Waldemar Witkowski is a Polish politician, current leader of the Labour Union, one of the leaders of the coalition Lewica i Demokraci. Since 2006 he is a member of the Greater Poland Regional Assembly. Witkowski was born in Poznań in 1953, he is married and has two children: a daughter and son, Maciej. Witkowski is a notable cooperation movement activist, he was a member of the Polish United Workers' Party from 1976 until the party dissolved itself in 1990. He joined the Labour Union, rose to become one of the union's leaders in Greater Poland Voivodeship. Witkowski served as an honorary member of the executive body of the re-election campaign of President Aleksander Kwaśniewski in 2000; the Labour Union and Democratic Left Alliance formed a coalition prior to the 2001 parliamentary elections. Witkowski served as one of the coalition's campaign leaders, although he didn't run himself for the Sejm or the Senate. From 2001 to 2005, he was first deputy of the Greater Poland Voivode. In the 2005 presidential election, he supported Marek Borowski.
Since the 2006 local elections, Witkowski has been a member of the Greater Poland Regional Assembly. He was elected a leader of the Labour Union on 25 February 2006; the Labour Union, the Democratic Left Alliance, the Social Democrats of Poland and the Polish Democratic Party formed the LiD coalition in 2006, just prior to the impending local government elections. Witkowski became one of the joint leaders of the new grouping alongside Wojciech Olejniczak of SLD, Janusz Onyszkiewicz of PD, Marek Borowski of SdPl and former President Kwaśniewski. Witkowski contested the October 2007 parliamentary elections, as a LiD candidate in the district of Poznań. However, despite being No. 2 on the party list, he did not manage to gain enough votes for election to the Sejm. Official site
A political party is an organized group of people with common views, who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government. The party agrees on some proposed policies and programmes, with a view to promoting the collective good or furthering their supporters' interests. While there is some international commonality in the way political parties are recognized and in how they operate, there are many differences, some are significant. Many political parties have an ideological core, but some do not, many represent ideologies different from their ideology at the time the party was founded. Many countries, such as Germany and India, have several significant political parties, some nations have one-party systems, such as China and Cuba; the United States is in practice a two-party system but with many smaller parties participating and a high degree of autonomy for individual candidates. Political factions have existed in democratic societies since ancient times. Plato writes in his Republic on the formation of political cliques in Classical Athens, the tendency of Athenian citizens to vote according to factional loyalty rather than for the public good.
In the Roman Republic, Polybius coined the term ochlocracy to describe the tendency of politicians to mobilise popular factionalist sentiment against their political rivals. Factional politics remained a part of Roman political life through the Imperial period and beyond, the poet Juvenal coined the phrase "bread and circuses" to describe the political class pandering to the citizenry through diversionary entertainments rather than through arguments about policy. "Bread and circuses" survived as part of Byzantine political life - for example, the Nika revolt during the reign of Justinian was a riot between the "Blues" and the "Greens"—two chariot racing factions at the Hippodrome, who received patronage from different Senatorial factions and religious sects. The patricians who sponsored the Blues and the Greens competed with each other to hold grander games and public entertainments during electoral campaigns, in order to appeal to the citizenry of Constantinople; the first modern political factions, can be said to have originated in early modern Britain.
The first political factions, cohering around a basic, if fluid, set of principles, emerged from the Exclusion Crisis and Glorious Revolution in late 17th century England. The Whigs supported Protestant constitutional monarchy against absolute rule, they were interested in the citizens of United Kingdom being free from the aristocracy and opposed to any tyranny, however they supported the constitutional aristocracy and does not consider the British nobility abusive because of its limits; the leader of the Whigs was Robert Walpole, who maintained control of the government in the period 1721–1742. As the century wore on, the factions began to adopt more coherent political tendencies as the interests of their power bases began to diverge; the Whig party's initial base of support from the great aristocratic families widened to include the emerging industrial interests and wealthy merchants. As well as championing constitutional monarchy with strict limits on the monarch's power, the Whigs adamantly opposed a Catholic king as a threat to liberty, believed in extending toleration to nonconformist Protestants, or dissenters.
