Monday, November 07, 2011

Early Christmas present

Hit the road Zbiggy
Zbigniew Ziobro is no more of Law and Justice (PiS), the conservative-nationalist opposition party run with an unforgiving fist by Jaroslaw Kaczynski. Ziobro and two now ex-leading PiS members were turfed from the party on Friday evening for having the temerity to question the party's strategy after it lost its sixth straight election on October 9. How dare they?

Jaroslaw Kaczynski knows best, clearly. After Karol Karski, the PiS disciplinarian, did an investigation worthy of the name 'Stalinist show trial,' he got Adam Hofman, Kaczynski's poodle, to announce that Ziobro, Tadeusz Cymanski and Jacek Kurski were out for allegedly hurting PiS publicly. Hmmm, wouldn't six straight election defeats comprise hurting PiS publicly as well?

Kaczynski clearly prefers Hofman and Karski to the other three rebels, believing they will be far more valuable to PiS. Well, a politician is only as good as his latest vote count. Let's see, Ziobro - 335,933, Karski - 2,730. Ziobro, for all his many failings has in fact proven popular with voters whereas Karski didn't even make parliament and thus his political career is totally in the hands of . . . Kaczynski.

These most recent ejections are only the latest. In fact, for better or worse, PiS could be so much stronger if it still included all the politicians that were once in the party but were kicked out after clashes with Kaczynski: Radoslaw Sikorski, Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, Marek Jurek, Ludwik Dorn, Pawel Ponclyjusz, Joanna Kluzik-Rostkowska, Elzbieta Jakubiak, Marek Migalski and now Ziobro, Cymanski and Kurski. These individuals account for hundreds of thousands of votes.

Ziobro is to ambition like crack to a plumber, so he should be expected to set up a new party, likely with a considerable chunk of one-time PiS members. In the event, just on Monday evening, Ziobro allies announced the formation of a new parliamentary group. It apparently will be a separate vehicle as long as PiS continues to exclude Ziobro and friends.

This is likely merely a holding strategy until a new party can be formed. It if gets the backing of priest-cum-media mogul Tadeusz Rydzyk, who runs the powerful (at least for the over-65 crowd) radio outlet Radio Maryja, it could be dangerous, at least to Kaczynski and the PiS holdouts.

Then, Ziobro's new party and PiS will race to be the most patriotic, the most holy, the most intolerant, the most Polish, all the while shedding moderate voters. . . Donald Tusk got an early Christmas present.

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