I know I sometimes have a lot to say about our friend at PiS, his brother and other people but it’s important to have some balance so today the question is simple – are PO actually doing anything?
PO’s broken promises
Education Minister Katarzyna Hall yesterday admitted that her flagship project to send six-year old children to school will be postponed. This is another election promise, after the health sector reform and the prohibition on hitting children, Civic Platform (PO) has failed to execute as planned. (Dziennik, p. 7)
Pan Tusk & Co have been in power for just over a year now and support for them is still high (not difficult given the alternatives!). They promised various wonderful things before they were elected but are they actually making progress in delivering them?
“We are afraid that it is all about public relations, as has often been the case with the PO government, showing bags under Donald Tusk’s eyes, tired from working on the legislation, and nothing more,” PiS deputy Mariusz Błaszczak told a press conference in September after the legislative offensive had been announced.
Marek Migalski, a political scientist at the University of Silesia, held a similar opinion. He said that the fact that bills were introduced in the Sejm as late as this autumn, rather than at the beginning of the year, showed that PO had not been prepared to keep its promises when it came to power last year and testified to the legislative push’s character as a PR move.
“The first year of PO’s leadership was certainly disappointing, especially for its own electorate,” said Migalski. He added that the party had neither fulfilled its economic promises, nor had it had any significant success in the field of foreign policy.
According to the Business Centre Club (BCC), which claims to be the largest organization of private employers in Poland, the PO-PSL government has so far fully or partially realized just 28 out of 172 draft bills presented by either Economy Minister Waldemar Pawlak or PO deputy Janusz Palikot’s “Friendly State” commission. According to the BCC, that’s a 16 percent success rate so far.
“One year of the PO-PSL coalition being in power shows that the government is not, and will probably not be in the future, the bringer of the ‘economic miracle’ which PO promised,” said a special BCC report earlier this month. “It is obviously not true, as its political opponents both inside and outside Parliament claim, that the government has not done anything and is not fulfilling its election promises. But the pace of change, especially in the economy, is too slow,” the report added.[Text from here]
We’re all wise enough to expect at least half of what a politician promises to be a load of old testes but they really do need to make progress on a few issues at least. Any party can survive a year by doing nothing and thereby not upsetting anyone but coming into year two that tactic won’t work anymore. Now they have to actually start delivering things.
Here’s the original list of TO-DO items for Tusk & Co:
Civic Platform’s election promises
1. We will speed up economic prosperity and take advantage of it.
2. We will significantly raise pay in the public sector and increase pensions
and social benefits.
3. We will build a modern network of freeways, expressways,
bridges and bypasses.
4. We will guarantee free access to medical care and abolish
the NFZ (National Health Fund).
5. We will simplify the tax system – we will introduce a flat tax
with a pro-family relief and abolish over 200 administrative fees.
6. We will speed up the construction of stadiums for Euro 2012.
7. We will quickly complete our mission in Iraq.
8. We will encourage Poles who have emigrated to return home
and invest in Poland.
9. We will raise the quality of education and improve access to the internet.
10. We will take up a real fight against corruption.
How many of those can we say are 25% completed (the amount of their term they have already used up)?
I can attest to the fact that the tax regulations changed as I’ve already received my first payment of the year and that was deducted at 18%, so in respect of income tax they have done something. Not a flat rate as promised but better than nothing.
If you enter “Poland withdraw Iraq” into Google you get an amazing array of dates by which this country was going to get out from 2004 through to October 2008. As far as I know it hasn’t happened yet although I do recall hearing something about even more troops being sent to Afghanistan!
Speed up stadiums for 2012….tee hee….we all know how close we came to losing the tournament altogether.
The other points…..?
Is anything good happening on ul. Wiejska?
I predict Pan Tusk & Co have until spring, summer maximum, to really start delivering the goods. As this recession bites further into Poland, as unemployment rises, as more promises are broken and strikes organised (like the healthcare people right now) this country’s attitude towards PO is going to shift quickly from the original excitement and current ambivalence to something altogether more negative and irreversible.