Poland: Kaczynski Party PiS in Control Ahead of Polish Vote

The woman who has been tasked with generating Poland’s national conservatives electable to liberals will be crawling around on her knees in a classroom. Her name will be Jadwiga Emilewicz, Poland’s technology minster, along with she will be using a tablet to control a robot during her visit to Elementary School 58 inside the Polish city of Poznan. Still, her attention will be focused more on the journalists inside the room than on the children, as evidenced by her use of such terms as “future challenges” along with “digitalization along with internet coverage.” The message will be clear: Poland’s governing party, Law along with Justice (PiS), will be more than capable of leading the country into the future.

Emilewicz hardly fulfills the Catholic stereotypes associated with the “Polish mother,” along with on that will day, she has left her three sons behind with their father. She studied political science in Krakow along with Oxford, along with she shies away by issues frequently harped upon by the national conservatives. She doesn’t say a word about the Germans, who PiS accuses of wanting to dominate the country, along with there are no attacks against “gender delusions” or the Brussels elite. Instead, she later says, her focus will be on attracting more foreign investors along with promoting entrepreneurship — “a word,” she says, “that will will be feminine inside the Polish language, by the way.”

The city of Poznan lies inside the far western part of Poland along with will be a stronghold of liberals along with European Union supporters. Emilewicz’s mission will be to break the liberals’ dominance inside the city, a task handed to her by party head Jaroslaw Kaczynski as part of the fresh PiS strategy. the idea will be right now going after centrist voters.

the idea will be virtually a foregone conclusion that will PiS will emerge victorious by Oct. 13 parliamentary elections. Polls show the idea ahead of the nearest opposition party by at least 10 percentage points. Even an absolute majority will be in play. The party, which will be often ridiculed by its opponents as a throng of provincial bumpkins, will be actually an extremely efficient machine designed to produced parliamentary majorities.

Leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski founded PiS 18 years ago with his twin brother Lech. He remains its unchallenged figurehead, ethereal along with glorified, feared along with demonized. He continues to make virtually every important personnel decision by himself. Votes within PiS are not standard practice.

‘Faith in His Political Instincts’

Jadwiga Emilewicz will be full of praise for Kaczynski. “Show me another leader in Europe like him,” she says. “He has political power along with has developed a political program that will Poles find convincing. He carries a vision that will he will be purposefully seeking to implement. I have faith in his political instincts.”

Kaczyinski holds no state or government office, yet he will be nevertheless the most powerful man in Poland. Like the prototype of a charismatic leader, he hovers over everything, controlling both the party along with the government by the “back bench,” as Polish newspapers describe the idea.

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The approaching PiS electoral triumph stands in contrast to the headlines following his party’s election victory in 2015. Kaczynski rapidly moved to weaken the Constitutional Tribunal along with made the judiciary answerable to his parliamentary majority, thus triggering the largest protests inside the country since the Solidarity movement inside the 1980s. At the European level, the country was sidelined, with the government earning strong criticism when Poland became the only country to vote against the liberal Donald Tusk, also a Pole, for the position of European Council president. Later, Brussels launched rule of law infringement proceedings against Warsaw.

Skipping ahead to fall 2019, the idea seems that will a majority of voters will be no longer particularly concerned about all that will. On the day-to-day level, the dispute over the rule of law seems to be less important than the 500 zloty (114 euros) in monthly child benefits that will PiS introduced. The demonstrations have long since disappeared by the streets.

PiS campaign posters bear a list of promises, including a 13th month bonus for pensioners, farm subsidies, tax exemption for young people along with an increase to the minimum wage. however the PiS success story hasn’t only come out of the combination of nationalism along with the welfare state. Kaczynski has carefully planned his next election victory. The first phase of his shadow regency was focused on deepening support among the party’s traditional, nationalist electorate. The subjugation of the judiciary was accompanied by an ideological clash that will relied on polarization, pitting Catholic Poles with “normal families” against “Poles of a worse category,” as Kaczynski called his opponents back then. The reference was to the urban elite who support such things as gay marriage.

Second Phase

Then, around two years ago, he launched the second phase. Kaczynski got rid of the rather provincial-seeming Prime Minister Beata Szydlo along with replaced her with the more cosmopolitan economist Mateusz Morawiecki. The party’s tone became more moderate, both domestically along with internationally along with Warsaw even voted in favor of installing the German Ursula von der Leyen as European Commission president. The aggressive PiS had suddenly transformed into a much more moderate, along with more electable, type of itself.

