Crisis of the political class: academic

The presidential election has become the latest victim of the pandemic. It has caused divisions within the ruling block as well as between government and opposition. And we still don’t know the actual election date. Poland IN discussed the political fall-out from the wrangle over the election with Professor Wawrzyniec Konarski from the Vistula University.

See full interview here.

Prof. Konarski feels that the current wrangling over the timing of the election is a symptom of a “crisis of the political class” that is incapable of meaningful dialogue and in which there is an imbalance between a well organised ruling block and a fragmented opposition. He sees the origins of the division as the inevitable process in which “revolutions eat their own children”, a reference to the fact that most of those in conflict today were a part of the Solidarity revolution.

The academic acknowledges that it is a fascinating time for political scientists but a frustrating time for voters faced with a “government greedy for power and the opposition largely impotent” and devoid of fresh thinking. He acknowledges that while polarisation may bring with it greater real choice for voters it also means that democracy becomes limited as it is not just about the rule by the majority.

Prof. Konarski believes there are parallels between today’s situation and that of Poland in the inter-war years when a period of frantic democracy was followed by a period of stabler but more authoritarian rule. He feels that the Achilles heel of the present ruling block is its inability to seek an accommodation with influential groups such as the judiciary and academics.