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Old 08-08-2015, 07:23 AM   #1
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Poland 2015 Elections

Canada has its own thread now too, so why the hell not.

Polish elections won't just affect Poland (duh). With Law and Justice surging in the polls, there's a chance that Polish-German relations will cool off significantly later this year. That really kind of sucks, because Germany has been our strongest partner for almost a decade (2007, last time power changed hands). Andrzej Duda's election for President already raised concerns in Brussels, though he officially removed himself from the party, as Polish presidents do.

I wasn't old enough to give a shit about politics when Law and Justice was last in charge, but some digging refreshed my memory. Kaczyński (then Prime Minister) used German war-guilt to gain leverage - not the best way to approach foreign policy, imo.

As for domestic issues, I expect typical election bait and then either nothing regardless of who wins, or minor stuff that 90% of people couldn't care less about. Law and Justice is proclaiming wanting to lower retirement age, which the current government (though under the previous Prime Minister) pushed up.

Also, Donald Tusk will be President of the European Council until mid-2017, which, if Law and Justice wins, will only cause more problems. That party has been complaining about the EU for years and Kaczyński is vindictive enough to use the position of Prime Minister to antagonise his once greatest political rival for no other reason than he wants to.

Obviously, I'm wary of a Law and Justice win. I mean, on the ground I don't think much will change for me personally, but on a large scale, their nationalist tendencies won't win us any friends.

As four our new President, I'm not really sure either way. He was a Law and Justice candidate, but a party does not a man make. He's already poked a toe outside the line by coming out in favor of in-vitro (though not very strongly) and that pissed a lot of people off. He got many votes riding the Christian platform and many Poles see in-vitro as something to be entirely outlawed. He kind of pulled an Obama, too. A year ago no one knew who he was and now he's President.

I also think many voters were just tired of President Komorowski. I myself wasn't a fan of his - if he was talked about, it was usually because of something stupid he did. And if nothing else, Duda looks the part. Say what you want, but looking good never made anyone a worse head of state. I think.
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Old 08-08-2015, 07:49 AM   #2
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I wonder about Kukiz - he had some ridiculous results in early polls but passing threshold necessary for representation should be possible. I wonder about results of appearance of a new party (pretending to not be a political party).

Also - there is chance that SLD (post communist party) and or PSL may finally fail to pass this threshold. Palikot (a political clown) is certainly gone.

Change of PO would at least disrupt corruption. I would not say that "country is in ruins" but some things revealed recently are quite worrying.

And there are additional quotable things. For example that minister was complaining that working for only 6k PLN is for idiots and thieves. For reference in 2015 average earnings were 3.9k, median was 3.1k and minimal pension was set at 1750*.

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As for domestic issues, I expect typical election bait and then either nothing regardless of who wins, or minor stuff that 90% of people couldn't care less about.
Yes, it is depressing to see what is promised - to do all of that we would borrow about as much money as Greece. And PO (current ruling party) is in addition getting ridiculous - for example PM walking through train and promising random people that she will fix their problems.

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I also think many voters were just tired of President Komorowski. I myself wasn't a fan of his - if he was talked about, it was usually because of something stupid he did. And if nothing else, Duda looks the part. Say what you want, but looking good never made anyone a worse head of state. I think.
Yes, Komorowski was not a good person for this role. Hopefully Duda will be better.

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already raised concerns in Brussels
I am not considering it as a big problem.

Quote:
used German war-guilt to gain leverage
I would need to research to remind myself what was happening, but reaction to Erika Steinbach and similar people should contain reminder what was reason for entire mess.


* http://www.bankier.pl/wiadomosc/GUS-...l-7241587.html https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%C5%8...awowe_w_Polsce

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Old 08-08-2015, 08:12 AM   #3
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The whole restaurant scandal with recordings and finance ministers' fancy wristwatches was depressing. The biggest problem right now is that if you're sick of the Civic Platform and wary of Law and Justice, there's not really another voting option. No one else has even a remote chance for a decisive win. Even if all other parties formed a coalition, the two big players still have them beat. I may just close my eyes and blindly tick whatever box my pen lands on.

