Leading Article: A Message of Hope for All of Eastern Europe ; POLAND'S ELECTION
After the muddle of the German election, which left the country without a clear winner, it is refreshing to find voters next door being more decisive. Barring a last-minute change of mind by the electorate, Poland looks certain to ditch the centre-left ex- communists who steered the country into the European Union in 2004 and hand power to a centre- right coalition of the Civic Platform and Law and Justice parties.
How long Poles put their confidence in the right-wing parties remains to be seen. The present government was wrecked by scandals, but a coalition of the two newcomers would not be a marriage made in heaven. Civic Platform, led by Jan Rokita, is at heart a party of free-market liberals, pro-Europeans and strong fans of a low, flat tax. Its potential partner is more nationalistic and egalitarian. Expect, then, plenty of rows in the coming months over subsidies, tax cuts and bureaucracy.
But the main reason to be glad about this election is its sheer normality. It is only 16 years since the shadow of the Soviet Union lifted over Eastern Europe, before which any genuine choice in elections seemed like a dream. And since the Communist era ended in Eastern Europe, democracy has not been an unalloyed charm. As well as delivering the Czechs a kind of philosopher king in Vaclav Havel, it rewarded …
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Publication information: Article title: Leading Article: A Message of Hope for All of Eastern Europe ; POLAND'S ELECTION. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: September 26, 2005. Page number: 30. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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