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Characterizing Poland's political parties


Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
14 Sep 2012  #1
Would you agree to the following descriptions:
PO - centre-right or liberal-conservative
PiS - conservative, right-wing
SLD - post-communist, social-democrat
PSL - agrarian conservative
Solidary Poalnd - conservative, right-wing
Palikot - a bit of everything, leftist, libertine, pro-busienss, anti-establishmentarian (anythign that can win votes)

I realise that those who think solely in economic terms might label both PiS and SLD as leftist (welfare state). The above categories however reflect ideology more than economics.
Ironside 48 | 9,721
14 Sep 2012  #2
PO- grab all monies you can and **** the suckers.
PiS - let rebuild Polish state and then debate about details.
SLD - we are post-communist but we can do it
PSL- peasant ain't stupid and want a piece of cake as well.
Solidarity Poland - we can do it the same but without Kaczynski
Palikot - hey, if I can become MP anybody can, plus pot should be legal and Kaczynski and The RCC sucks.
Forgive me P3, little correction to your list.
Zibi - | 336
14 Sep 2012  #3
PiS - let rebuild Polish state and then debate about details.

LOL. That joke made my day! :-) Otherwise Polonius3, you are quite right with those labels, and PIS indeed is socialist when it comes to economic matters. In fact they don't care for those matters as they know nothing about them.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
14 Sep 2012  #4
Would Poland be better off with a different configure such as that of other countries -- more bipolar: Democrat/Republican (USA), Christian Democrat/Social Democrat (Germany) Conservative/Labour (Britain)?

The downside of having only two main parties (in the US at least) is that many people don't have anyone they can fully identify with to vote for. For instance many PolAms support Romney's conservative social agenda but not his pro-corporate stance. Other Polonians like Obama's pro-working class approach but not his libertine (PC, pro-abortion, pro-gay, pro-feminist and anti-clerical) agenda.

On the other hand, political diversity can also be overdone. The first freely elected Sejm had 29 different parties in it, including some joke groupings like the Beer Lovers Party.
WielkiPolak 58 | 1,034
14 Sep 2012  #5
I realise that those who think solely in economic terms might label both PiS and SLD as leftist (welfare state). The above categories however reflect ideology more than economics.

This is why I am very pro PiS, their stance is something I completely agree with, economically to the left but ideology definitely right.
Zibi - | 336
14 Sep 2012  #6
economically to the left but ideology definitely right.

A nice recipe for disaster, indeed.
jon357 63 | 14,122
14 Sep 2012  #7
PO - centre-right or liberal conservative
SLD - ditto, opportunists who've still got some residual tribal support from trade unionists and ex-communists
PP - A political minnow. What SLD should be if they had any integrity
PiS - left wing fiscal policies, extreme right-wing social policies. Lost support by siding with openly neo-fascist politicians and the Lepper gang
PSL - Agrarian conservative who've still got some residual tribal support among farmers and those who respect them for their long tradition and reasonable (for Polish party politics) behaviour

Solidarty Poland - an irrelevant political minnow with dodgy leadership who will probably pick up some disaffected PiS and PO voters
Ruch Palikota - Opportunists who are very good at picking up votes from disaffectd former SLD and PO voters

A two-party system like England or the US would be great for Poland, but it would never last. It would split up first into political camps and then people like Ziobro with an eye on the main chance would start forming new parties.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
14 Sep 2012  #8
The problem with 2 parties is that usually neither is capcious enough to suit all voters. Before the once ‘solid south’ abandoned the Democratic Party (who embarked on a socially leftist-libertine agenda - McGovern & Co.), there used to be something called Dixiecrats (southern Democrats) who were socially conservative and strong on states rights as opposed to excessive federal (central government) cotrol. Also the Republicans had a liberal (Rockefeller et consortes) wing. PO is also a rather absorptive party with different wings. Whether and for how long Tusk will manage to keep it together before it starts becoming unravelled and unglued remains to be seen. I know next to nothing about British politics, so maybe someone can fill me on on whether Labour and Tories also have different wings in their structures?
jon357 63 | 14,122
14 Sep 2012  #9
They do, however unlike in Poland they usually actually stay in the same party and engage in rather less infighting.
Artur13 2 | 25
31 Jan 2013  #10
Merged: How do Polish political parties compare to American political parties?

