I am not casting my vote for the incumbent President of Poland

Forum Polonia Houston website is a politically neutral platform, which neither supports nor opposes the political opinion expressed in the article below.  It is a private opinion of the author.

Zbigniew Wojciechowski

I am not casting my vote for the incumbent President of Poland

Next Sunday Poles will vote in a hybrid election to choose who will occupy the Presidential Palace in Warsaw for the next 5 years. There are two candidates left, the incumbent President Andrzej Duda and the challenger, present mayor of the capital of Poland Rafał Trzaskowski. Recent polls show a small advantage of the incumbent President but many believe all is possible.

Forum-polonia-houston.com the portal of the Houston Polonia included this past weekend the article by Ewa Thompson: “How media coverage of Polish election shows the American media’s incredible bias against conservatives” which was published by the conservative online magazine americanthinker.com

I was not surprised by the narrative Ewa Thompson used in the article, it is widely used throughout the Law and Justice (PIS) propaganda outlets to promote President Andrzej Duda and discredit his opponent Rafał Trzaskowski. In almost 40 years I have lived in America I have slowly become immune to the harsh language and all out fight political candidates endured for votes of constituents that would take them to the Capitol Hill, the White House or the State level offices. Following closely political events in Poland I have not however accepted of both the form and the substance in the language used by parliamentarians, politicians and some media commentators. First the hatred and second the divisiveness on the scale never seen before.

It occurred to me that the americanthinker.com criteria for publication were the strong conservative views of the writers never minding the facts. I am not saying all the publications fit that description, I am sure there are some, perhaps many that are based on well supported facts and data, reliable information and accurate commentary.

 Unfortunately, the article by Ewa Thompson falls short of the latter description. It contains eloquently presented arguments shared by the members of the ruling party (PIS) in Poland in furious defense of the incumbent President in order to secure his re-election this coming Sunday. It is all out war and there are no rules of engagement. Anything that can tarnish the challenger Rafał Trzaskowski is good regardless if it’s an insinuation, gossip or a ruthless lie. No one has time to check the facts, the more outrageous accusations the better. No one is counting.

Let’s check some facts and start from the second paragraph of the article, Ewa Thompson writes “Under Duda’s leadership, Poland launched major investment programs” and later “Duda’s government has improved the standard of living of the poorest citizens by giving families a $125 bonus”,  really? Isn’t  is stretching Duda’s accomplishments too far. In his 32 legislative initiatives he never mentioned investments proposal to build a canal nor the mega-airport. These were initiatives of the Polish Government and Duda is not the head of the Polish Government. Giving Duda credit for 500+ is an absurd, it was Kaczyński’s idea implemented by Szydło’s Government. “Duda substantially curbed corruption”, another missed statement, the President of Poland does not have an executive power nor institution to carry on tax crime. It was the effort of the Ministry of Finance in the Szydło and Morawiecki governments to curb VAT abuses.

In the claim that “billions of dollars left Poland annually” Ewa Thompson copies insinuations by President Duda at his rallies, that so called “VAT Gap” was allowed to leave Poland under the Civic Platform government. The actual numbers of the VAT gap are not that difficult to find at the Internet. In the seven years of Civic Platform government (2008-2015) the VAT Gap added up to approximately 270 billions of Polish złoty. During the same time Polish firms generated 71 – 74 % of GNP. One may assume that 26-29% were international corporations, 79 billions złoty were allegedly deposited in banks outside of Poland. 79 billion złoty that is $21 billions divided by 7 years roughly 3 billion a year. International corporations enjoyed lower taxes, which must have been an incentive to do business in Poland and negotiated by the government. The remaining VAT Gap money stayed in Poland. It was a common practice then, to pay with cash for services, avoiding VAT or issue lower invoices with bilateral agreement, for the same reason. The extra cash (190 billion złoty) stayed home and was likely condoned as a driving vehicle for the Poland’s economy.

Now the Law and Justice party is providing Duda with all the credit, in the attempt to help him win election. President Duda by law is not a member of the party, these are not his initiatives nor his achievements.  Duda’s Constitutional duties include to defend the Polish Constitution and be a Commander in Chief of the Polish military.

