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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Populists unite!

Today, Andrzej Lepper - Poland's most important portly populist - endorsed Lech Kaczyński for president.

No real surprise there. Lepper voters were more likely to vote for Kaczyński anyways. Populists gotta stick together. The interesting thing is that earlier, Lepper had said that he still wasn't sure who he would endorse. Today he said that a Tusk presidency would be a "tragedy" for Poland. Did he come to this conclusion in less than a week?

Of course, we know that's not how it went. There's no doubt Lepper had favored Kaczyński all along, but was waiting to see if PO would offer him the position of Sejm Speaker in return for his endorsement. Since PO actually have a candidate who is qualified for the position - Bronisław (brone-EE-suave) Komorowski (kom-or-OV-ski) - they didn't do that.

PiS of course, despite tradition, has rejected PO's proposal. They've said they will make a counter-proposal within a few days.

Kazyński also made the announcement today that if he is elected president, he won't recommend central bank chief Leszek Balcerowicz for another term. That would be a huge mistake.

Mr Balcerowicz is a thorn in the side of politicians, since he consistantly tells the truth. He's been great for the Polish economy however, keeping rates stable through the good times, and, this year, as growth has slowed but inflation dropped, he's cut them dramatically. Rates have been cut by a total of two percentage points (200bp) to their lowest level ever of 4.5% (subscription required).

Coincidentally, Lepper today made several appearances shouting the slogan "Balcerowicz must go!"

Could they have planned this?



Anonymous Kinuk said...

When I read about that in Gazeta, I nearly dropped off the chair. Balcerowicz is probably the only Pole trustworthy enough to be head of the central bank. Kaczynski's madder than I thought he was.

10/19/2005 05:42:00 PM  

Blogger Gustav said...

You have to take a Zen approach to it, Kinuk.

As the buddha who tastes the vinegar and smiles, we must learn to enjoy the flabbergasing idiocy of the Duckboy. "Wow! What a surprise life has come up with for us today! Just as we thought Kaczyński couldn't get any dumber, he vows to fire the country's most competent economist from his post as guardian of the economy in order to attract voters. Life is wondrous."

If the duck is dumber than a rock, does it still quack? - this is a well-known Zen koan.

Oh yes, and also, this is an old Lepper slogan going at least 4 years back to his last parliamentary campaign. It's something Lepper's voters are very familiar with, and something PiS voters couldn't give two shits about. Simple: repeating the rhetoric of the endorser as an olive branch to voters offended in the first round.

10/19/2005 07:47:00 PM  

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