Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Tusk's leftist strategy pays off

Prime Minister Donald Tusk's veer of his Civic Platform (PO) away from reform and toward the "pro-social" policy that now characterises all parties in Poland has paid off. News comes Tuesday that the Social Democratic Party of Poland (SDPL) is close to finalising a deal for some of its members to run on PO lists in the October general elections.

If true, both parties are likely murmuring the old phrase: if you can't beat them, join them.

The PO was never really popular when it talked a lot about deregulation, pension reform, spending cuts and the like. Now that it more or less sounds like all the other parties on economic policy, its support is higher than any other ruling party this close to elections.

The SDPL, well, that's one history lesson those in Poland Is Most Important (PJN), the ex-Law and Justice (PiS) splinter group that is itself splintering, should not have skipped.

The SDPL was formed in 2004 when the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) was teetering on the brink. A bunch of leftists and centre-leftists decided they had the chance of forming a 'real' centre-left party shorn of the baggage of post-Communism and then created the SDPL.

In a key vote of no-confidence in 2005 in then Prime Minister Marek Belka, the SDPL decided to back Belka and build support for elections then scheduled for the autumn rather than go for early elections even though there support was high. The extra time allowed the SLD to recover and the SDPL's early support bled away. It failed to make parliament and it has been in the wilderness ever since.

The PO's less radical policy and the SDPL's banishment produce what Vasyloo was talking about yesterday: the grounds for some star transfers.

Soon we'll all likely be saying 'welcome back Dariusz Rosati and Marek Borowski and Marek Balicki and Isabella Sierakowska and a whole raft of other professional politicians.' They'll be laughing, as will Tusk and PiS boss Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who can accuse the PO of being in bed with the left. SLD leader Grzegorz Napieralski? Not so much.

1 comment:

  1. It is a real shame. It shows that Poland is not really ready for proper multi-party politics yet. In Ukraine only one party counts- the ruling party- and after each election those in the opposition back benches shift over to the government. In Poland, it looks like this shuffle is happening before the elections. PJN -Power jest najważniejsza