A major influence on the Whigs were the liberal political ideas of John Locke, the concepts of universal rights employed by Locke and Algernon Sidney. Although the Tories were out of office for half a century, for most of this period the Tories retained party cohesion, with occasional hopes of regaining office at the accession of George II and the downfall of the ministry of Sir Robert Walpole in 1742, they acted as a united, though unavailing, opposition to Whig corruption and scandals. At times they cooperated with the "Opposition Whigs", Whigs who were in opposition to the Whig government, they regained power with the accession of George III in 1760 under Lord Bute. When they lost power, the old Whig leadership dissolved into a decade of factional chaos with distinct "Grenvillite", "Bedfordite", "Rockinghamite", "Chathamite" factions successively in power, all referring to themselves as "Whigs". Out of this chaos, the first distinctive parties emerged; the first such party was the Rockingham Whigs under the leadership of Charles Watson-Wentworth and the intellectual guidance of the political philosopher Edmund Burke.
Burke laid out a philosophy that described the basic framework of the political party as "a body of men united for promoting by their joint endeavours the national interest, upon some particular principle in which they are all agreed". As opposed to the instability of the earlier factions, which were tied to a particular leader and could disintegrate if removed from power, the party was centred around a set of core principles and remained out of power as a united opposition to government. A coalition including the Rockingham Whigs, led by the Earl of She
Poland the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With a population of 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, Szczecin. Poland is bordered by the Baltic Sea, Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast and Lithuania to the north and Ukraine to the east and Czech Republic, to the south, Germany to the west; the establishment of the Polish state can be traced back to AD 966, when Mieszko I, ruler of the realm coextensive with the territory of present-day Poland, converted to Christianity. The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025, in 1569 it cemented its longstanding political association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin; this union formed the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th and 17th century Europe, with a uniquely liberal political system which adopted Europe's first written national constitution, the Constitution of 3 May 1791.
More than a century after the Partitions of Poland at the end of the 18th century, Poland regained its independence in 1918 with the Treaty of Versailles. In September 1939, World War II started with the invasion of Poland by Germany, followed by the Soviet Union invading Poland in accordance with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. More than six million Polish citizens, including 90% of the country's Jews, perished in the war. In 1947, the Polish People's Republic was established as a satellite state under Soviet influence. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1989, most notably through the emergence of the Solidarity movement, Poland reestablished itself as a presidential democratic republic. Poland is regional power, it has the fifth largest economy by GDP in the European Union and one of the most dynamic economies in the world achieving a high rank on the Human Development Index. Additionally, the Polish Stock Exchange in Warsaw is the largest and most important in Central Europe. Poland is a developed country, which maintains a high-income economy along with high standards of living, life quality, safety and economic freedom.
Having a developed school educational system, the country provides free university education, state-funded social security, a universal health care system for all citizens. Poland has 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Poland is a member state of the European Union, the Schengen Area, the United Nations, NATO, the OECD, the Three Seas Initiative, the Visegrád Group; the origin of the name "Poland" derives from the West Slavic tribe of Polans that inhabited the Warta river basin of the historic Greater Poland region starting in the 6th century. The origin of the name "Polanie" itself derives from the early Slavic word "pole". In some languages, such as Hungarian, Lithuanian and Turkish, the exonym for Poland is Lechites, which derives from the name of a semi-legendary ruler of Polans, Lech I. Early Bronze Age in Poland begun around 2400 BC, while the Iron Age commenced in 750 BC. During this time, the Lusatian culture, spanning both the Bronze and Iron Ages, became prominent; the most famous archaeological find from the prehistory and protohistory of Poland is the Biskupin fortified settlement, dating from the Lusatian culture of the early Iron Age, around 700 BC.
Throughout the Antiquity period, many distinct ancient ethnic groups populated the regions of what is now Poland in an era that dates from about 400 BC to 500 AD. These groups are identified as Celtic, Slavic and Germanic tribes. Recent archeological findings in the Kujawy region, confirmed the presence of the Roman Legions on the territory of Poland; these were most expeditionary missions sent out to protect the amber trade. The exact time and routes of the original migration and settlement of Slavic peoples lacks written records and can only be defined as fragmented; the Slavic tribes who would form Poland migrated to these areas in the second half of the 5th century AD. Up until the creation of Mieszko's state and his subsequent conversion to Christianity in 966 AD, the main religion of Slavic tribes that inhabited the geographical area of present-day Poland was Slavic paganism. With the Baptism of Poland the Polish rulers accepted Christianity and the religious authority of the Roman Church.
