This week we discuss the fun that is Polish politics and the center-far right duopoly that exists. We also have some fun times getting into divides in the Orthodox church. Not to mention Macron overreacting to people being mean about him.

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Show Notes

Nonsense Section

Romania moves to block own candidate from EU prosecutor role

Romania moves to block own candidate from EU prosecutor role www.theguardian.com

There are now three Gilets jaunes lists

That 13% polling was speculative when there was one list. Divided between three lists is probably going to favour Macron by diluting the support (www.euractiv.com )

France pulls its ambassador to Italy

Apparently when you say things like “never stopped colonising” and go meet with the president’s new political enemies he gets all mad ( www.dw.com )

Protests in Spain for not that corruption scandal

Tens of thousands gathered in Madrid on Sunday to protest Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s plan to ease tensions with Catalan separatists, in a demonstration uniting the leaders of conservative and far-right parties.

The protest of an estimated 45,000 people marked the first time that the leaders of the conservative Popular Party (PP), centrist Ciudadanos and far-right Vox were photographed together, El País reported.

Protesters accused Sánchez of “stabbing [Spain] in the back” and called for a snap election because of his government’s decision to accept a long-held demand of Catalan secessionists to appoint a facilitator in talks between pro-independence and pro-unity political parties.

www.politico.eu

Ciarán Spent too much time reading about the Orthodox Church

Ukraine is getting it’s own Church but it’s mostly political bullshit that’s horrifyingly Byzantine for 2019.

neweasterneurope.eu


Topic 1

Poland…

The murder of the Mayor of Gdansk Pawel Adamowicz and the formation of Wiosna (Spring) draw eyes to what the hell is going on in Polish politics.

Wiosna

In the UK the Daily Telegraph lead with the headline “Gay atheist politician launches movement to take on Poland’s conservatives”… So you can imagine what the Polish establishment and it’s old establishment think of them.

Robert Biedron the mayor of Slupsk founded a new party (with mixed SEO en.wikipedia.org )wish for Poland extremely center left views. Women’s rights. Pro EU sentiment. Minimum wage increases.

Delightful, but sitting somewhere in the low double digits - high single digits, might sort of unify what exists of the Polish left, but not pose a major threat. Possibly even divide up the anti PiS vote (foreignpolicy.com )

Everyone’s talking about Tusk

Donald gets a lot of air time with his “special place in hell” brexit nonsense and what not, but he’s also possibly coming back to Poland (www.bloomberg.com. )Those are only rumors but it seems risky based on the current polls, which have PiS in a relatively similar position to what they got last time (~37%)

A Right Wing Duopoly

The PiS get all the press but the main opposition party Civic Platform is really a conservative/christian democratic party (of which Tusk is a member). Between them they have 361 out of 460 seats in their parliament. The 3rd largest grouping is Kukiz’15 which only has 26 seats and is a far right “movement”…

There is no established party to the left of Civic Platform with any real political control.

Youth to the Right

Research and political commentary has generally been showing that young Poles are pretty amenable to right wing policies anyway (www.dw.com )

Marta Majchrzak, who co-authored a study published in November by the commercial research institute IQS in which scientists interviewed childless Poles between the ages of 16 and 29. “They trust authorities, are dreaming of marriage, and are proud to be Polish citizens,”

Free market capitalism and libertarian views are more popular with the youth (politicalcritique.org )especially in the ages where we in the west have a stereotype of those being left wing years (i.e. those damn college communists).

So maybe Tusk’s guys are the less of two evils. Remember the PiS is steamrolling the courts in probably non-constitutional ways (dziennikpolski24.pl… )and reducing abortion rights.

Even Adamowicz wasn’t exactly left wing or that liberal. He would be relatively to the right in most European countries (politicalcritique.org )

Class Struggle Isn’t the Debate

Poland, being previously part of the Soviet Union doesn’t have the class imbalance issues in the same way as say the UK or US (politicalcritique.org. )There isn’t an entrenched aristocracy or an economy to the scale where arguing about how to cut the pie is the argument people in Poland are on board with. People want economic growth and parties like Razem talking about wealth inequality doesn’t gain much traction.

Most of the wealthy in Poland aren’t actually in Poland to get taxed, they’re foreign investors. Discussions of raising taxes are largely a no go