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The Warsaw Voice » From the News Editor » October 27, 2011
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From the Editor
October 27, 2011   
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The elections are like a mirror we can see ourselves in. And what are we like? Of course, the picture isn’t homogeneous. We’re different. But we can say which of us are more and which are less numerous.

1. Level-headed and open-minded supporters of gentle change, wary of extremism: Civic Platform (PO)—almost 40 percent).

2. Suspicious supporters of strong-arm government, mistrustful of their neighbors, conspiracy theorists: Law and Justice (PiS)—almost 30 percent.

3. Critical of all previous politics, proponents of change, modernity and tolerance: the Palikot Movement (RP)—10 percent.

4. Traditionalists tending their own garden: the Polish People’s Party (PSL)—over 8 percent.

5. Those who consider themselves leftists—more in terms of packaging than content: Democratic Left Alliance (SLD)—just over 8 percent.

The elections are a harbinger of the future. The future can be read from the parliamentary majority and the makeup of the government. Prime Minister Donald Tusk expects tough times but likes to repeat that if anyone enjoys pain they should go to the dentist. He prefers evolution to revolution. He has some room for maneuver as far as building a majority goes. He can choose from three potential coalition partners: the PSL (the previous partner), the RP and the SLD.

He can pick one, holding the others in check. He can win the support of a whole party or individual deputies. In such a game, the PO can be less dependent on its partner.

The elections provide an insight into the political parties as well: the PO stands for stability, PiS for stability despite danger, the RP for a search for identity, the PSL—stability, the SLD—disaster.

The elections are also a label for the country; a stereotypical thumbs-up/thumbs-down kind of evaluation. The foreign press, from New York through Frankfurt to Moscow, has given Poland a thumbs-up. Politicians have stayed tactfully silent.
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