When it comes to Trzaskowski there is a coordinated effort to tarnish his character and reputation in the eyes of voters.

Ewa Thompson writes: “Duda’s good looking opponent, Rafał Trzaskowski, proved himself to be singularly inept manager. In 2019, Warsaw’s sever system failed and untreated sewage poured directly to the Vistula”. Trzaskowski is blamed by Duda’s camp for something he had no control of, to show, he is not fit to be a President. The Sewer Treatment Plant “Czajka”, one of two in Warsaw and the largest in the Eastern Europe, it was build according to the design prepared in 1970s. After opening in early 1990s, it was already not up to the international standards. After Poland joined the EU the plant was rebuilt to comply with the EU standards and re-opened in 2012. In late August 2019 one of two pipelines under the Vistula River carrying the waste from the west part of the city cracked and started leaking. The choices Warsaw Council had were: to let it drain to the Vistula River or flood the city streets. Trzaskowski choose the lesser disaster. He then asked the Prime Minister Morawiecki for help (the corporations able to make such repairs were State owned). BTW according to the Polskie Wody website wody.gov.pl, 100 km down the river from Warsaw in Płock concentrations of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and ChZTcr (the index of water contamination) never exceeded normal levels. There was the warning, however, all the way to the Baltic Sea not to use Vistula’s water, swim or fish in the river.

President Duda, personally at his home may not be homophobic but he preaches all sorts of phobias including, homophobia, LGBT phobia, gender phobia. I don’t understand how anyone who lives in the United States, has accepted the US Constitution (when becoming US citizen) and abides the local law can sympathize with the bigotry in the country of origin, that is a deceiving virtue?

Duda vetoed a legislation introduced by Polish parliament (Sejm) in 2016 which would allow gay people partnerships and now in the peak of his campaign he wants to write into the Polish Constitution a ban for homosexual couples to adopt a child. It is rushed, to be presented before Sunday’s elections, with an intend to show his love of a family. Never mind same sex couples who already are raising children. If President Duda is not homophobic why doesn’t he oppose so called Free of LGBT Zones established in communities where PIS has Council majorities. It is his Constitutional duty to protect all the citizens of Poland.

The cherry on the cake is Ewa Thompson claim that over 5 million Poles that voted for Trzaskowski on June 28 are descendants of the Communist Party members, collaborators and grandchildren of the communist secret police.

This is cruel and degrading to those who have a different point of view from her.

Trzaskowski is for progress, that is a true fact, but why to allege, he is to promote a “sexual liberation”. Sorry I will not even comment here.

Conservatives and liberals everywhere differ in their approach to the World and to life, on some issues the gap between them seems to be unbreachable. The liberals always opt and promote progress while the conservatives stick to traditions, radical interpretation of religion and generally to the status quo. Progress however, as we learn from history continues to advance in science, technology, social life and even in the religious life despite the opposition.

Conservatives in Poland listen to Kaczyński and his party rhetoric. They have unfortunately allowed themselves to have resurrected long buried antisemitism, bigotry, racial injustice and radical sentiments under the banners of tradition, family values and protection of the faith and the way of life. It is the Polish version of the Western conservatives opposition against the globalization and migration. Clever politicians of Polish United Right use a fear of demons (migrants, LGBT, western values, sexual revolution) strategy to build the society which is intolerant, radical in their beliefs and against social progress. Convincing arguments of their dedication to people are monetary incentives (with exception of 500+ program which was long overdue). This approach in my opinion, although socially acclaimed as a success, deprives people dependent on the State subsidies of ingenuity, ambition, enthusiasm and out of the box thinking to say at least. It locks women at home to serve family despite their aspirations. Monetary distribution programs complement the Government efforts to enhance economy by more spending power but in the long run makes the low income people totally dependent on the State.

Democracy, the best governing system to date, allows nations to be govern by representatives chosen during general election. They are generally either conservatives or liberals. But if any parliamentary majority, or individuals elected to the public office, regardless of the country, take their power too far, there is a regulatory mechanism for citizens to prevent the pendulum swinging too far to right or too far to left.


I am not casting my ballot to the incumbent.