I know that PiS is more conservative, but is it safe to compare it to the American Republican party?
What about PO? Is it like the American Democratic Party?
Where would Ruch Palikota fall into the political spectrum in America?

Thank you.
ismellnonsense - | 118
31 Jan 2013  #11
I know that PiS is more conservative

PiS are only socially conservative
they are not economically conservative at all

but is it safe to compare it to the American Republican party?

absolutely not
PiS believe strongly in interventionist economics
they also stand for a very strong welfare / trade union state
much more than democrats
their commitment to the free market is questionable

What about PO? Is it like the American Democratic Party?

no
PO is a christian democratic party with elements of both conservatism and liberal democracy
they are not anything like democrats
except perhaps economically

Where would Ruch Palikota fall into the political spectrum in America?

they wouldnt
but if pushed
they have elements of both the democrats
and libertarians
especially economically

best not to try and compare them to anything that exists

but please dont make the same mistake as many others
PiS are not conservative
PO are not socialist
Artur13 2 | 25
31 Jan 2013  #12
Thank you for clearing everything up. I understand that Polish political parties cannot be compared with American, but I was trying to compare the two political systems. It is a better way to explain to other Polish Americans who are not too familiar with Polish politics.
nasadki - | 43
31 Jan 2013  #13
Which party did/do the twin brothers belong to? They are no longer in power correct?

I always figured Solidarity was left-leaning since didnt they start from union workers? Wasnt Walesa in the electrical union?
legend 3 | 664
31 Jan 2013  #14
Which party did/do the twin brothers belong to? They are no longer in power correct?

PiS. One is dead, the other is the main "opposition" leader from PiS.
PO is in power.

I always figured Solidarity was left-leaning since didnt they start from union workers? Wasnt Walesa in the electrical union?

Those were different times. He was electrician.
ismellnonsense - | 118
31 Jan 2013  #15
Thank you for clearing everything up. I understand that Polish political parties cannot be compared with American, but I was trying to compare the two political systems. It is a better way to explain to other Polish Americans who are not too familiar with Polish politics.

what you need to stress
is that PiS are not conservatives in terms of economics
in fact
they are very hard left wing
more so than the post-communist party

the party enjoys the broad support of two groups
the church
and solidarity
both organisations are very socialist in nature

as for ruch palikota
they are very liberal socially
economically
perhaps libertarian
they are very pro business and the free market
especially for small businesses

Which party did/do the twin brothers belong to? They are no longer in power correct?

they lost power in 2007
and it is currently highly unlikely that they can win
due to the electoral system

I always figured Solidarity was left-leaning since didnt they start from union workers?

correct
there is considerable evidence to suggest that solidarity had no real interest in democracy as such
modern day solidarity is a disgrace and is a great example of what americans despise in trade unions
old solidarity (before 1990) was much more of a social movement
but still very socialist
read their demands sometime if you want an eyeopener
jkb - | 198
1 Feb 2013  #16
PO - liberal conservative, center, center-right party,
PiS - etatist-conservative party (economical left, ideological right)
PSL - conservatives with pro-agrarian program and electorate
SLD - left, social, post-communist party, likes progressive tax and pretends it supports personal freedom
RP - closest to libertarian we have, economical right, ideological left - formed and gained popularity rather fast due to growing demand for a party representing such values

If you analyze this sample diagram I just googled (representing polish political scene a few years ago) you will see the void in one significant area. This is where RP stands, this is also why a significant amount of voters, who didn't feel properly represented politically, decided to support it:

