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From the Editor-in-chief
August 26, 2010   
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Donald Tusk’s Cabinet is looking back on its first 1,000 days in power. While many other issues are vying for the public’s attention, it is worth examining the government’s track record so far.

The 1,000 days has not been an easy time for the government—marked by the global financial crisis, floods, and the crash of the presidential plane. The list of obstacles also included the government’s unsuccessful cohabitation with the late president, Lech Kaczyński. But then it’s not hard to govern well when things are easy.

Of course, there was no way anyone could get through such a time unscathed. Poland’s economic growth decelerated, though less markedly than in any other country in the EU; a lot of energy was spent on political arguments, and the dialogue with the junior coalition partner—the Polish People’s Party (PSL)—was not easy either.

However, Tusk and his Civic Platform (PO) party won the early presidential election, in which they garnered more than 40 percent of the vote. And this obviously means that they meet at least some of the public’s expectations. A sense of security seems to be the most important expectation. Even though the opposition, especially the Law and Justice (PiS) party, has been doing its best to make people feel insecure, this might be playing into Tusk’s hands and winning him extra supporters. The sense of security is the result of the relatively peaceful atmosphere of everyday life, a belief that we can count on the government in difficult situations, the lack of any sudden moves from the government, strengthening the hope that we are being governed by sensible and predictable people. Poland’s international relations have also been peaceful, without the kind of “shocks” that occurred under the previous government.

The success of his no-sudden-moves policy has made Tusk conclude that when reforming a country, an evolutionary road is much better than a revolutionary one—especially as revolutionary measures usually hurt first before they produce any improvement.

Not everybody in the PO agrees with this view and that will be one of the prime minister’s major problems. But it does not seem he will try to solve it before next year’s parliamentary elections. In politics, a team united during an election campaign (local government elections will be held this fall) is worth a compromise.

The media should be no more favorably inclined towards the government than reviewers are towards theater performances. Suspiciousness and reserve are recommended, so I give the government a B minus after its first 1,000 days at the helm.
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