What’s a good liberal to do?

Poland’s ruling populists have been given free rein in their mission to reshape the country after liberal hopes of taking the presidency were crushed in a narrow defeat following a divisive campaign.

The incumbent president, Andrzej Duda, was elected for another five-year term as a familiar set of demographic divisions played out in the vote. Poles under 50 and those living in larger towns and cities backed the liberal challenger, Rafał Trzaskowski, while older and rural voters stood by Duda.

This is democracy. The majority gets to decide. This is bad of course, it’s populism.

But that demand for a democratically controlled economy is the same thing. That the majority get to decide. Which isn’t populism and therefore isn’t bad.

For some reason.

18 thoughts on “What’s a good liberal to do?”

  1. First of all, he’d have to found a completely new political party, he’d have to rely on small donations – no millionaires or billionaires would fund him, he and his supporters would be violently attacked by antifa while the police looked on, he’d be demonised by the media and a campaign of lawfare would be launched against him and his party. In short it would require someone with enormous physical and moral courage and no such politician exists in the UK.

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    They recognise the Polish people’s love of God and country as the problem. So they will fake some sex crimes by priests as in Ireland. The EU will try to flood Poland with as many refugees as possible. They will bully and nudge the Polish people towards the right choice.

    We have seen it all in Ireland before

  3. Democracy is a bit like free speech, for ‘liberals’. They like it when it delivers what they want.

    I had a look at Duda’s entry on wikipedia. From reading it you’d not think Poland’s government concerned itself with the economy or any of the other tasks required of the modern state. What matters is LGBT issues, refugees and the stain of Trump liking him.

  4. The Conservative Party spent the entire 19th century preventing mass democracy of any kind and it was virtually Tory mothers milk to know that referendums were the devices of charlatans and despots.( As La Thatch and many others often said )
    I doubt today’s born again democrats believe that if three people vote for me to give them my phone it isn`’ a mugging or that the Iron Duke et al should have rolled over confronted by the Chartists and their demands for universal male suffrage.
    Democracy is a social and cultural phenomenon not an equation, it requires not just a demos but an electorate, who understand the question. We see this encoded in our legal system where the process of dialectic does not include a lying contest directed at silly old ladies
    Those of us who favour democracy rather than a majoritarian boot on the face of opposition would like a new and better system , an element of PR , a more powerful second chamber …. who knows we can all have some input ..

  5. We see this encoded in our legal system where the process of dialectic does not include a lying contest directed at silly old ladies

    Explain the “Supreme Court”.

  6. “The Conservative Party spent the entire 19th century preventing mass democracy of any kind” except that it produced the Second Reform Act which yielded a far more radical extension of the franchise than even the First had produced. Dear God, you do write a lot of shite.

  7. I had a look at Duda’s entry on wikipedia. From reading it you’d not think Poland’s government concerned itself with the economy or any of the other tasks required of the modern state. What matters is LGBT issues, refugees and the stain of Trump liking him.

    My vague, second hand impression of Duda and the Polish dudes is that they’re rowing towards serious economic trouble ahead.

    Giving away lots of money to working class Polacks to encourage children (good in theory, but expensive and prone to waste and theft) yet at the same time have high levels of regulatory complexity and corruption (it’s Eastern Europe after all).

    The LGBTQIAWTFERS are simultaneously an irrelevant distraction and a crack the nation wreckers use to pry a drillbit into the load bearing structures of functioning societies. No, we shouldn’t have to think too much about a tiny minority of bush sex enthusiasts, trannies and fat girls with sideburns. No, they shouldn’t be oppressed and if grown men want to start a band called the Pet Shop Boys (who are wonderful) and sell a million records, that’s their business. No, alternative lifestyles don’t deserve the same status or respect as people who get married and have the children we need to continue our society – Neil was actually right, it is a sin. We’re all sinners, but let’s try not to wallow in our shortcomings. Thankfully alcoholism hasn’t been sanctified yet.

    I’m interested in the Jewish thing tho, people keep accusing Duda of anti-Semitism. That could mean either Jews hate him (Jeremy Corbyn) or that he hates Jews (any Islamic politician), so which is it? There’s been quite a lot of (Western) Hebrew hate directed at the Poles in recent years, trying to blame them for the Holocaust and whatnot, I’m not sure what that’s about.

  8. Those of us who favour democracy rather than a majoritarian boot on the face of opposition would like a new and better system , an element of PR , a more powerful second chamber…

    Ahh, one which perverts democracy to keep the establishment boot stamping on the face of the majority forever.

  9. “My vague, second hand impression of Duda and the Polish dudes is that they’re rowing towards serious economic trouble ahead.”

    And the more “liberal”democracies in Europe are doing just spiffing on the economic front. Right….

  10. One party runs a “divisive” campaign in its own? Impossible, the opposition could easily prevent that by agreeing.
    Either there is a division in society reflected in the parties’ position, or there isn’t in which case the party that disagrees with society loses.

  11. The Conservative Party spent the entire 19th century preventing mass democracy of any kind” except that it produced the Second Reform Act which yielded a far more radical extension of the franchise than even the First had produced. Dear God, you do write a lot of shite.

    I well remember it.This act increased enfranchised men to 2m from 1m, the 1832 Act having been as miserly as was conceivable at that time. You have to remember that there were revolutions across Europe during the period a growing trade Union movement and radical dissent. The status quo could not be retained and the Conservative Party sought to delay and control the momentum.
    I should say I am an admirer of 19th century Conservatism generally

  12. It would be hard to get elected here if your name were Rafał Trzaskowski. No one would be able to pronounce your name.

    Course, it could be just like “Smith” in Poland.

  13. Lots of salty tears and “not my president” at the moment over here – which is kind of interesting in that Trzaskowski (“Smith” in Polish is Kowalski) pledged that he would not do anything to row back 500+, nor would he countenance gay couples being able to adopt.

    Excessive regulatory burdens, yes; but corruption doesn’t appear to be particularly bad, and the Polish economy has outperformed the entirety of the rest of the EU over the last 12 years or so. Thirty-nine Wu-flu deaths per million as well ain’t so bad…

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