Political scene in Poland
gumishu 11 | 5,012
1 Feb 2013  #17
where did you get this lousy diagram - it tells nothing about the politics in Poland and is simply false
jkb - | 198
1 Feb 2013  #18
If you read my post enough times, you'll notice I mentioned googling the diagram. Not sure how is it false, since it provides a fairly accurate spectrum of polish political scene in early and mid-2000's. If you also care to read with understanding, you'll learn that the diagram was provided only to show the reason for creation of Ruch Palikota party.
APF 4 | 106
1 Feb 2013  #19
What about NOP?
gumishu 11 | 5,012
1 Feb 2013  #20
Not sure how is it false, since it provides a fairly accurate spectrum of polish political scene in early and mid-2000's.

it tells that the left are the most democtratic political circles in Poland which is rubbish as seen from the example of SLD governments

PiS is closer to Hitler good to know - I don't know who was making this diagramme but it is biased as hell
ismellnonsense - | 118
1 Feb 2013  #21
where did you get this lousy diagram - it tells nothing about the politics in Poland and is simply false

i dont agree with it as well
polish politics dont really fit into the traditional left/right spectrum
heck
the concept of catholic socialism is quite uniquely polish
jkb - | 198
2 Feb 2013  #22
it tells that the left are the most democtratic political circles in Poland which is rubbish as seen from the example of SLD governments

I don't think you understand the diagram. To the left you have personal liberty, to the top, economical liberty. The lower/righter you get, the less freedom in this area it means. SLD fits into its presented area, since it's a social party (high taxes, etc.), that's why it's in the lower half of the diagram, but also somewhat supports personal freedom, such as rights for gays, secularism and liberalization of abortion laws, that's why it's also more to the left. Do you understand now?

polish politics dont really fit into the traditional left/right spectrum
heck
the concept of catholic socialism is quite uniquely polish

Not sure how did you miss the fact that this diagram does not depict a left-right spectrum. It's clearly two-dimensional and similar to the Nolan chart. You can easily pinpoint the "catholic socialism" into the lower right of the diagram, whereas catholic can be replaced by any other sort of ideology or concept, posing repressions to personal freedom (hence, to the right).

If you do not agree with placement of any political party on the diagram, I would really like to know why and maybe we can discuss it, instead of just calling it garbage? In my opinion, as stated above, it's pretty accurate.
WielkiPolak 58 | 1,034
2 Feb 2013  #23
@ jkb

The way your describe RP, you make it sound like some sort of saviour to take Poland out of olden times and bring them in to the modern era as it should be. It frightens me that people can think in this way about that mish mash of weirdos, druggies and zip heads. Oh and a rich leader who likes to wave phalluses around.
jkb - | 198
2 Feb 2013  #24
No, not exactly. I'm pointing out that he managed to find a huge gap in the political scene, a place in the spectrum not represented by any political party, mostly unrepresented in parliament, yet having supporters. Once a significant party popped up (Ruch Palikota), people sharing these values of personal and economical freedom, showed their support.

You can't certainly blame Ruch Palikota for forming itself and taking the unrepresented electorate. You can blame other parties for not filling the significant gap.
legend 3 | 664
2 Feb 2013  #25
You can't certainly blame Ruch Palikota for form

I can blame them all I want. Liberal druggy hipster sodomites who want to turn Poland into dung. Hang them.
jkb - | 198
2 Feb 2013  #26
Right, political correctness at its finest. This way you can go ahead and hang PiS, PO, SLD, SP, and all other parties, who want to turn Poland into "dung". Hang them! I'm sorry for you that you are unable to understand that a growing amount of people would greatly enjoy all sorts of freedom, instead of being ideologically or economically repressed by other political options. Sorry to disappoint you, but a party offering both ideological and economical freedom would have emerged sooner or later. We can argue here if Ruch Palikota is a good candidate to represent a part of freedom-movement society or not, but apparently over 10% of Poles support it.
ismellnonsense - | 118
2 Feb 2013  #27
I don't think you understand the diagram

the problem is that the graph doesnt really take into account things such as PO having quite a few centre-left politicans who wouldnt go near the SLD

or PiS having some members who are far more in PO territory
it is insanely difficult to categorise polish politics due to the awkward positions of parties
even the SLD can be quite right wing in some economic areas

