An interesting piece in Dziennik, a popular Polish daily, caught my eye. It claims that the Brothers Kaczyński, twins Lech and Jarosław, are growing apart. To a certain extent this supports my theory that contemporary Polish politics will be fashioned by the strength (or weakness) of the relationship between the twins.
Alike yet Different
It is common knowledge, among Poland’s journalists anyway, that President Lech Kaczyński has always been the more easier-going, likeable, friendly and more liberally-oriented of the Kaczyński twins. Jarosław, former PM and chairman of Law and Justice (PiS), has always been seen as more despotic, hard-hitting, conservative and quick to anger. It is also common knowledge that Lech has forever been the ‘weaker’ of the twins, easily swayed by and forever wary of his strong-willed brother Jarosław.
Different yet Weaker
As President of Poland, Lech Kaczyński’s job is to unite and act as negotiator between Poland’s opposition parties. With his brother leading the chief opposition party, there is nobody in Poland who truly believes in his unbiased approach to party politics. Kaczyński has been quoted as saying something along the lines of “there is no law against talking to my brother”. The fact that Jarosław often acts as Lech’s political conscience whispering sweet political nothings into the President’s eager ear is cause for concern.
Alike yet Stronger
Jarosław Kaczyński seems to be the more maverick of the two, more independent. Lech, on the other hand, is always keen to consult his brother in all matters, a greater level of dependence can be seen in him. He needs to consult and feel the strong guiding hand of brother Jarosław in all his decisions. But due to the fact that Jarosław has such a personality, he is also seen as uncompromising, inflexible and stubborn. Lech is open to compromise, more conciliatory and approachable.
Separating the Twins
The short-term future of Polish politics depends on the extent to which the twins share their political goals and the level at which Lech’s dependence on Jarosław continues. Look at the picture above; whose body language looks more ‘presidential’? Civic Platform (PO) and Poland’s left-wing parties need to start spending more energy and time working with Lech. In practical terms, it means driving a wedge between the two. Already, there is talk of the twins having increasingly more ‘differences of opinion’. The start of a re-evaluation of the relationship?