Should Poland's left cooperate with Kaczyński?

Two forces dominate Poland's politics: the liberals and the national conservative ruling party PiS. With its populist policies the latter has cut the ground from under the leftist parties' feet. Since the parliamentary elections in 2015 they no longer even have any seats in the Sejm. A discussion has now broken out among journalists about whether the left should try to save itself with an unusual collaboration.

Open/close all quotes (PL) /

Left and PiS have much in common

It's high time the Polish left cooperated with the governing PiS, leftist journalist Rafał Woś writes in

“Both sides would soon see that their programmes have much in common: the vision of democratic socialism seems more acceptable in PiS circles than for the liberals, who get on their high horses and point to North Korea as soon as they hear the word 'socialism'. Another thing the left and the right have in common is reasonable criticism of how the EU functions in practice. They're not against us being part of it, but against what it's become in recent years. For example during the Greece crisis when the interests of private banks weighed more heavily than inner-European solidarity.”

Gazeta Wyborcza (PL) /

Cooperation is out of the question

The left should be wary of cooperating with the PiS, journalist Katarzyna Wężyk counters in Gazeta Wyborcza:

“In the past three years the PiS has managed to erode the most fundamental pillars of democracy: the rule of law, the separation of powers, minority rights. It is naive to think that [the leftist party] Razem will wield any influence over Jarosław Kaczyński as long as it remains under the five-percent mark. What interests me far more than that, however, is the question: how could the author, who considers himself to be on the left, be so ignorant of the basic tenets of the left, for example women's rights, or the separation of church and state? For the life of me I can't see how the left could see eye to eye with the PiS on these issues.”