For a patriotic Pole, and I hope I have a right to consider myself as one, an idea of Poland being a part of a European Superstate is unacceptable and, in fact, abhorrent. It goes against all my education and upbringing, it invalidates everything that had been dear to me since I began reading books and learning my country’s history. 

 

 

Because I happen to know that history I feel entitled to say that such an adherence to national sovereignity and independence has nothing to do with xenophobia or nationalistic shovinism. Since the dawns of history the Polish Monarchs, of the first Polish Royal Dynasty of Piasts, kept marrying German princesses. The Year 1000 was marked in our chronics as the year of a great pilgrimage of the Emperor Otto III to Gniezno, by then the capital of Poland, to pray at the tomb of  the Polish Patron -Saint Wojciech (Adalbertus), and bring to Boleslaus the Brave the insignia of sovereign power: the spear of St.Mauritius and a royal diadem. German historians claim even today that another royal prince of the Piast Dynasty, Henry the Pious, who fell during the battle of Legnica (Leignitz), defending Europe against the Mongol hordes, had already over 75% of  German blood in his veins. 

 

 

When the last of the Piasts died Poles offered the crown to Jagiello, the Great Prince of Lithuania, who started the Jagiellonian  Dynasty and Poland with Lithuania created a Kingdom of Two Nations. After the Jagiellonians, in the second half of the XVI century,  Poland had become a constitutional monarchy, like the UK, with monarchs being elected and the Polish State proudly turned into the Republic of Two Nations. The first elected king happened to be a Frenchman, Henri de Valois, then we had for a monarch a great Hungarian, Stephen Batory, then three gentlemen of Swedish origin of the Vasa  Dynasty. With all those foreigners as the Royal Heads of the Polish State there had never been any question of national sovereignity and independence. 

 

By the end of the WWII the victorious Soviet Army brought to Poland a group of traitors, mostly direct employees of Soviet secret police, the NKVD, and, with general consent of the Allied Governments of the USA and the UK, installed them as rulers of the so-called independent Polish People Republic. Any resistance to that had been crashed by ruthless, cruel and bloody measures. For nearly half a century any idea of  Poland being a sovereign state had to be burried deep. 

 

In 1989 the successors of those Soviet rascals, on the orders from Kremlin, sat down with carefully selected members of  opposition movement at the so-called Round Table. The result was a declaration of Poland  becoming a really and trully sovereign and independent state. However, a precondition to that was that selected members of the ruling communist elite would stay in power, in a strange coalition with selected members of „democratic opposition”. 2/3 of parliamentary seats were to be reserved for the yesterday communists. The post of the Head of State had to be offered to General Jaruzelski, the former Secretary General of the Communist Party,  and who, incidentally, was one of the military commanders brought to Poland by the Soviet Army. In published biographies of General Jaruzelski, until the last years, as his special deeds of distinction and merit there were always mentioned his outstanding achievements in fighting „the bandit organisations of reactionary underground forces” (read: with those, who were determined to pay with their life for independent and sovereign Poland).  In 1989, by fraudulent election,  Jaruzelski had been „elected” President of the new, democratic Poland. 

 

Since that time Polish people three times went to the polls to elect their representatives via free, democratic elections [this article was first published in 2001 – ed.]. The results of those elections are that former communist apparatchiks still form a major part of the political establishment, and one of their nomenklatura  representative, Aleksander Kwasniewski, is occupying the post of the Head of State. The whole political establishement is  a direct succession of those „invited” to take part in the 1989 Round Table Agreement. The chief objective, since that time, the ultimate political goal of Poland is to surrender her sovereignity to a new European superpower, i.e. to the EU and become a European vassal state. The new Constitution of Poland, in its art. 90.1 declares: „The Republic of Poland can surrender, as a result of an international agreement, some part of its sovereign power to an international organisation or an international body”. And the full power of the State is directed towards persuading the Polish population that the idea of being an independent and sovereign state is not only old and unfashionable, incompatible with the modern world but it is just ridiculous and foolish. 

 

But what do the Polish people think about all that? It is difficult to answer this question for how one could get an answer? In the middle of the last June [2000 – ed.], in a provincial town of Swidnica (ca.70.000 inhabitants), a „referendum” took place, in which the inhabitants were asked a simple question: are you for or against joinig the EU? A massive, expensive, propaganda show had been staged, with best  country entertainers brought in to the town, with gigantic tv and other media hard work. The result was rather unwelcome: barely 17% of voters bothered to enter the polling stations. What could be the meaning of that? 

 

Polish people, from day to day, are getting more disillusioned with the acquired democracy and dissuade themselves from the affairs of their state. More and more they feel that they have nothing to say. They feel manipulated and cheated. 

 

Some of us understand that the root of this evil is the electoral system that had been imposed on us and which makes it extremely difficult to change the ruling political establishment. This is the so-called Proportional Representation in its extreme form. According to a British political scientist, Michael Pinto-Duschinsky, this is the well-known quality of such electoral systems. In his article „Send the Rascals Packing: Defects of Proportional Representation and the Virtues of the Westminster Model” (Representation 36: 117-26), upon examining seven democratic states: Japan, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Sweden and Switzerland, whose citizens went to the election polls 103 times since 1945,  he concluded that only in 6 cases, in less than 6% of the total, the voters managed to change a party in government! 

 

For the Polish People, to decide on our own fate, to decide on the question whether we are to become a member of the EU or not, the first and the most important question to answer is how to send packing the successors of the Round Table Agreement, how to cut off for good the umbilical cord which ties us with the communist past and the communist establishment of power? How to free the Polish State from people for whom any idea of sovereignity is totally alien? They have merely changed their masters: before they travelled for instructions to Kremlin, now they found much better and more enjoyable route: to Brussels. 

 

For me the answer is simple: we have to change, and change fast, the electoral system. We urgently and badly need the Westminster system of single-member constituencies. Otherwise we may just cry.

 

This article was originally published in "Current Concerns" (vol. 5/6, 2001) in Switzerland.

About Jerzy Przystawa

Jerzy Przystawa (1939-2012) – naukowiec, fizyk, profesor dr hab., nauczyciel akademicki na Uniwersytecie Wrocławskim, publicysta, twórca i założyciel ogólnopolskiego Ruchu Obywatelskiego na rzecz Jednomandatowych Okręgów Wyborczych

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