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Thursday, October 29, 2015

new Polish Parliament has no ' left' ~ no Communist elected

People power comes to the fore in every election ~ and this death-knell to Communism is like never before !
Lech Wałęsa is a Polish politician and  trade-union activist.  He co-founded Solidarity, the Soviet bloc's first independent trade union, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, and served as President of Poland from 1990 to 1995.  Poland is in Central Europe,  bordered by Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Baltic Sea, Kaliningrad Oblast (a Russian exclave) and Lithuania.  The total area of Poland is 312,679 square kilometres making it the 71st  largest country in the world and the 9th largest in Europe.  The establishment of a Polish state  dates back to 966.  Its territory was partitioned among Prussia, the Russian Empire, and Austria. Poland regained its independence (as the Second Polish Republic) at the end of World War I, in 1918.
Communism in Poland can trace its origins to early 20th century. During the interwar period in the Second Polish Republic, some Polish communists formed a party, the Communist Party of Poland; however, most of its original  members and leaders perished during Joseph Stalin's Great Purge. In 1943, Stalin made efforts to rebuild the Polish communist party, creating the  Union of Polish Patriots, to become an agent to aid the legitimization of a puppet state he planned to set up in war-ridden Poland.  In recent years, Communism has really waned. 

The parliament of Poland consists of an upper house – the Senate – and a lower house, the Sejm. The parliament  is without an official name; Poland's constitution refers only to the Sejm and the Senate. Members of both houses are elected by popular elections, usually held every four years.  Parliamentary elections to both the Sejm and Senate were held in Poland on 25 October 2015. It was the first European election since the Norwegian parliamentary election, 1993 in which the two largest parties fielded a female candidate as leader.  Official results, announced on 27 October, gave the conservative Law and Justice Party a thin majority, with 235 of 460 seats (51 percent).

Now Daily Mail and other media reports that ‘ the new Polish parliament has no left wing’ !!!

It is reported that the weekend election won by Poland's right-wing and anti-migrant Law and Justice party has also created Europe's most right-wing parliament — one without a single party that is left of centre on social issues. Gone are all of the former communists for the first time since communism fell 26 years ago, as well as a younger generation of politicians focused on women's rights, gay rights and the environment.

The 2011 election brought in a transsexual lawmaker, Anna Grodzka, who seemed a striking symbol of how the country was growing more open and progressive. Grodzka will be absent from the new parliament while some far-right nationalists will be among the newcomers. In many ways, Poland has long been deeply conservative: abortion laws are strict, the country resists green energy and refugees are largely unwelcome. Still, there has been a growing acceptance among some for gay rights as Poland comes under greater Western influence.

The expulsion of the left results from several factors: a deeper social shift and the unpopularity of some of the left's leaders, including Leszek Miller, a former communist. Left-wing parties took a combined 11 percent of the vote, split between two electoral groups which each fell short of a threshold for getting into the lower house of parliament, the Sejm.

Many commentators, even some sympathetic to left-wing causes, said ex PM Miller and another left-wing leader, Janusz Palikot, deserved to be defeated for infighting and other failures. "Haughtiness, mutual elimination through propaganda, a lack of ideology patched up with cynicism, Miller's playing on nostalgia for communist Poland, and Palikot's playing on his own ego, all this has washed away a conviction in Poles that the left wing is useful," columnist Marek Beylin wrote in Wednesday's Gazeta Wyborcza daily.

Younger Poles on the left not tied to the communists are also upset by the setback. Despite its moral conservatism, Law and Justice is left-wing on economic causes, promising to help the disadvantaged and use the state to even out economic inequalities. The party promises to lower the retirement age, give cash bonuses for children and free medication to people over 75. It says it will fund these social programs with higher taxes on banks and big supermarkets, most of which are foreign-owned. Modern, a new party led by economist Ryszard Petru, also supports civic partnerships for gay and straight couples, though it is mainly focused on economic issues. It got 28 seats.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

29th Oct 2015

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