Kukiz made a splash, but I don't think he will be making a bigger one. He's likable, I guess, but he's not a politician.

If Law and Justice wins, I also expect an attempt to take revenge for the Smolensk crash in some way, regardless of who they see as responsible (cough Russia cough).

Agreed that Palikot is a clown. Just look what he wore to Duda's swearing-in. I mean, come on. Some things you just don't do.

No matter what happens, our next parliament will be a clusterfuck of epic proportions.
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Old 08-08-2015, 09:30 AM   #4
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Law and Justice already win once and failed to do basically anything, including achievable targets that they claimed to be their major goals. Civic Platform is ruling and main results is that Tusk managed to secure some position for himself in EU, construction of some football pitches for children, dramatic increase in public debt and festering corruption.

I am tempted to check whatever anything was done with for example power plants (some years ago official report claimed that we are already near blackouts during some summer days, significant part of power plants should be already retired and massive investments are immediately needed to avoid rationing electricity in near future). Or other important topics.

Entire Smoleńsk thing is depressing. Official investigation was no more credible that conspiracy-seeking idiots on twitter (seriously - they claimed that there was a professional and thorough investigation and it turned out that they failed even to bury people in proper graves).

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clusterfuck of epic proportions
It is not so bad. I am not expecting improvements but it will be not worse. And at least outright communist or neo-nazis are not a possibility (unlike in some other countries).

Given that Palikot and maybe SLD/PSL will be gone it may be even improvement.
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Old 08-11-2015, 11:20 AM   #5
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I am tempted to check whatever anything was done with for example power plants (some years ago official report claimed that we are already near blackouts during some summer days, significant part of power plants should be already retired and massive investments are immediately needed to avoid rationing electricity in near future). Or other important topics.
I resisted temptation - but I encountered today http://www4.rp.pl/Kraj/308119866-Kop...zabraknie.html

Since today power rationing starts - for now it affects industry.

It is already mentioned that in 2016 it will be worse. Wonderful.

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Old 08-11-2015, 12:17 PM   #6
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We produce like 90% of our energy from coal, which ties into the never-ending coal mine problems. In USA they have school shootings, we have mine collapses.

It also forces us to push against any environmental regulations the EU comes out with in regards to CO2 emissions. Poland is really behind the times in that department.

We're close enough to Chernobyl that a whisper of nuclear power makes the less open-minded Poles shiver.

One thing's for sure - our current model (coal) is not sustainable long-term. At some point we'll need to invest in clean(er) energy or we're fucked.

EDIT: Our politicians like to talk about "supporting miners". How about we support the national nuclear power program more? Internet tells me Poland plans to have nuke power by 2025, but is that soon enough?
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Old 08-11-2015, 03:01 PM   #7
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Nuclear power is constantly in phase of plans. Since Żarnowiec was cancelled in 1990 nothing real happened ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C5%BB...ar_Power_Plant ).

Quote:
At some point we'll need to invest in clean(er) energy or we're fucked.
To make it funnier current crisis was partially caused by lack of wind - only small part of 5GW of installed power of wind farms was producing energy. Due to widespread lack of wind it was also harder to import electricity from Germany (source: http://wiadomosci.gazeta.pl/wiadomos...jajcie.html#MT ).

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we're fucked.
We are already fucked - power plant is not something that may be constructed in month. And it was clear that we will have this problem since at least decade.

But apparently danger of blackouts is too abstract for politicians and general public.
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Old 08-12-2015, 11:51 AM   #8
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We are already fucked - power plant is not something that may be constructed in month. And it was clear that we will have this problem since at least decade.

