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Author Topic: So....what the heck is going on with Poland's political atmosphere right now?  (Read 471 times)

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Offline BlytheTopic starter

I've heard an awful lot about the Law and Justice Party over there (PiS), but can anyone give me an overview of what all's been going on in Poland, politically-speaking? I know PiS came back into power in 2015--what all are they changing and doing? I've heard that they are seriously screwing with constitutional rights over there and that they are clearly moving to something that almost looks dangerously totalitarian.

I've seen the subject broached on E before (here and there, but not in any more organized and easy to understand manner), but I was hoping to have a thread to put all this info in, especially since that would help me better keep up with the happenings in Poland. I actually don't know a whole lot about the Polish government, but this sudden swing in right-wing religious conservatism over there looks alarming. Have heard PiS is a populist party as well, and those traits all put together leave me seriously uneasy for Poland's future.

Can anyone elaborate a bit or direct me to English-language reliable sources that would provide good information?
« Last Edit: July 26, 2017, 05:10:13 PM by Blythe »

Offline Beorning

Ah, Blythe! You should have PMed me about setting up this thread, I'd have tried posting something sooner...

The subject is complicated, but overall - yeah, PiS is a party that mixes social conservatism, hardline Catholicism and heavily patriotic (borderline nationalist, if you ask me) attitudes with governmental reforms that look eerily similar to how the Communists run things. The general direction Poland seems to be going is some sort of heavily conservative and isolationist authoritarian state.

As for the specific changes PiS made, here are some examples:

  • turning the state-owned public media (never totally free from political influences) into "national media" that are, basically, the government's propaganda machine (seriously, recently even some of the *right-wing journalists* started to complain about the state TV's one-sidedness)
  • taking over the Constitutional Tribunal by putting judges there that are obvious PiS sympathizers - and by breaking the Constitution to boot
  • taking over the public prosecution, making the prosecutors directly answearable to the Minister of Justice
  • trying to make the judges similarly easy to influence by a whole set of reforms
  • making speedy reforms to the educational system, including making the school programs more conservative
  • quite a lot of financial concessions to the Catholic Church, especially one very popular priest who is the head of his own ultra-conservative media empire
  • attempts at tightening the already severe anti-abortion laws, so far unsuccessful
  • effectively banning the emergency contraception pills (now a woman needs to get a prescription for these pills, even after getting raped... which is bad, considering that getting an Ob/Gyn visit is not easy and many Ob/Gyn doctors refuse to prescribe such pills as part of their "conscience clause")
  • attempts at censoring theatres by putting various pressures on them if the Minister of Culture doesn't like their shows
  • basically an all-our war against the EU control institutions and increasingly hostile attitude toward the EU in general. Seriously, many people wonder whether this government would attempt a Polexit at some stage.

Just a few examples... and there are more!  >:(
« Last Edit: August 10, 2017, 04:41:48 PM by Beorning »