However, the transition from paganism was not a smooth and instantaneous process for the rest of the population as evident from the pagan reaction of the 1030s. Poland began to form into a recognizable unitary and territorial entity around the middle of the 10th century under the Piast dynasty. Poland's first documented ruler, Mieszko I, accepted Christianity with the Baptism of Poland in 966, as the new official religion of his subjects; the bulk of the population converted in the course of the next few centuries. In 1000, Boleslaw the Brave, continuing the policy of his father Mieszko, held a Congress of Gniezno and created the metropolis of Gniezno and the dioceses of Kraków, Kołobrzeg, Wrocław. However, the pagan unrest led to the transfer of the capital to Kraków in 1038 by Casimir I the Restorer. In 1109, Prince Bolesław III Wrymouth defeated the King of Germany Henry V at the Battle of Hundsfeld, stopping the Ge
Left and Democrats
Left and Democrats was a centre-left electoral alliance of political parties in Poland, created on 3 September 2006, before the Warsaw municipal election of 2006. The coalition's aim was to provide an alternative for both Law and Justice and Civic Platform, which have been Poland's two major political parties since 2005. LiD contested their first national election in October, 2007 and won 53 seats to the Polish parliament, the Sejm; the LiD alliance was dissolved in April 2008, following a rift between the member parties. On September 15, 2006, the Coalition Election Committee was appointed under the name of "SLD+SdPl+PD+UP – Lewica i Demokraci"; the four member parties were: Democratic Left Alliance, social-democratic Social Democracy of Poland, social-democratic Labour Union, social-democratic Democratic Party – demokraci.pl, social-liberalAt the beginning, the coalition was created only to enter candidates in regional councils. However it functioned during elections to many other, smaller units of local government, such as mayorships and town councils.
The September 2006 Agreement that founded the coalition accused the incumbent government, led by the Law and Justice party, of causing an erosion of democracy in Poland. Wojciech Olejniczak, the chairman of Democratic Left Alliance, argued that the only true alternative to Law and Justice would be a coalition of the centre and left parties, alleging that Civic Platform the largest opposition party in the Polish Sejm, was too close politically to the Law and Justice Party; the party's founding act emphasized such elements as local government, Poland as part of an "open and modern Europe", protection of democratic institutions and separation of powers, opposition to a "closed" foreign policy, support for pluralism and tolerance as the hallmarks of a democratic society. Parties creating the coalition decided to follow three main principles in the lead up to the 2006 local elections: Civil and democratic local government – self-government authorities have to apply to their constitutional and legal principles and according to law.
Powers of the local authority should be extended at the cost of the central – national authority. Solidary in local government - actions, which are performed by self-government authorities should be based on the rule of social solidarity, based on the tenet that all citizens should have access to essential public services. Clear and honest local government – local cliques, corrupt restrictions and violations of law in local government should be put to an end. Actions of the local authority should be comprehensible to every citizen; this table includes all candidates affiliated with, or supported by, the coalition in the 2006 local elections. Although the coalition was conceived as a temporary electoral alliance for the 2006 local elections, cooperation between the parties continued, on January 18, 2007, a Political Negotiating Committee headed by former Polish President Aleksander Kwaśniewski was created, for the purpose of clarifying a common centre-left political program; the members of the Political Negotiating Committee were: Aleksander Kwaśniewski, former President of Poland Wojciech Olejniczak, Chairman of the Democratic Left Alliance Jerzy Szmajdziński, Chairman of SLD Parliamentary Caucus Marek Borowski, Chairman of Social Democracy Waldemar Witkowski, Chairman of the Labour Union Janusz Onyszkiewicz, Chairman of the Democratic Party LiD contested their first national elections in October, 2007.