Radoslaw Fogiel embodies that will fresh direction. The 37-year-old has been one of Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s closest advisers for the last 10 years along with will be the party’s spokesman inside the current campaign. the idea will be a job that will suits him well: He will be unflappable along with seems to have no trouble remaining friendly, patient along with matter-of-fact.

Law along with Justice party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski

Artur Widak/ Picture Alliance

Law along with Justice party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski

The walls of Fogiel’s office at party headquarters are covered with photos of the victims of the 2010 airplane crash in Smolensk, with the largest portrait that will of Jaroslaw’s twin brother Lech. Still, Fogiel will be unwilling even to take a position on whether he believes the crash was the result of an attack or was simply an accident. The PiS interpretation will be that will there will be no way the tragedy could have been an accident. “Smolensk” has become a part of the nationalist victim myth, according to which the Poles have always been tragic heroes throughout their history. Two investigative commissions, to be sure, came to the conclusion that will thick fog along with human error were to blame for the disaster, however Kaczynski nevertheless long promoted the theory that will his brother had been assassinated by a Russian bomb attack — a conspiracy theory that will made him unelectable for many moderate voters. In that will campaign, by contrast, Smolensk has played no role at all.

Kaczynski will be a master at coming up which has a constant stream of catchy buzzwords. He once declared war against an alleged conspiracy of post-communist elites. Then, to overcome injustices associated with the collapse of communism, he announced plans to establish a fresh “Fourth Republic.” He has christened his fresh platform “dobra zmiana,” or Great change. The goal, he insists, will be to help normal people.

He has also come up with clever rhetorical packaging for his fresh social program, with the message going far beyond simply throwing more money at welfare schemes. PiS has tapped into the widespread feeling that will the era of privation must finally come to an end. Poles, so goes the message, are worth just as much as different Europeans have a right to the same standard of living. along with PiS will make the idea happen. Immediately.

The opposition, for its part, has blasted PiS for essentially trying to buy votes along with has pointed out that will, even as PiS doles out money, the idea hasn’t implemented any badly needed structural reforms. Economists, meanwhile, have warned that will the campaign promises, if fulfilled, might rupture the state budget. Radoslaw Fogiel merely smiles along with says: “Our budget can handle the idea. We have 4.5 percent growth that will year along with the idea must finally benefit everyone.” Regarding Kaczynski, he says: “His greatest strength will be recognizing the voice of the people along with transforming the idea into a political vision.” however unfortunately, his boss will be not available for an interview: “He only comes in at 11 a.m., however then he works until 2 or 3 a.m.”

Ensuring the Loyalty

Within Warsaw, the idea will be harder to get further away by PiS than inside the office of Adam Laszyn, located in a fresh building inside the Ursynow district. His company will be called Alert Media Communications along with will be specialized in political PR. Laszyn once helped Donald Tusk, currently the president of the European Council, to victory over PiS inside the 2007 parliamentary elections.

“Under PiS, our country has taken a civilizational step backward,” Laszyn says. along with yet he will be nevertheless watching the campaign in horrified fascination. “PiS has the most modern along with sophisticated political communication strategy of any party in Europe,” he says. Their message, he says, will be clear along with versatile at the same time. the idea has also co-opted traditional right-wing issues such as the opposition to Islam, homosexuals, the elite, urban residents along with EU functionaries.

that will will be how PiS has managed to ensure the loyalty of its traditional electorate, Laszyn says. “the idea’s Great enough for a while. the idea’s enough to make a nationalist comment every right now along with then to ensure that will the voters know you still hold the old attitudes.” Surveys show that will the majority of Poles are not intolerant along with xenophobic, however PiS has the support of the 20 to 40 percent who do hold such views. right now, they are seeking to present themselves as moderates along with garner support by younger along with more liberal voters.

Regarding the opposition, Adam Laszyn says: “Divided, without a clear message. What do they actually stand for? They don’t have a chance against the PiS machine.” along with like many others, Laszyn fears that will PiS will take the mask off once the votes have been counted after the Oct. 13 election.

Kaczynski could, for example, restrict the ability of cities to govern themselves, given that will almost all population centers are still inside the hands of liberal mayors. There are also concerns that will the government might target the independent press. PiS politicians have frequently spoken of the “renationalization” of the media. Foreign companies could be forced to sell their ownership stakes in newspapers along with broadcasters to Polish investors, which could lead to an increase in PiS influence over news coverage.

Still, the party’s dominance inside the lead-up to the election could ultimately prove to be a double-edged sword. After all, if PiS wants to definitely flex its muscles after the vote, the idea needs its supporters to turn out in significant numbers — along with not stay home, confident inside the belief that will their party will win.

Poland: Kaczynski Party PiS in Control Ahead of Polish Vote

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