Tuesday, October 25, 2011

No peace in PiS

Looking over his shoulder
Law and Justice (PiS) leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski was once called a political genius for masterminding a pair of come-from-behind election victories in 2005 over the Civic Platform (PO). But genius has been used a lot less courtesy of six straight election defeats. Worse, the Oct 9th loss saw PiS's vote total fall nearly 1mn from four years before despite the PO ruling during the worst economic crisis in decades. If you can't win then, when can you win?

Zbigniew Ziobro, the one-time PiS boy wonder, is asking precisely that question. Speaking via two sympathetic media channels this past week, Ziobro demanded that those in PiS responsible for the latest setback be held accountable. He called for the formation of a broader rightist movement that can actually win an election. He stopped short of calling for Kaczynski to be replaced, but he threatened to launch his own party should change not be forthcoming.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh. That is the sound of pleasure. But, you might wonder, whose pleasure?


You see, Jaroslaw Kaczynski loves only one thing more than his mom and his cat: putting down a good, bloody political rebellion. PiS's election history means he's clearly not the Napoleon of Polish political strategy. But he is definitely the Stalin of Polish politics so good is his ability to purge would-be rivals.

The right-wing of the Polish political scene is in fact littered with the corpses of those who have dared clash with Kaczynski. For the most part, they drift into obscurity. Such was the fate of once important figures like Marek Jurek or Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz or Ludwik Dorn. It looks like Pawel Kowal and Pawel Poncyljusz, two recent rebels from PJN, will share the same destiny.

From this angle Ziobro looks likely to get his comeuppance as he and like-minded mutineers are booted out of PiS.

But this time could be different. Ziobro did not threaten to launch his own 'more nationalist' and 'more rightist' party in the pages of any old newspaper. He did so in Nasz Dziennik, the newspaper run by radical Catholic media mogul Tadeusz Rydzyk.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski will not want to upset Rydzyk as this would threaten the loss of one of PiS's main electoral pillars. A new party would also likely trigger the kind of right-wing infighting that characterised much of the 1990s. The only real beneficiary of all this would also be . . . the Civic Platform.

If PiS self-destructs over the latest election failure, Donald Tusk will laugh all the way back to the PM's office, where he could be safely ensconced for decades to come, making the following picture seem prescient.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. Elegantly written.