>"New elections please, duck" say Polish liberals

> Despite the conventional wisdom about flat, stunted civic societies in Central and Eastern Europe, as Petr Kopecký and Cas Mudde suggested in an excellent edited collection a few years ago (Uncivil Society?, Routledge, 2002) waves of civic mobilization do break over CEE fairly regularly. These days, more often than not, however, they are semi-orchestrated by liberal and right-wing parties trying to depict opponents as authoritarian throwbacks threatening democracy against whom a ‘new 1989’ is needed. The militant right-wing Hungarian protest culture – which first emerged in full view with the founding of the ‘civic circles’ movement in 2002 after the right narrowly lost elections and has gained a new lease of life with the Hungarian Socialists PM’s unwisely candid remarks that he had lied to win the election about a ‘fucked up’ economy (A European Commission report confirms Hungary has the worst fiscal stats in the EU – those other neo-liberal refuseniks, the Czechs and Slovenes do quite badly as well).

Now, reports OpenDemocracy, Poland’s liberal Civic Platform (OP) party is co-ordinating citizen protests to press ahead with a scheduled parliamentary vote on holding easrly elections against the wishes of the conservative-nationalist government of the Kaczynski brothers (President and PM respectively) which also includes the ultra-conservative League of Polish Families (LPR), who also do their own in right-wing Christian line counter-protes. The minority coalition was recently unstuck by the secret taping of an injudicious attempt to ‘buy’ an MP from another party (a practice not totally unknown in Czech politics, although despite murky accusations hard evidence has never emerged) Playing on the Kaczynski surname and Polish word for duck, the movement has the witty slogan “Sorry, Kaczory, jutro wybory!, which (I think) means”Sorry, ducks, elections tomorrow”.

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