Les partis politiques en Pologne contemporaine depuis 1918 = Politinės partijos šiuolaikinėje Lenkijoje nuo 1918 metų.
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Modern democracy is impossible without political parties. They are necessary in the process of the construction of the political class and building of relations between politicians and ‘ordinary people’. So, in Poland in the twentieth and the twenty-first centuries the significance of parties is also very important. Their history is older than the history of the reborn Poland. Especially in Galicia, an autonomous province of the Hapsburg empire, we can see the activities of many politicians. A part of them in 1895 declared the birth of the Popular Party which is a constant element of the Polish political scene. The second traditional current is the socialistic movement, which is also always legally active in Poland. These two camps represent, in simplification, the ‘two Polands’—the first more traditional, conservative and provincial, and the second more progressive, ‘European’ and urban. Actually, in the typical consciousness of a Polish citizen, the political representation of the ‘black’ country is the party Law and Justice of Jarosław Kaczyński, and the ‘red’ country admires the Citizen Platform with Donald Tusk as a leader. But probably the idea of a twoparty system, like in the Anglo-Saxon world, is still very distant to reality, because in the European continent, the tradition of pluralism in a policentric version is still very significant. In Poland, even in the period of the ‘real socialism’ this conception of the organization of political life was realized, though naturally in the specific version. There were three legal parties and the Polish United Workers’ Party (the PUWP) was the most important. From 1976, the PUWP in the light of the Constitution had the official hegemony in the Republic. It is possible to compare this situation with the period 1926–39, when, after the coup d’état by Marshal Piłsudski, the Government still won in the election and the official elite wanted to create a stable political force with a perspective of permanent rule. But we must remember that between the wars opposition always was legal. In our times of demoliberalism, this is quite normal (though under the Constitution, unconstitutional parties, for example, communist or fascist, are unacceptable); however, interesting is the fact that when you observe sine ira et studio the evolutional trend of the Polish political system, you easily find the tendency of the ‘stabilization’ of the party system in the way of legal operations. From 1997, the laws concerning political parties have changed the possibilities of the conquest of seats in the Seym. Actually, only the parties having 5 per cent (or 8 per cent in coalition) of votes can gain the representation in the Diet. So it is possible to claim that the little parties today are in a more complicated situation than in the first years after the ‘operation of Round Table’ in 1989. The contemporary system is maybe more stable, but less liberal. There are theoreticians who note the danger of the alienation of the political class in the situation of the renewal of the alienation of the political elite, which de facto is more connected with the state than with the society. Many theoreticians emphasize that in the future the role and the character of political structures will be profoundly different from today. Maybe they are prophets, but we can expect that the Polish political parties or ‘post-parties’ and also political structure as a whole will have many similarities with their actual equivalents, because the mentality of the Polish nation, including the politicians, is more or less enduring.
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