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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Polish Election

Today (Sunday, September 25), the Poles voted for Parliament. There are no official results yet, but exit polling shows (Times Online) that the two center right parties won a majority together:
The two parties making up the new coalition have promised radical reforms, such as introducing the British first-past-the-post electoral system. They also say they will weed out corruption that marred the four-year rule of the Democratic Left Alliance and curb unemployment, which at 18 per cent is the highest in the EU.

They concur on policy towards Russia, and have vowed to lobby other EU states to take a tougher line on increasing authoritarianism in the Kremlin. The plight of ethnic Poles in the Moscow-backed dictatorship of Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus and Russian attempts to dominate Western Europe’s oil supply have been major election issues. But the PO and PiS still have major disagreements about fiscal policy, with the PO proposing a 15 per cent flat tax, and the PiS fighting for higher taxation and welfare spending.
PiS are social conservatives, and PO are free-market conservatives. It looks like the PiS got a few more percentage points than the PO. In October the presidential election will be held, and the man expected to win is the identical twin of the big man in PiS, Jaroslaw Kaczynski. Only in Poland. Lech Kaczynski is now the mayor of Warsaw.

Jaroslaw is expected to be prime minister if the exit polls are correct, but if his brother wins the presidency Jaroslaw has said he will then step down. Angus Reid Consultants has a pretty good condensed history of Poland from the WW period through the present.

Only about 28% of the eligible voters participated in this election. The Democratic Left Alliance lost power as a result of this election. It surprised no one.

As it happens, I know Poland well. The left is dying a slow and painful death, fopr many reasons- not the least of which is the corruption and the attempts to over control the economy.

People want to be rewarded for their efforts- an idea anathema to the left.

The biggest mistake the Germans made with 'Ostlanders' was putting them on the dole from day one. The Poles started behind the eight ball from day one- and as result, they actually WORKED. Now, they have a functioning economy, they export workers (builders throughout western Europe LOVE Polish workers- they work harder and faster) and slowly but surely, they are attracting foreign investment.

I read somewhere that per capita, they are drawing more foreign investmentr capital than Germany.

You reap what you sow.

How times have changed. After the Wall came down, a Polish banker complained bitterly about the Germans. He told me, "Before, they used bullets. Now they use Deutschmarks."

How times have changed. Polish companies are buying German enterprises- abnd importing their workers if need be.
Yes, the Polish economy is growing. It's just that they had been driven so far down by decades of Communism that they have a long way to go. I think if they flat tax they will continue to grow. I am concerned that France and Germany will attempt to change the rules of the game because of the competition, though.

Regarding Deutschmarks, after liberation the Poles passed a law preventing Germans from buying up the land.
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