Poland survived the 2010 local elections (small-government in cities, regions and voivodships). New superstars appeared and lost In most cases. Existing apparatchiks won in many regions, promising people amazing changes, to forget them a day after the elections. The battles were between national-level political parties, extending downwards their useless squabbles and ideological divisions. Within each party, the strategists saw local elections as a precursor to the elective competition of 2011, a test of strength and competence. Other saw it as a way to extend their power into new areas, where a lot of money is distributed, wages are good (and under low scrutiny) and friends can be given lucrative posts. For even others, the 2010 election was an opportunity to secure a good place NOW, instead of waiting for an electoral loss in 2011 – aware of their own party’s weaknesses, they doubt its ability to win in the parliamentary elections, and thus prefer to gain a post, any post, in 2010 and watch the 2011 circus from the sidelines.
Yet, even in the murky and dodgy underworld of local politics something is stirring… In a few places the big parties LOST, while local groups won a decent number of seats. Groups focused on the needs of the locality (be that village, town, city, region) and far-removed from national-level political psychoses and battles. It seems Poles are slowly waking up and are beginning to recognise the fact that current parties are useless channels of power, ambition and greed and have little respect for the needs of the common person.
This awakening is too late for 2011 parliamentary elections – the seats have already been decided by the power brokers, candidate lists are being set-up based on loyalty and NOT performance or skill. The media machines are picking up speed. 2011 is too soon for a major change to occur.
PO, the centrist free-market incompetents, will secure about 30%.
PiS, the right wing nutters, will get mid 20s, because the Communist-era older generation is still around, and hates the post-1989 state.
The left will oscillate around 15%.
The new players, PJN, will take 15% of a combined “stolen” electorate: right of PO and left of PiS. Their emergence is a first flash of light in the cemented political stage that has retained the same dumb-smiling faces since 1989. They will give voters of PO and PiS an intermediate solution, which will be welcomed.
The true change will come in 2015, and this is when I want to see the end of “post-communist” Poland, the end of sneaky incompetents who value loyalty and informal networks and penalise skills, competence and professionalism. We will be AFTER a 2014 local election cycle, in which the new entrants would have proven themselves and been re-elected, whereas the old-timers will be given a send-off after proving their incompetence once more. 2015 will bring a Poland where there is less EU money, so less love can be bought with Brussels’ money. The effects of the global and EU economic crises will be known, and a need for guided recovery will be strong. In the coming 4 years, the current political parties will begin to change, irreversibly (which is good for ordinary Poles):
– The senior management is getting older, and their health (courteousy of the bad Communist era medical system in which they grew up) will deteriorate, forcing many to the sidelines;
– Many ambitious, who will be betrayed in 2011, will seek new avenues of progression, forming alliances or new parties;
– Citizens, witnessing the world and EU deal with the crisis, will increasingly understand the moronic incompetence of Polish leaders, and will seek new gurus.
– The demographic structure will be different;
– Education will work its way even deeper into society;
– If the economy keeps going the way it is (and whom can lead it towards salvation? We don’t have big theories and leaders), then the burden of life will be growing each year, increasing anger and frustrations within society.
So, my vision of the 2015 parliamentary elections is one of a collapsing dictatorship, with old “politbiuro” apparatchiks, fat, lazy, ill and with memory loss, discovering that their country has left them far behind, and they are not in tune with the needs of common Poles. And then, even shutting down the internet, will not help glorious moronic leaders, keep their power. Tunisia and Egypt are only the beginning, and as the economic crisis does its dirty work, more change will follow.
Should there come forth a NEW movement (and I do not mean Palikot), with new ideas, theories, backed by a group of key thinkers, then if it emerges by 2013, it should be able to play a vital role in 2015, focusing and leading the debates, forcing the other, monolithic and dumb parties to react, chasing this new entity, trying to disprove its theories and concepts, but never truly able to fight on an even footing (like a student can never have an even discussion with a professor). And the citizens will appreciate newness of idea, vision, energy and optimism. Because they are sooooo tired of the same old faces on TV throwing the same old slogans around, while putting into cushy jobs more of their own friends and families, while the citizens suffer more every day.
One more thing: Polish politicians have forgotten Poland’s history and the tendency of Poles to do things in other, un-democratic, ways. When tired of pointless elections, what does the citizen have left? Hmmmmmm…