Thursday, September 29, 2011

Dildos & guns pay off

I have argued Poles are tired of politics. The latest opinion poll from SMG/KRC -- and though you always need to take polling results in Poland not just with a grain of salt but rather with a whole mug of it -- showed that Poland's political jester Janusz Palikot enjoys bigger support than the Polish Peasents' Party (PSL) and is only a point behind the post-communist Democratic Left Alliance (SLD).

This is only one of many polls showing the Palikot Movement's (RP) support on the rise. I would tie this upward push not only to his dildo and gun-swinging press conference tactics and active anti-Civic Platform (PO) campaign (his supporters are following Prime Minister Donald Tusk's tour de Pologne and disturbing his meetings), but most of all to the weakness of the PO and SLD.

After a couple years of the Civic Platform spitting in the face of its core voters -- pro-market, young, urban, rather well-off -- Palikot is an obvious alternative for the "anger vote" from people that are now in the "I don't have anyone to vote for" group.

This same mechanism explains another surprise: Janusz Korwin-Mikke, Poland's most active and failed fanatic conservative liberal, has the support of 4 percent, or only one point below that needed to qualify for parliament. This reflects the anger of all those who are hardcore liberals but are on the conservative side of the PO -- these people would not never vote for Law and Justice (PiS).

Palikot's relatively high support is also the result of what is going on with the SLD, where under leader Grzegorz Napieralski the party is more interested in internal struggles than in actually finding and convincing someone to vote for it.

The bottom line is that I would not be surprised if the Civic Platform falls victim to its own strategy of trying to increase turnout for the October 9 election. While in 2007 a surge in the number of young voters helped bring it to power, this time around young voters might chose those politicians that still have the guts to go out and talk about ideals, liberties, reforms, and even wave a dildo from time to time and reject the ones preaching the "realpolitik" mantra, which for many young Poles looks way too much like "all we care is keeping power."

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