The European elections will be a test for the radical conservative ruling party and the pro-European opposition, but more importantly it will test Polish voters’ ability to make rational choices rather than passionate ones, according to feminist author Magdalena Środa.
Sunday’s elections will be a great national test for Poland.
The elections will be a great test of myths, camouflage, rhetoric and standards of rationality. They will also turn out to be an opportunity to see how powerful the Church, one of the most important political players, is today. They will show whether its legendary influence over the electorate will have been broken because of paedophile scandals, or whether, on the contrary, the faithful (i.e., the believers in the Church) will follow the exhortations of local priests like soldiers of a besieged fortress?
We will also get to see to what extent the Law and Justice party’s (PiS) tactic to present itself as a harmless sheep will work. Because I am absolutely sure that the wolf, as soon the results are announced, will throw away the disguise, hide EU flags, and do everything to pull Poland out of the Union or at least lead to marginalise Poland within the EU as a country that does not recognize its values. But so far, the so-called tactics of ‘hiding Macierewicz” [the radical right PiS deputy leader] were successful, allowing Macierewicz himself to freely pursue his destructive ideas after the general election.
The elections will also be a test of the effectiveness of the European Coalition’s [coalition of the pro-European parties including the Civic Platform] rhetoric. During the campaign, its leader, Grzegorz Schetyna – despite many wrong decisions on nominating the front runners on electoral lists – used a very modern and progressive language, even though while in power for many years, this party was almost as conservative and certainly as pro-Church as PiS. Asking which party is any different from those that were in power since 1989 is of little consolation. The Spring party will be tested for the first time. It deserves a lot of credit: for freshness, secularity, femininity and progressiveness. And a few small minuses: centralism and stardom (of the boss) and lack of public advertisements.
However, the biggest test lays in the Polish standards of rationality. How many Poles wanting to pursue Polish interests in the Union will vote for opponents of the Union? How many for radically incompetent people, whether orally helpless or generally unqualified? How many will chose discredited libertine freaks, retired rockers or neo-fascists pampered in middle-class homes?
Poland is a country known for believing in miracles and impossible things. To what extent will this irrationality translate into electoral strategies and contribute to defeating the project of a European Poland, and to what extent will rationalism claim some ground? We will see on May 26. My personal warning is this: beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing. Because they are mostly con artists. Try to be rational, because it is an important value of European culture.
And above all: vote for women. Both everyday experience and research show that women are better educated, more open and tolerant, have greater respect for rights and greater negotiating ability. They do not strive towards conflicts and wars, on the contrary: they care for others, and because they bear children, they care for the future, they don’t morbidly cultivate the past like old bachelors and confused young people.
There are many wonderful women on the lists in these elections. I will be voting in Warsaw for [former EU commissioner] Danuta Hübner and I regret that I have only one vote.