Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Praying for Joy on the Ninth

Poland is the superest awesomest (PJN) is cheering. After several hard, trying, troubled months, it finally announced news that doesn't signal its ever nearing demise: it is a caucus again.

PJN, the ex-Law and Justice (PiS) splinter group, announced it wooed a PiS member of parliament (MP), Jan Religa. With the addition, the group will again have the 15 MPs needed to form a caucus, which gives extra parliamentary rights and allows for a more prominent position. That will be crucial as we approach the general elections on October 9th.

But no matter how much prominence, the stench of failure continues to swirl. And the clouds are dark indeed.

PJN started out as a wake up call to PiS strongman Jaroslaw Kaczynski that all was not hunky dory in the party. It announced some relatively good policies (i.e., slashing red tape) and seemed to promise to be a moderate version of PiS, a PiS without Radio Maryja.

Early polling numbers were not stellar but they did point to fair chances for the new party to hurdle the 5 percent electoral threshold.

But then rumours started pasting the headlines with talk of internal strife, now ex-PiS members who wanted to return to the fold, and the fact the leader might abscond to PM Donald Tusk's Civic Platform (PO). You know things aren't going well when the leader wants to leave, not lead.

In the event, ex-PJN leader Joanna Kluzik-Rostkowska duly jumped ship to join the PO. She thus left new PJN leader Pawel Poncyljusz, Elzbieta Jakubiak, former PiS PR spin-meister Tomasz Dudzinski and others to pick up the pieces.

If I had to bet, I'd bet they don't make it (any takers?). But if they do surpass the 5 percent threshold, some sort of miracle will have happened. In that case, I wouldn't be overly surprised to see Poland win the Euro 2012 football championships (which would be a true miracle).

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