Elections à la polonaise

Europe is doomed. Seriously. It must be, after all, Mr. (Jarosław) Kaczynski, our former PM, famous for having an identical twin and starring in a movie ages ago, seems to think so.  “Why doomed?” one might ask. Well, the reason is simple: Europe can be strong only if it is a Christian union and the problem, according to Mr Kaczynski, is that today it is anti-Christian and, more specifically, anti-Catholic. 

It was somehow obvious that religion would sooner or later dominate the Polish debate. Funny, however, that Mr. Kaczynski’s belief in the central importance of Catholicism didn’t stop his Law and Justice party from entering into an agreement with the UK’s Tories (who as far as I know are far from Catholic) and the Czech ODS . As for the Czech, may I please quote Wikipedia on this? (I know, I know, not the most reliable of sources but indulge me…) “The Czech Republic, along with Estonia, has one of the least religious populations in all of Europe. According to the 2001 census, 59% of the country is agnostic, atheist, a non-believer or a non-organized believer, 26.8% is Roman Catholic and 2.5% is Protestant. According to the most recent Eurobarometer Poll in 2005, 19% of Czech citizens responded that “they believe there is a god” (the second lowest rate among European Union countries after Estonia with 16%), whereas 50% answered that “they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force” and 30% said that “they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, god or life force”.” Good luck in building the Christian Union Mr. Kaczynski!

On another note – after two (according to the media – very profitable) speeches that Mr. Wałęsa did for the Irish Libertas party, there will be no more. The party tops apparently don’t want to risk having him encourage the Irish to vote FOR the Lisbon Treaty as Mr. Wałęsa promised to do in his May 24 interview with AFP.

And lastly – some Polish politicians have discovered Twitter. The two most notorious Law and Justice spin-doctors have been busy attacking the opposition on the microblogging site. As Gazeta Wyborcza, the biggest Polish daily (rather to the left of the most other media and decidedly liberal) informs us, four out of seven tweets by Mr. Bielan (MEP) and Mr. Kamiński were ridiculing their opponents. And how many tweets have they posted presenting the Law and Justice’s policy program? Zero.



Ralf Grahn
June 05, 2009 | 1:27 PM

Admittedly, the political groups in the European Parliament collect various national oddities, but circumstances induce them to work together, and the major groups run the EP show. But for the UK Conservative Party leaving the mainstream EPP-ED group was a decision of strategic importance in EU affairs, not necessarily to the benefit of UK interests. Even if the attraction of the Kacsynski twins seem to be wane, Poland is sending enough MEPs to Strasbourg/Brussels to shore up the Tories ambitions to form a group with some numerical strength, although they have had to sell their pretensions of respectability. If we try to interpret what is going on, we might conclude that the Tories' hatred of Europe is more visceral than their discomfort with ultra-conservative religious fundamentalists.