But apparently danger of blackouts is too abstract for politicians and general public.
The problem with powerplants is simple - it takes years, decades even if you want to go nuclear. Sites must be prepared (deeds purchased, malcontent locals paid etc), buildings constructed, specialists hired (or even better, taught at our own university) etc. Most of politicians have attention span of 4 years - whatever might happen after that period isn't their problem, it's next goverment's problem.

However the lack of power output isn't the only problem - most of power infrastructure is getting old, as in 50-years-falling-appart-old and is in urgent need of replacement (there's a EU project of building a power bridge through Poland into Baltic States and further into Scandinavia and back again into Denmark which would thankfully require a general upgrade of the power grid). Within 10 years almost all of the old power lines should be changed or regular blackouts due to the hardware malfunction might become a common occurence...


The way I see it, the next elections will be a choice between syphilis and gonorrhoea... PO will be too stagnant and afraid to change the status quo to push any necessary bills (and boy, there are many). PiS will be too preoccupied with internal struggles and looking for traitors, whomever that might be (what I expect is a redo of their previous term). As usual PSL will tag along with the current majority to get some power for themselves (year after year it is said that they are dying out, yet they always get their 6-8% of votes. Never underestimate the power of the countryside) with SLD acting like a lost puppy, wondering what's going on around them...
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Old 10-23-2015, 05:01 PM   #9
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Not really a necro - elections are actually this Sunday.

Well... some interesting things might happen in our political landscape. Several new parties may go over 5% -which means seats in parliament, and two of them I believe to be interesting:

Razem/Together is a new left that I hope might refresh the left side of our politics - for a decade left was almost non-existent and I'm a centrist myself but it's just not healthy. Old left is compromised by its failures from early 2000s and by their association with communism, these are some new people with fresh ideas.

Nowocześni/Modern - a kind of ultra-liberal (in European sense) party, will never get too big, but may become a nice addition, in coalition may provide some competent technocrats to the government.

But two top contenders are usual suspects: centre right Civic Platform and crazy-right Law and Justice. Seriously, who calls themselves Law and Justice, are we in some kind of Western?

Personally I don't really like any party, Civil Platform ruled for two terms and they did a mediocre job at best. But I'm old enough to remember a short rule of Law and Justice that took place 2005-2007. And it wasn't a tragedy but it was aesthetically disgusting. They have some crazy ideas about foreign affairs (they generally wanted to be tough and decisive but what they actually did was offend everybody Poland needs to work with) but the worst thing was their ideology. Strong leader, strong state, anachronistic vision of patriotism, sucking up the catholic church that is way to powerful politically here, anti-corruption propaganda serving as a cover for taking over every sphere of public life and attempted dismantling of the trichotomy of power (division between legislative, executive and judicial powers in the state). Not a nice mixture that caused their decline, but it was long ago and a new generation of voters doesn't remember much of it.

After almost ten years, I still hate them so f* much... I'm almost ready to vote Civic Platform just to keep L&J from power. Almost. But I don't really know who to vote for, I'll make a last minute decision on election day probably, first time for me to do so.

As far as energy goes... we can't get rid of coal, it's what we have locally. Nuclear power is difficult, takes lots of time and long term planning that is not really possible without a stability of government - and our two main parties hate each other too much to continue rivals' policies after power changes hands. A mixture of cleaner coal and renewable energy is what we realistically can get. And there is money enough for that, we just need a smart minister or two to create and supervise a long-term plan. So we are screwed, that's unlikely to ever happen
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Old 10-23-2015, 06:31 PM   #10
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As long as people who hate Russians win I'm pretty happy.
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Old 10-23-2015, 07:19 PM   #11
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As long as people who hate Russians win I'm pretty happy.
Amen to that, but that's pretty much everyone here

(with one distinction - we hate Russia, Russians are mostly ok, especially after you drink some vodka with them )
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Old 10-23-2015, 10:53 PM   #12
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Realistically, this is a fight for not giving Law and Justice supermajority. There was a time when they were surging in the polls high enough to make that fear viable. Unfortunately, most senior citizens will vote for them and other people will vote for anyone that isn't the Civic Platform just to get back at them for doing a rather shitty job.

