Poll in Poland
-DR. ABDUL RUFF
Polls are routinely conducted by terrocracies and colonizers to legitimize their illegal polices. And Poland in East Europe is going to polls.
One of the former Socialist nations in east Europe then supporting Soviet system and opposing NATO as a part of Moscow led Warsaw pact organization, Poland, following the disintegration of socialist world, is now a pro-West and pro-US-NATO capitalist nation- still unable to reset its policies and priorities owing to interferences from different quarters- mainly the unipolar dictatorial USA.
Opinion polls suggest Civic Platform (PO) is likely to win the 09 Oct 11 general election in Poland. Elections, like in any terrocracy under the NATO, are fought in Poland on money and media gimmicks. In an uncertain outcome environment, although the ruling Civic Platform (PO) led in opinion polls so far, people in Poland are voting in a parliamentary election on.
The turnout would determine the make-up of the governing coalition. If successful, the governing centre-right PM Donald Tusk's Civic Platform, currently allied with the Peasants' Party (PSL), would become the first Polish party to win two consecutive terms since the fall of communism in 1989, but, however, hopes to win are bleak now. Its lead over the main opposition party, “Law and Justice” (PiS), is falling each day.
Tusk has campaigned on Poland's strong growth and has vowed to pursue a steady rapprochement with Russia, despite rows over missile defense and gas pipelines as well as the conduct of an inquiry into a plane crash that killed Poland's president last year. Poland's relatively large domestic market, which reduces its dependence on exports and EU-funded public sector investments, helped it through the first wave of the financial crisis.
The main opposition Law and Justice party - which could also be classified as centre-right, but which tends to favor greater state intervention and uphold Roman Catholic and emotive patriotic values more than Civic Platform - has been quite skillfully exploiting the government's failure to improve living conditions for those Poles who feel left behind by the country's transformation. The PiS earlier had lost credit and the last federal election four years ago. Polish PM Donald Tusk hopes that the EU presidency will boost his Civic Platform party and help it retain power in national elections in October.
Before the campaign the party focused on the Smolensk air disaster in April 2010 in which President Lech Kaczynski and all 95 others on board, including dozens of senior state figures, were killed. Both Russian and Polish investigations found pilot error was the chief cause of the accident, but Jaroslaw Kaczynski accuses the government of bearing moral responsibility for the tragedy for failures in the flight's preparations.
Law and Justice party is led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the late president's twin brother. Kaczynski has barely mentioned the disaster during this campaign and has notably softened his rhetoric. Some recent opinion polls have seen the party cut Civic Platform's lead to just a couple of points. Law and Justice found a way to change their rhetoric without changing the substantial content of their message. Once they changed the language they got additional support. Also their leader became less aggressive, and this works.
A nation with a proud cultural heritage, Poland can trace its roots back over 1,000 years. Positioned at the centre of Europe, it has known turbulent and violent times. There have been periods of independence as well as periods of domination by other countries. Several million people, half of them Jews, died in World War II. A new era began when Poland became an EU member in May 2004, five years after joining Nato and 15 years after the end of communist rule.
Poland is the only European country that recorded economic growth in 2009 (1.7 percent) and increased its foreign trade, but this development is very fragile and highly dependent on the German and French economies. Tusk has presided over four years of strong economic growth.
Poland still has a huge farming sector - agriculture accounts for about 60 per cent of the country's total land area - which is unwieldy and very inefficient. Poverty is particularly widespread in rural areas.
Poland was the only EU member state to avoid recession. This year, its economy is forecast to grow around 4%, the highest rate among the EU's seven largest economies.
The state of the economy is often decisive in determining the outcome of an election - which is why many leaders would be dreading elections right now. But, since Poland was the only EU country to avoid recession, the governing centre-right Civic Platform party should have good reason to look forward to parliamentary elections.
At a bustling open-air market amid the tower blocks in Warsaw's Ursynow district, party activists and MPs are reminding voters that the economy is safe in their hands in these times of crisis. Civic Platform campaigners argue that they are the best guarantee for us in the second wave of crisis and to keep the economy going in the next four years.
That is not to say Poland has remained untouched by the financial crisis, but its relatively large domestic market, which reduces its dependence on exports and EU-funded public sector investments, helped it through the first wave.
Poland has taken over the rotating presidency of the EU for the first time since it joined the bloc in 2004. Its priorities for the six-month term include building relations with the EU's eastern and southern neighbours, and strengthening the EU single market.
Poland, enjoying an economic growth rate of about 3.5%, also says it wants to promote further EU enlargement. Poland wants to portray itself as a regional power with ideas worth heeding, with perhaps chief among them a focus on the bloc's eastern neighbours. It hopes an "Eastern Partnership" summit in September, gathering leaders from the EU and six former Soviet nations will give the initiative new impetus, and wants to conclude negotiations on a free trade agreement with Ukraine. Another priority will be trying to help the EU in its efforts to manage the sovereign debt crisis threatening Greece and the eurozone.
