platform reached the dubious honor of placing in the European Parliament Leszek Miller, former leader of the PZPR, the single party of the communist dictatorship. In 2015 the Citizen Platform alone won 31.69% of the votes and 166 seats in the Sejm: yesterday, going by coalition, it remained in 27.4% of the votes and 130 seats.
The left and rightist Konfederacja arrive at the Polish Parliament
In these last four years the left had no representation in the Polish Parliament. In addition to the arrival in Sejm of the hand of the post-communist leaders who were on the lists of the Citizen Coalition, this Sunday the Lewica coalition (The Left), formed by socialists, the post-communists of the SLD and by Razem – the Polish version of Podemos – Enter Sejm with 11.9% of votes and 43 seats.
Likewise, the right-wing coalition Konfederacja Wolność and Niepodległość (Confederation Freedom and Independence), formed by the liberal-conservatives of the KORWiN, the monarchists of the Polish Crown Confection of Grzegorz Braun, the Union of Christian Families and the National Movement, among others, also arrives at Sejm. It would have 6.4% of the votes and 13 seats.
The conservative discourse of Law and Justice and the good progress of the Polish economy
It must be said that between the political line of Law and Justice and that of Vox there are certain differences. The Polish party is more interventionist, and has played a disappointing role in the social debate in Poland to abolish abortion in the country. However, Law and Justice has strong social support in rural Poland thanks to a purely conservative discourse, opposed to gender ideology, euthanasia, illegal immigration and other progressive ideological impositions coming from Brussels. On the other hand, the party led by Jarosław Kaczyński has no complexes in claiming the Catholic identity of Poland. It must be borne in mind that this Nation is, after Malta, the member country of the European Union with the highest percentage of Catholics. On the other hand, the Polish economy is moving at a good pace: the country has only 3.3% unemployment (Spain has 13.8%) and Poland’s annual growth exceeds 4%, almost double that of Spain. Right now Poland is one of the countries in Europe with less unemployment (only surpassed by Germany and the Czech Republic), while Spain is one of those with the highest unemployment rate (only surpassed by Greece).
The increasingly strong alliance between Poland and the USA
On the other hand, Law and Justice has managed to become a preferred ally of the United States in Europe thanks to Donald Trump, president with whom the formation of Kaczyński has a very good tuning, as demonstrated in the visit of the US president to Warsaw two years ago. This alliance is not only necessary for Poland in the face of the Russian threat – especially after the annexation by Russia of Crimea and Sevastopol (Ukraine) in 2014; in addition, the friendship of the United States has served Poland to consolidate its position in the face of disagreements with the Brussels elite. We can draw a conclusion from both the Polish case and the American case: challenging political correctness and the progressive dictatorship is possible and can be translated into good electoral results. You only need brave politicians to take on that challenge.
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