Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Crazy like a duck

Law and Justice (PiS) leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski, sometimes called the duck, his surname's meaning, might face a court-ordered psychiatric test to see whether he is loco. Though we all know the answer to that one, the latest court ruling actually means he might escape such an ignominious event, barely.

It all started when a judge hearing a slander case between Kaczynski and Janusz Kaczmarek, an interior minister fired by Kaczynski during his rule in 2006-07 and who Kaczynski accused of being a "sleeper agent," ruled recently that Kaczynski should undergo a psychiatric evaluation. This was in part to see whether he was fit to stand trial since Jaroslaw was sedated heavily in the wake of the April 2010 plane crash that killed his twin brother Lech, the then president.

The ruling touched off a veritable storm, as could be expected when a court order implies the leader of the opposition could be crazy. No master of understatement, Kaczynski accused the government of trying to put in place a dictatorship or some such thing.

The original judge was replaced and a new one began looking at the case. Her first ruling on the matter came Monday and it was to stop an evaluation that had been set for July 6. This does not mean a reversal of the original ruling regarding the test, though this seems likely eventually.

But if the judge does take a "mad" decision, a "crazy" test could be called. If Kaczynski refused to comply, he could be detained and forcibly made to undergo the evaluation as long as the lower house allowed for it. Though that seems unlikely, it raises at least the possibility of what would be a hilarious vote.

The test, if it does occur, will paint Jaroslaw as either (a) an obsessive-compulsive paranoid delusional with a fetish for cats or (b) an upstanding member of the community with a healthy respect for debate, democracy and deliberation. You make the call.

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