Poles head to polls in parliamentary elections.
Polls show conservative parties heading for victory in Sunday's Polish parliamentary election. Poland's government works on a parliamentary system with a Prime Minister, but also incorporates a strong Presidency with veto power and control of foreign affairs. Translation: This election is not quite as important to Poland as last week's elections were to New Zealand and Germany, but they are significantly MORE imporatnt than a Congressional election in the USA (Note to Polish readers: Please correct me if I described the system of government wrong, the Wikipedia article was slightly confusing).
The Sejm (parliament) is currently contolled by the remnant of Poland's communist party, the Democratic Left Alliance (which is now Social Democratic in ideology), and is headed by Prime Minister Marek Belka. However, Mr. Belka's government appears set to fall after enduring several corruprtion scandals. Polls indicate that 60% of voters will back a center-right coalition of the Law and Justice Party, headed by former child-actor Jarosław Kaczyński, and the Citizens' Platform Party, headed by Jan Rokita. The real competition is not whether these two parties will take over, but which one will gain more seats and install its leader as Prime Minister.
My personal choice is the Citizens' Platform party; which advocates a flat tax, handing more power to local governments, and a privatized healthcare system. The Law and Justice Party puts more focus on cracking down on crime and has accused Citizens' Platform of trying to start a "Liberal Revolution" ("Liberal" meaning in favor of free markets, not leftist). Personally, such a "Liberal Revolution" sounds like quite a good idea based on Citizens' Plaform's platforms (Wow, this post really lends itself to wordplay).
Other than the conservatives and the Democratic Left Alliance, there are a few other parties: the League of Polish Families, which is to the right of the conservatives; the Self Defense of the Republic of Poland Party, which is highly nationalistic and isolationist; the Democratic Party, which is centrist; and the Polish Peasant Party, which is also centrist and focusses on agrarian issue.
Good luck to the conservatives, and especially Citizens' Platform.
Notes: Poland will also be having the first round of a Presidential election on October 9th, with a runoff between the top two candidates later if needed. Law and Justice Prime Ministerial candidate Jarosław Kaczyński's identical twin brother, Lech (also a former child-star), will be the Law and Justice candidate for President. Jarosław says that he will not take the post of Prime Minister if Lech is elected President.
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