Elections 2007: Poles said “no” to a disastrous government

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After two steps backwards, made thanks to the ruling party of Kaczynski twin brothers, the time has come for a step forwards.

On 21 October, citizens of Poland chose normality and peace. The party of Donald Tusk, centre-right and liberal PO (Platforma Obywatelska – Civic Platform) defeated the rightist and populist PiS (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość – Law and Justice). Poles said “no” to disastrous government of Kaczynski twins. No surprise, as the last two years were dominated by quarrels over settling accounts with the past, attempts to antagonize the society, tapping and constant conflicts. Polish economy went on only owing to favorable conditions in the whole European Union, and Poland was many times an object of ridicule of Europe or even the whole world due to incompetence of its diplomatic services.

The elections turned out to be a plebiscite – the majority of the crowds of voters gave their support to PO in order to remove PiS from power. Most probably, many gays and lesbians voted for PO, even though this party had given no promises to the LGBTQ people. PO’s leader, Donald Tusk, declared during the last TV debate that in the field of social issues, as well as the relationships between the state and the Catholic Church, status quo will be maintained. That means no rights for sexual minorities.

On the other hand, Polish LGBTQ people had really very little choice. From the only Polish left-hand party, LiD (Lewica i Demokraci – Left and Democrats), only a few candidates included in their programs the improvement of the situation of sexual minorities. In LiD’s election program, 100 Concrete Points for Poland, only one point concerned sexual minorities and mentioned only combating violence, racism and homophobia. Not a word about civil partnerships.

We may, however, pronounce certain victory. We are saying goodbye to LPR (Liga Polskich Rodzin – League of polish Families), a party that called us perverts, encouraged „curing” homosexuality and threatened with God’s anger. Roman Giertych, its leader, became Minister of Education and decided to remove from teaching curricula everything that could have the faintest relationship to homosexuality. LPR attempted to openly forbid openly gay teachers to work at schools. Finally, LPR is the party of Elżbieta Sowińska, children’s ombudsman known in the whole world due to her statements on the homosexuality of Tinky Winky Teletubby, which moved the public opinion everywhere and made Poland an object of ridicule once again. LPR received little more that 1% votes, which means both staying outside the Polish Parliament and being left without re-financing of the costs of the pre-election campaign – a financial death for the party.

Summing up – we may be glad that two years of irresponsible governments are over, two years of increasing threats for and discrimination of lesbians and gays. However, a lot of work is before us. We must do a lot as concerns our public image, mobbing of politicians and breaking our own prejudice, so that we can finally live in a really open and tolerant country.

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ELECTIONS 2007: On 21 October 2007, early parliamentary elections took place in Poland. The largest number of mandates – 209 seats in the future Sejm (lower chamber of Polish Parliament) were received by PO (Platforma Obywatelska – Civic Platform). PiS (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość – Law and Justice) has the second position with 166 seats. LiD (Lewica i Demokraci – Left and Democrats) received 53 seats, and PSL (Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe – Polish Peasants’ Party) 31. The German minority has one seat.

The election threshold was not met by Samoobrona (Self-Defence) with 1.53 %, LPR (Liga Polskich Rodzin – League of polish Families) with 1.30 %, PPP (Polska Partia Pracy – Polish Labor Party) with 0.99 % and PK (Partia Kobiet – Women’s Party) with 0.28 %.

In Senat (upper chamber) PO has 60 seats, and PiS 39. An independent candidate has one seat.

Attendance was 53.88 % – and it was the highest level in parliamentary elections since the 1989 breakthrough.

Paweł Walczak and Michał Minałto
Translation Uschi „Sass” Pawlik
www.homiki.pl

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