When it comes to political consolidation and party alliances, this has got to be one of the classics. The League of Polish Families (LPR) and Self-Defence (Samoobrona) announced that they will be joining forces to create a super-party, what they call a grand alternative to Law and Justice (PiS).
What makes the whole situation comical is the fact that both these parties – LPR and Self-Defence – are members of the ruling coalition and the fact they feel the need to create an opposition to PiS speaks volumes for the state of current Polish politics – bickering, squabbling and incessant in-fighting.
What is particularly amusing is the name of this newly-forming party – Liga i Samoobrona or LiS – which is most clearly a ironic jibe at PiS. In one way the choice of name obviously pokes fun at PiS, but it also shows the future direction of LPR and Self-Defence. They wish to create an alternative to PiS and clearly want to break free of the PiS shackles before they are consumed by their big brother and converted into the rank and file of PiS.
LiS (Polish ‘fox’) wants to outwit and outsmart PiS and are ready to polarise the political scene once again. As PiS moved further to the right, LPR were worried that their electorate was gradually been swallowed up. Following the Lepper/CBA scandal (see previous post), Self-Defence realised that it was facing an outright attack on its leadership. The result is an odd union. LPR is an ultra-catholic, right-wing party whereas Self-Defence is a left-wing, peasant-backed party. No analogies intended – this brings to mind two European tyrants – one was a left-wing communist, the other a right-wing nationalist…
Poland Comes First
What do the two have in common? Extremist, populist policies; dogmatic, authoritarian leaders. The first announcement by the two LiS leaders (Giertych and Lepper have to share power, of course) is that they will oppose any future ratification of an EU Constitution. What’s more LiS will be focused on the creation of a powerful nation. The Foxes (!) have made it clear that their priority is ideology over the economy and finances. Well, what a surprise…