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The Warsaw Voice » Society » November 3, 2014
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From the editor
November 3, 2014   
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After a party, a man goes into the kitchen and seeing a pile of dirty dishes wrings his hands and goes to bed. A woman rolls up her sleeves and gets down to work. Once she agreed to take over from Donald Tusk, Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz—the woman that she is—got down to work in earnest.

The beginnings weren’t easy, especially since the media and the political opposition showed yet again that they were focused on unimportant matters instead of the most crucial problems. They homed in on Kopacz’s image more than on issues of substance. The public, however, is showing much more common sense. After Kopacz’s policy speech, her debilitating stage fright during her inauguration ceremony and her clumsy walk on the red carpet in Berlin were all but forgotten. A series of opinion polls have shown that Kopacz’s ruling Civic Platform (PO) is maintaining its lead over the opposition Law and Justice (PiS) party.

Kopacz’s policy speech was a model one, as even skeptics admitted. A disciplined, 45-minute cannonade of facts defined the new Cabinet’s tasks as part of a continuous process. Kopacz is determined to continue along the same lines as her predecessor and also to define what she wants to see happen beyond the end of her first term in the fall of 2015. To the accusation that she was planning for a future period in which she may no longer be heading the government, she replied convincingly that parliament would approve the budget for 2016 in 2015—when she will certainly still be in power.

The opposition, including left-wingers, had such a problem with her policy speech that they have yet to offer a response grounded in hard facts and figures. But real problems lie ahead for the prime minister’s party and for the government. The PO has to win solid political support for her robustly concrete program, which means overcoming internal divisions, differences over policy and personal ambitions. The government, as the prime minister says, has a lot of work to do and, let us add, has to do it well. That’s much more of a challenge than a showdown with the opposition. Because, as one of the oldest political axioms says, you don’t win elections, you lose them.
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