October 31, 2013
New Name for Palikot’s Party
The Palikot Movement, the third largest party in the Polish parliament, Oct. 6 changed its name to Your Movement, in a bid to broaden its appeal amid shrinking support in the polls.
The party, set up in June 2011 by Janusz Palikot, one of Poland’s most controversial and flamboyant politicians, says the name change reflects the fact that it has matured and developed.
But political opponents say the rebranding exercise is a desperate attempt to stay afloat. The Palikot Movement has lately been hovering around the 5-percent level of voter support needed to make it into the next parliament. This is half the support it received in the last parliamentary elections in 2011, when it secured 36 seats in the lower house of parliament and caused a stir by outperforming the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), its main rival among Poland’s leftist groups.
“The Palikot Movement needs to grow into a new, stable, broad and mature political group with deep social roots and a sizable pool of experts,” said Jan Hartman, a professor of philosophy and head of the new party’s National Political Council, while outlining the goals of Your Movement at a party convention. According to Hartman, the key values championed by the party are freedom, equality, jobs, progress and trust, while one of its most important goals is to actively fight unemployment.
“The state is supposed to protect the freedom of citizens. We want an open, enlightened state,” Hartman said, adding that Your Movement would work to reduce social and economic inequalities.
Janusz Palikot remains the party’s leader, while his deputy is Marek Siwiec, a former prominent member of the Democratic Left Alliance. Your Movement politicians admit that the party hopes to woo leftist voters away from the SLD and also win over some of that party’s politicians. However, SLD leader Leszek Miller said that Palikot’s party plays a marginal role in Polish politics. “I’m not impressed; Polish politics are full of dead projects,” said Miller.