Confederation Coalition: A Polish Right Wing Gamble?

Daniel Szewc | @szewc_daniel

S?awomir Mentzen, the vice-president of the new Confederation (Konfederacja) in Poland, has a bad reputation. He has directly stated that he doesn’t want Jews, homosexuals, abortion, taxes, or the European Union. Many may ask: what type of totalitarian is he? Who else would base their political program on such things? However, nobody would believe that the party is mostly filled with radical… libertarians!

The Confederation is a coalition movement composed of the Liberty party and the National Movement party. They joined together to bring right-wing ideas to Poland on a more grand scale. But some worry that the Liberty party has lost its principle in the process.

Deregulation, the legalization of all drugs, the right to bear arms, the right of the individual to do anything that does not harm others, and mass privatization; these are just a few of the main postulates that the then-called “Liberty party” of Poland was proposing only a few months ago. What happened to them?

In this case, Tancredi Falconeri’s quote from the 1950s novel The Leopard, “Everything must change so that everything can stay the same”, is incredibly accurate. After years of experience on the Polish political stage, the party’s leader Janusz Korwin-Mikke is making purposefully eccentric claims in order to garner more attention.

Korwin Tries to Appeal

These include statements such as “feminists are as much women as Union leaders are workers- not at all”. He has also said he would “shoot at miners” if they started to destroy property during recent protests. But while preaching libertarian ideals, the findings were unmerciful; only appealing to the masses would get the movement anywhere. Boosted by the Trump and Brexit movements, they decided to take it a step further. It was time for the Confederation to say things that the mainstream media would lose a fortune ignoring.

Allying with nationalists in the EU parliamentary elections, they earned the name “Confederation”. This level of controversy is nothing like Trump’s statements about immigrants bringing crime. Rather, one of the party’s leaders, Grzegorz Braun, has called for the outright penalization of homosexuality. Likewise, Korwin-Mikke has claimed the teachers union leader should be in prison.

Carefully calculated, the five parts of the plan are aiming to destroy the current ruling party’s monopoly on being right wing. Alas, considering the actions of the government, it is problematic to even suggest them being such. Now, let’s dissect the five points:

“Anti-Semitism” in Poland

Recently, Poland has been under global scrutiny for irrational reasons, including an old Easter tradition. They “kill” a mock Judas Iscariot, which also occurs in Greece, Latin America, the Philippines, Spain, and Czechia.

The tradition is so old that UNESCO has recognized the ritual as a part of Czech heritage. However, in the case of Pruchik, Poland, World News reported on the “anti-Semitism” of the locals, simply because the effigy of Judas looked like a Jew. Obviously, Judas was, in fact, a Jew. and the puppet had a giant “JUDAS” inscription on its chest.

Major Israeli politicians, such as Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Israel Katz, the opposition leader Yair Lapid, and the Ha-Arec Israeli journal have all wrongly defamed Poland in the recent years. Mr. Katz said that “Poles have sucked anti-Semitism with their mothers’ milk”, whilst Yair Lapid has openly claimed that Poland was responsible for Nazi Germany’s death camps on their soil and that “Hundreds of thousands of Jews were murdered without ever meeting a German soldier”. In turn, Ha-Arec also made claims about Polish death camps.

Offensive Claims

These claims in themselves are atrocious and very offensive towards the Polish nation. In fact, Polish locals saved more Jews than any other German-occupied territory. Because of this, Nazis made it so that helping Jews earned the death penalty for the whole family hiding them. In any case, Poles still helped Jews, risking and often giving their lives for them. The Ulma family from southern Poland is a prime example; the Germans killed two parents and six children for aiding Jews, even though the mother was about to give birth during her execution. The Nazi ideology of the day viewed Poles as equally “subhuman” as Jews, which is the final reason as to why these words by Jewish politicians are incredibly hurtful.

To top off these tensions, the U.S. Senate recently passed the Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today (JUST) bill. This obliges the Secretary of State to monitor and report on the financial compensation of Jews by Central European countries… including Poland. The bill wants to place a burden of $300 billion on Poland, thrice the annual budget. This would ruin the country morally and financially and is where the Confederation comes in.

The coalition, alongside befriended conservative circles and online media outlets, has played on the fact that the current government of Poland hasn’t done anything to stop these claims from the USA. It also has not reacted strongly enough to Israel’s scolding of the country. The Confederation promises to take a strong stance and treat Israel and Jews equally to all other world players. They merely oppose giving them the privilege to mistreat Poland. Equality is not anti-Semitic, and anyone who suggests this should re-evaluate their definition of the word.

The Confederation on Homosexuals

In recent months, LGBTQ+ organizations in Poland have pushed for a program incompatible with the Catholic faith; they hope to teach about homosexuality in Polish schools, many of which are religious. Since Poland’s education system is heavily centralized, this would affect the millions of families who would not wish for their freedom of religion to be infringed upon.

For this reason, the Confederation decided to opt for the privatization of schools and the division of the education budget into monthly education bonds for each child. They claim that this would increase the quality of education by forcing schools to compete with each other. Of course, this would be a major financial boost for every successful school. And since many teachers in Poland are on strike looking for money, this kills two birds with one stone.

They point out that this problem with the increase of homosexual influence on schools is happening during the Law and Justice party’s government, which is supposed to be a right-wing party. But though Braun has called for banning homosexuality, this does not represent the party as a whole. In general, they merely support economic deregulation and a family’s choice to accept the LGBTQ+ community or not.

Abortion Inaction

Here, their stance is very straight forward. The Polish government promised to ban abortions during the campaign, yet they failed to do so. As a result, the Confederation joined the biggest pro-life movements in Poland on a mission to do what Law and Justice failed to do.

The Confederation on Taxes

The Liberty party has clearly influenced the Confederation on this issue; they have promised to end the income tax in Poland, which would solve the problem of strikes that low wages have caused in civil service and other sectors.

In addition, they want to deregulate the economy in any way possible minimizing the effect the state has on the market.

The European Union

Since the upcoming election, in which “the Confederates” as they sometimes call themselves is one to the EU Parliament, they plan to disrupt the relatively positive image Poles have of the EU. To do this, the Confederation wants to point out the millions of Euros the EU wastes on unnecessary projects, the billions that bureaucrats spend, and the impossible numbers of new daily laws.

Moreover, the power concentrates in the EU commission, which no EU citizens have direct control over. They also cannot vote these members out of office. This way, they plan to point out that Poland is systematically losing it’s sovereignty to Brussels, and (this is, of course, a reoccurring theme) the government isn’t doing anything about it. The party is not united in the matter; a few want a return to the European Economic Area, some want a Polexit and yet others want to end the European Union completely. However, they all oppose the state that the EU is in now.

Support for the Confederation has been steadily growing over the past months, even going above 6%. The EU elections in May will show if the new party is ready to shake up the political stage and maybe smuggle in some libertarian policies into the country’s parliament during the Polish elections in the fall.

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