Today, I have some very bad news. Yes, this is the end of democracy in Poland. Yesterday (2015 parliamentary elections), the votes of Poles began this process, today it is in the middle, and tomorrow (2019 parliamentary elections), it may end with the death of the free Republic of Poland as we know it.
The Law and Justice party did not win the election in 2015 because it had had a good political program, but because those who were supposed to defend freedom turned out not to be too devoted to their cause.
The rule of law is an “essential guardian of freedom,” as emphasized by Fred McMahon, from the Fraser Institute, in the Foreword to the most recent edition of the Human Freedom Index.6 The rule of law is also an important element of a sound democracy.
When, back in April 2015, I had the honour and pleasure of setting up NowoczesnaPL with Ryszard Petru and 19 other eminent individuals, we didn’t expect that Law and Justice (PiS) would be able to ruin Poland to the extent that it has. For ruining the country is exactly what it is doing.
The controversial cover of the Wysokie Obcasy (High Heels) issue released on February 17, 2018, featuring three women wearing t-shirts with the “Abortion is OK” slogans, brought about a heated discussion in Poland. Interestingly, it resonated the most in the anti-PiS (Law and Justice) camp.
Now, the ruling party wants to get rid of the private enterprises from the emergency medical services. The regulations provided by the draft bill, currently proceeded by the Parliament, constitute a model example of a regulatory expropriation.
In his first parliamentary speech, PM Mateusz Morawiecki repeated many theses of the government. Some of them are wrong and contradict the experiences of other countries. Others, while right, stand in clear contradiction with the actual actions of the Polish government.
Poland cannot allow to have its law go downhill nor to have sect-like religious behaviors promoted. The former puts paid to the accomplishments of the Polish Round Table Talks of 1989. The latter, on the other hand, disgraces the sheer idea of religion.
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
Despite the likely win of the PiS, the Polish election is going to open large space of uncertainty. Minority government of the Law and Justice might be the outcome. However, such government would not be able to rule the country for long and the next early elections could be expected as early as in 2016.