Poland, with a population of 38 million, is the largest country to join the EU since its expansion in 2004. It is the fourth former communist state to hold the EU presidency, after Slovenia in 2008, the Czech Republic in 2009, and Hungary in the first half of 2011. Recent surveys suggest that backing for EU membership within Poland stands at more than 80%.
The country has been was the only EU member state to avoid recession and, this year, its economy is forecast to grow by about 4%, the highest rate among the EU's seven largest economies. But such economic success might not translate into votes at the ballot box.
And, Poland has not adopted the euro, but has strong trade links with eurozone countries.
III- An Observation
Warsaw's profile on the international stage was raised by its support for the US-led military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Polish peacekeeping troops served in south-central Iraq from 2003 until 2008, and the country has also contributed a sizeable contingent to the notorious NATO “peacekeeping” force in Afghanistan, killing Muslims in a sustained manner.
Poland has been changing rapidly since democracy was restored in 1989 but the destruction during World War II - in proportion to its size it suffered more damage and casualties than any other country - followed by more than four decades of communism, means the country is still much poorer than its western neighbors.
Poland was the birthplace of the former Soviet bloc's first officially recognized independent mass political movement when strikes at the Gdansk shipyard in August 1980, under communist ruler Wojciech Jaruzelski, led to agreement on the establishment of the Solidarity trade union which, in turn unleashed big turmoil in the entire Soviet block of nations and resulted in the eventual break ups in 1991. The presence in the Vatican of Polish Pope John-Paul II was an important influence on the Solidarity movement throughout the 1980s. The Roman Catholic Church remains a very potent force in Polish life. Elections in summer 1989 in Poland ushered in Eastern Europe's first post-communist, pro-western government. By then even Russia had become a pro-west nation pursing its own global interests.
In the years between the end of communism and EU accession, power in Poland switched between the centre right and the centre left. Successive governments faced sleaze allegations. The country has had some success in creating a market economy and attracting foreign investment. There was a massive movement of workers to Western Europe in the years after Poland joined the EU, but the exodus slowed down after the global economic crisis took hold.
Today, upon undergoing the western pressure tactics, Poles are not comparing themselves continuously with other west or east nations - they are comparing themselves with their aspirations and expectations. Given the lack of genuine alternatives in Polish politics, there is no doubt that such media campaigns play a role. But the growing support for the right-wing PiS has deeper roots.
Post-socialist Polish poverty is increasingly affecting every section of the society. It is estimated that up to 13 million Poles, i.e., 35 percent of the total population, live in relative poverty. The official unemployment rate remains high at 9.4 percent, while youth unemployment has increased during Tusk’s administration from 17.3 percent in 2008 to 24.9 percent in the second quarter of 2011.
Polish society is now deeply divided along social lines and rich is being pampered by the regime as part of IMF capitalist formations. As in previous election campaigns, opposition leader Kaczynski is raising this policy and drawing attention to social inequality in the country. The opposition Palikot movement demands, among other things, a clear separation of church and state.
The Tusk government has also massively cut the number of public sector jobs, frozen wages and cut pensions. The government has in recent years sold off many of the remaining state-owned enterprises. In 2009-2010 it undertook privatizations valued at €9 billion. For common people, privatization meant wage cuts and deteriorating working conditions.
Finally, one cannot say for sure if the anti-communist movement for change in Eastern Europe and Russia is irreversible or good for people. Civic Platform won election four years ago on the back of promises such as transforming Poland into a new Ireland. But that was just the poll gimmick. Times have changed so much that to make such a promise would seem ridiculous now, but many of the party's voters believe it failed to carry out badly needed economic and social reforms when growth was higher in pre-crisis days.
Low turnouts have traditionally favored its main rival, Jaroslaw Kaczynski's conservative-nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party, which has a more loyal core constituency. A low turnout now could force the party to seek a less natural partnership with the opposition Democratic Left Alliance (SLD). At this stage the result looks too close to call. What seems certain is that no party will win enough votes to govern on their own so the country will face a period of uncertainty as attempts are made to form a coalition.
Today, poll verdicts do not indicate any real focus of the people on their own lives and fate. Politicians and their alliances and manipulations in polls generate the verdict of mandate for the “luck” ones to rule or ruin the nations. Obama, for instance, is ruining not only USA that elected him to lead them but the entire world. Popular verdict in Poland, like wise, might not be a total pro-Civic Platform government. People are expecting more and more. Many believe the government's handling of the crisis may not give it the expected pay-off. Hence a victory is not automatically guaranteed for the ruling party, although they might manage to win a second term.