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The Warsaw Voice » Comments » November 12, 2008
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From the Editor-in-Chief
November 12, 2008   
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During U.S. election night (among the many other differences between Poland and the United States there's also the time difference, hence the "night"), what made the biggest impression here in Poland were the final speeches of the two rivals, especially that of the Republican contender, John McCain.

You didn't need to have particularly sensitive ears to hear a universal murmur of both admiration and envy here. The Polish electronic media immediately filled with praise. Two days later, the printed press (which had been put to bed by the time the speeches came around) brimmed with praise as well. Polish politicians and commentators made no secret of their wistful longing: Why can't this happen here…?

Exactly, why not here? After all, in America too political rivals are happy to lash out at one another, and the level of brutality (yes, we remember) can often overstep acceptable boundaries. Fierce political wars are also fought in America, and the stakes, in both relative and absolute terms, are often much higher than over here.

But both Obama and McCain radiated a noble spirit and respect for each other, and made appeals to settle differences amicably. Was it all show?
Maybe it was for show. If so, this means that voters expect such a stance from their leaders-a stance based on dignity, elegance, and most of all a stance that favors the interests of the state and citizens over the interests of political parties and individual politicians.

Could it be that people in Poland don't set store by these same values and don't demand that their leaders follow them?
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