Dog's Dinner

"You're not loved because you're lovable, you're lovable 'cause you're loved."

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Got Those Contested-Election Blues Again

Don't know if anybody out there follows Polish politics-- I certainly try to avoid doing so, to the extent possible-- but they just had a presidential election on Sunday, and now they have to have another one as the results between the two main candidates were too close.

But what I find more interesting than any quirks or other features of this particular election is the simple fact that the Poles always hold elections on Sunday, so it becomes a family outing, in between church and whatever leisure or work the rest of the day holds in store. A markedly different approach from holding them on Tuesday and making it a frenzied scramble to get there before or after work, or during the lunch hour. Of course most Poles are more cynical about politics than many Americans, and if I'm not mistaken, the turnout for this election was even lower than for most of the past several presidential elections back home. Of those Poles with whom I talked about the election, most were planning to vote for Tusk (apparently some sort of economic quasi-libertarian, social quasi-liberal, or that's what he says), several planned not to vote at all and a number of others still hadn't made up their mind just days or hours before the election. So, to paraphrase Pauline Kael, for Kaczyński (no, not that one ) to win at this point would be a mathematical and statistical impossibility.

Whoever "wins" in the end, however, I, for one, will miss the cultivated, erudite, charming and handsome (though overweight) outgoing President Aleksander Kwaśniewski, perhaps one of the noblest failures of the post-Communist world.