The way your describe RP, you make it sound like some sort of saviour to take Poland out of olden times and bring them in to the modern era as it should be. It frightens me that people can think in this way about that mish mash of weirdos, druggies and zip heads. Oh and a rich leader who likes to wave phalluses around.

the thing is
the more people like you say these things
the more people will vote RP

No, not exactly. I'm pointing out that he managed to find a huge gap in the political scene, a place in the spectrum not represented by any political party, mostly unrepresented in parliament, yet having supporters. Once a significant party popped up (Ruch Palikota), people sharing these values of personal and economical freedom, showed their support.

indeed
RP is something totally new in Poland
a party untainted with the past
a party that stands for here and now
and most of all
a party that stands for personal and economic freedom
it says it all that RP won seats in virtually every electoral district
including PiS heartlands

I can blame them all I want. Liberal druggy hipster sodomites who want to turn Poland into dung. Hang them.

says you
an unemployed canadian
who has done nothing for poland
come back when youve done more than post right wing rubbish on polishforums

but apparently over 10% of Poles support it.

exactly
i think we all know that RP filled a gap in polish politics
a party that was willing to say what they thought
and not for pr reasons

i think its also notable that RP were the only party to stand up against bonuses for public officials in times of austerity
where was legend's beloved PiS?
thats right
they were getting rich off the back of poor people
hypocrites
jkb - | 198
2 Feb 2013  #28
the problem is that the graph doesnt really take into account things such as PO having quite a few centre-left politicans who wouldnt go near the SLD or PiS having some members who are far more in PO territory it is insanely difficult to categorise polish politics due to the awkward positions of parties even the SLD can be quite right wing in some economic areas

Alright, that goes to individual persons within parties, but I see this diagram where a party is defined as a whole, dictated by its leaders and the program. Of course, even PiS has more liberal individuals, but it doesn't make them a liberal party whatsoever, as said individuals' opinions are almost always suppressed by the party's majority of fogeys and jackboots.

the thing is the more people like you say these things the more people will vote RP

Exactly. More and more people are getting tired of intolerance and bigotry, omnipresent in polish political life. Something is changing, and whenever a change is giving people more freedom, there is no reason not to support it.

exactly i think we all know that RP filled a gap in polish politics a party that was willing to say what they thought and not for pr reasons

Precisely, and thanks to RP, there is much debate about personal freedom issues that are bothering our country. Something, that SLD failed to do, despite apparently being on the far left of the scene for so long.

'the network' is also known as 'a lot of bull'
legend 3 | 664
2 Feb 2013  #29
Antheads, interesting article but if there is a "network" there are members from various groups inside Poland.
Americans, Germans, Jews, and Russians. There are independent thinking Poles too.

"Clandestine penetration of the Catholic Church... Communists"
I dont understand that fully.

Some people say the Church helped in "winning" over the Communists.
Other people say the Communists send agents to Catholic Church.

With PiS, the two things I dislike are: 1) Kaczynski himself, they need a different choice in my opinion 2)their foreign policy is a bit awkward as well.

Well actually I think NATO should have died after the Wall Fell.
USA seems to like Israel more than most of the NATO countries themselves which makes one wonder.
I think new organization is needed.
antheads 13 | 327
2 Feb 2013  #30
@jkb

got any evidence to back that up buddy? i point you to this and this

Seems like a great read!

The book asks how the changes in Poland involving democratization, privatization and marketization were effected by, and effected, the party/police-state framework within which they occurred. While democracy and Soviet style secret police are inimical, the same can not be said of economic factors and secret police. The book notes the easy congruence between the police apparatus and local and global capitalism. Los and Zybertowicz argue that the privatization of the police state can not be understood without examining the machinations of the various police and security agencies.4



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