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Polish Election 2011 made simple - Part 1

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 28.09.2011 12:17
PO, PiS, SLD, PSL? Confused about Poland’s general election and its party political alphabet soup? Well, be confused no longer with our simple guide to Election 2011.


Today we look at Civic Platform and Law and Justice. Tomorrow it’s the turn of Democratic Left Alliance and Polish Peasants' Party and then on Friday we look at some of the outside bets to get seats in parliament on election day, 9 October.

Civic Platform (PO)

Leader: Prime Minister Donald Tusk

Party slogan: The next step – together!

Profile: Civic Platform is a centre-right party in the mould of many christian-democrat parties in Europe and has been the senior coalition partner in government since the 2007 elections.

The party is for a small state, in both the economic and social spheres, but styles itself as pro-EU and 'pro-business'.

Their party manifesto promises “smart economic growth”: “We must move from the stage of raising efficiency and capital accumulation to building wealth based on innovation and creating competitive advantages such as knowledge and creativity,” says the party manifesto.

The party fashions itself as being for consensual politics and against the more abrasive approach of its main rival, Law and Justice, to be the largest party in the lower house (Sejm) and upper house (Senat) after the elections.

Law and Justice (PiS)

Leader: Former prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski

Party slogan: Modernity, Solidarity, Security

Profile: Like Civic Platform, Law and Justice members mainly stem from the 1980s Solidarity movement.

Regularly described as being to the 'right' of Civic Platform they are, in fact, more statist in their policies.

The party's election program declares that: “For four years the Polish people have been ruled by a simplified version of liberalism which does not appreciate the importance of the State as a common good.”

The Civic Platform-led coalition has been marked by policies resulting in a “predatory privatisation” and a “rise in unemployment to 13 percent of the workforce”.

Law and Justice promises a policy in which “the fruits of economic development also benefit less affluent citizens and the economically weaker regions; and a country where the family and the education of children meet with due recognition and support from the state.”

Law and Justice is generally seen as more EU-sceptic than Civic Platform, and more socially conservative. (pg)

Election 2011 made simple - Part 2

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