Saturday, September 29, 2007

Idiot’s Guide to Polish Elections II

The Women’s Party have launched their election campaign in Poland.

The caption says: Poland is a women, and with nothing to hide.

Nice! It's got them huge amounts in the press - although not much of it has been about their politics.

The Women’s Party is one of the newest political parties in Poland, set up in January this year. It’s leader is writer Manuele Gretkowska (first on the right, front row).

Supporters include singers Kayah, Anna Maria Jopek and Maryla Rodowicz.

They are trying to position themselves beyond left or right (though conservatives would think of them as being…er…nakedly leftwing wing).

They want to concentrate on equality issues and the rights of children, etc.

They are for more sexual education in schools, and better childcare facilities, etc.

In fact, it seems like pretty standard feminism from the 1970s in Britain.

Which shows they think Poland is a little behind the times as far as gender issues are concerned.

And they would be correct.

But how well will they do in the elections on October 21? Well, it doesn’t look too good for them at the moment. They need five percent to get any seats in parliament, and none of the opinion polls I have seen gives them that – more like two percent.

A Feminist Initiative party was set up in Sweden a couple of years ago to contest the elections there last year – and they got just 0.69 percent.

So ‘identity politics’ is probably not a good road to go down if you want to do well in elections in Poland – or anywhere else for that matter.

But if they get people to debate matters like the lack of affordable collective childcare, and other obstacles to women improving their lot, then more power to them, I say.

And I am very pleased that it is the Women’s Party who decided to declare that they have ‘Nothing to hide” rather than say Law and Justice or Civic Platform.

But the danger is that if the researchers for the Women’s Party find that they have had a ‘bounce’ in the opinion polls since unveiling their election campaign poster, other politicians might just be tempted to do the same!

I mean, what if heads of state decided to get them all off for photo oppotunities at international summits?