L&J have the advantage of having their Big Boss in place. CP sent Tusk off to be a boss man in the EU and over the last decade or so those two guys have become the bones of their parties. Right now, the Platform is weakened by the absence of its leader.

Korwin will get into parliament, which is just lovely. This guy is a wacko. Also, since L&J will win, our foreign policy will get raped. Kaczyński is still looking to exact revenge for his late brother and will shake his fist at Russians every chance he gets. My biggest worry is that he'll also be a dick to Germany, like he was 10 years ago, and that's just plain stupid. Germany is our biggest and most important trade partner. CP did a decent job with foreign relations if nothing else, which is why I'm most likely going to vote for them.
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Old 10-24-2015, 03:13 PM   #13
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Man, it's illegal to talk about this right now, electoral silence :P

I agree with everything but the second half of the last sentence... I'd change it to "but it's still not enough for me", maybe they disappointed me a couple more times, I'm an active voter since the first elections they participated in.
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Old 10-24-2015, 04:03 PM   #14
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Man, it's illegal to talk about this right now, electoral silence :P
Fight da powah, rebel.

Polish politics has consistently sucked a big donkey cock since we joined EU.
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Old 10-24-2015, 04:09 PM   #15
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POLITYKA had a very good article about what this elections are really about: Do you want Jarosław Kaczyński to gain ultimate power in Poland?

And this is true. If PiS gains supermajority we can start shouthing "Hail Kaczyński" and "Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer, Ein Kirche".
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Old 10-24-2015, 04:25 PM   #16
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I would rather have both Kaczyński and Korwin-Mikke in the parliament than a L&J supermajority. I wonder what stance Kaczyński will take regarding the migration once he's in office (because it's a given he will be).
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Old 10-24-2015, 05:06 PM   #17
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I like how L&J tried to keep Kaczynski from talking so to not ruin their campaign ... which almost worked, until he went full retard on refugees (protip: never go full retard).

As for the foreign relations, we used to be pretty patient, so I'd tell you not to worry, we deal with all kinds of special people -- but given the recent trends of stopping to give fucks, by overruling and/or creating various Europes, you might indeed get left behind eventually.
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Old 10-24-2015, 05:17 PM   #18
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Polityka is, and Wyborcza and Tok FM as well. But their audience won't determine the outcome of the elections. Just as NYT won't choose the next POTUS nor Guardian the next PM.

What will happen? It's tricky... if many small parties get close to, but not enough (5%) votes, the premium for winner might be big enough to get L&J their 51% of seats. And with the traditional left going as a coalition, which means they need 8% to get any seats, 8% they might not get...

So, with no chance of Civic Platform win, this is the first time in years I feel comfortable in voting for the greater good, not lesser evil.

We are going to have a Duck in power, the question is, will it be single party government or some funny coalition like the last time.

Migration... ridiculous stance, that's certain. With hardly any Middle-Eastern migrants going our way, and Ukrainians filling niches in our economy that need filling... we can safely take as many Syrians as the EU wants to direct here. They'll escape to Germany in a couple of weeks anyway. But no, right wingers are determined to stop the 'muslim menace'. The good fight is being mainly fought on facebook, luckily
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Old 10-25-2015, 04:08 PM   #19
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Exit polls:



Enough to govern alone or not? Edit:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Politico
The results imply that PiS will get 242 seats in the 460-member parliament, enough for a majority, while Civic Platform will have 133.
http://www.politico.eu/article/polan...y-elections-2/
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Old 10-25-2015, 04:26 PM   #20
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Just one thing to say about this 'election' - good thing I'm already in Germany. Supermajority for L&J is just about the worst thing that could happen for Poland, IMO.

Tis will be fun times back home.
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