We sometimes hear that the only type of liberalism we need today is “political liberalism” while classical liberal ideas in the economy can be neglected. The view that we need only political freedom, without a broad range of economic freedoms, is not isolated and requires a response.
The Swedish think tank Timbro has presented its “Authoritarian Populism Index”. The index “aims to shed light on whether populism poses a long-term threat to European liberal democracies” (it includes the EU countries as well as Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Serbia, and Montenegro)
On July 26, 2017, Marek Tatala, Vice-President of the Civil Development Forum, spoke at the U.S. Helsinki Commission briefing about democracy in Central & Eastern Europe, which was organized in Washington D.C. In his speech, Tatala emphasized challenges to democracy and rule of law in Poland, including independence of judiciary.
The European think tank network EPICENTER has published the second edition of The Nanny State Index, an indicator of state paternalism in the European Union. The index evaluates restrictiveness of regulations governing the sale and consumption of food, soft drinks, alcohol, tobacco, and e-cigarettes in 28 EU countries in 2016.
The primary goal of populist politicians is to capture (or rather to “buy”) political support, win elections or keep political power. Therefore, they do not use tools necessary to bring long-term prosperity to the people but rather take advantage of whatever can guarantee them short-term political gains.
Hopefully, PiS will moderate its economic programme after the election and renounce some of its harmful pre-election promises. If the new government decides to choose the “Orbánisation” path it will be harmful for Poland, the region and the EU
The dramatic upsurge of CHF/PLN exchange rate in mid-January 2015 triggered in Poland a wave of discussion on the situation of people with mortgages in Swiss currency and who should be deemed responsible for such a state of affairs.
But you cannot build economic well-being only on pro-democratic political changes. You also need economic freedom and all the other keywords listed above.