Aleksander Kwaśniewski led the campaign, as the nominal head of the coalition, its candidate for Prime Minister. LiD managed to take 13.2% of the national vote, 53 seats, therefore achieving third place after the Civic Platform & Law and Justice parties, respectively. Of the 53 seats gained, the SLD took 37 seats, SDPL took 10, PD took 1, whilst non-party candidates took 5 seats; the 4th coalition partner, the UP, did not win any seats. LiD did not manage to elect any of its members to the upper house Senate. Following the elections, LiD was not invited to participate in the coalition of the victorious Civic Platform with the agrarian Polish People's Party. LiD held some leverage in the new Sejm, as the government on occasion needed its votes to overturn presidential vetos on government legislation. Kwaśniewski announced his resignation from the leadership of LiD, following the outcome of the election. Wojciech Olejniczak - Parliamentary Chairman Wacław Martyniuk - Parliamentary Secretary Jerzy Szmajdziński - Vice-Marshall of the Sejm Romuald Ajchler Leszek Aleksandrzak Bartosz Arłukowicz Marek Balicki Anna Bańkowska Anita Błochowiak Marek Borowski Andrzej Celiński Eugeniusz Czykwin Marian Filar Tomasz Garbowski Witold Gintowt-Dziewałtowski Henryk Gołębiewski Tadeusz Iwiński Zdzisława Janowska Izabela Jaruga-Nowacka Ryszard Kalisz Tomasz Kamiński Witold Klepacz Jan Kochanowski Sławomir Kopyciński Bożena Kotkowska Janusz Krasoń Bogdan Lis Krystyna Łybacka Zbigniew Matuszczak Jarosław Matwiejuk Krzysztof Matyjaszczyk Henryk Milcarz Tadeusz Motowidło Grzegorz Napieralski Artur Ostrowski Grzegorz Pisalski Wojciech Pomajda Stanisława Prządka Stanisław Rydzoń Joanna Senysz
Social democracy is a political and economic ideology that supports economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a liberal democratic polity and a capitalist economy. The protocols and norms used to accomplish this involve a commitment to representative and participatory democracy, measures for income redistribution and regulation of the economy in the general interest and welfare state provisions. Social democracy thus aims to create the conditions for capitalism to lead to greater democratic and solidaristic outcomes. Due to longstanding governance by social democratic parties and their influence on socioeconomic policy development in the Nordic countries, in policy circles social democracy has become associated with the Nordic model in the latter part of the 20th century. Social democracy originated as a political ideology that advocated an evolutionary and peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism using established political processes in contrast to the revolutionary approach to transition associated with orthodox Marxism.
In the early post-war era in Western Europe, social democratic parties rejected the Stalinist political and economic model current in the Soviet Union, committing themselves either to an alternative path to socialism or to a compromise between capitalism and socialism. In this period, social democrats embraced a mixed economy based on the predominance of private property, with only a minority of essential utilities and public services under public ownership; as a result, social democracy became associated with Keynesian economics, state interventionism and the welfare state while abandoning the prior goal of replacing the capitalist system with a qualitatively different socialist economic system. With the rise of popularity for neoliberalism and the New Right by the 1980s, most social democratic parties have incorporated Third Way ideology, which aims to fuse liberal economics with social democratic welfare policies. Modern social democracy is characterized by a commitment to policies aimed at curbing inequality, oppression of underprivileged groups and poverty, including support for universally accessible public services like care for the elderly, child care, health care and workers' compensation.
The social democratic movement has strong connections with the labour movement and trade unions which are supportive of collective bargaining rights for workers as well as measures to extend decision-making beyond politics into the economic sphere in the form of co-determination for employees and other economic stakeholders. During late 19th and early 20th centuries, social democracy was a movement that aimed to replace private ownership with social ownership of the means of production, taking influences from both Marxism and the supporters of Ferdinand Lassalle. By 1868–1869, Marxism had become the official theoretical basis of the first social democratic party established in Europe, the Social Democratic Workers' Party of Germany. In the early 20th century, the German social democratic politician Eduard Bernstein rejected the ideas in classical and orthodox Marxism that proposed a specific historical progression and revolution as a means to achieve social equality, advanced the position that socialism should be grounded in ethical and moral arguments for social justice and egalitarianism, was to be achieved through gradual legislative reform.
Influenced by Bernstein, following the split between reformists and revolutionary socialists in the Second International social democratic parties rejected revolutionary politics in favor of parliamentary reform while remaining committed to socialization. In this period, social democracy became associated with reformist socialism. Under the influence of politicians like Carlo Rosselli in Italy, social democrats began disassociating themselves from Marxism altogether and embraced liberal socialism, appealing to morality instead of any consistent systematic, scientific or materialist worldview. Social democracy made appeals to communitarian and sometimes nationalist sentiments while rejecting the economic and technological determinism characteristic of both Marxism and economic liberalism. By the post-World War II period, most social democrats in Europe had abandoned their ideological connection to Marxism and shifted their emphasis toward social policy reform in place of transition from capitalism to socialism.
The origins of social democracy have been traced to the 1860s, with the rise of the first major working-class party in Europe, the General German Workers' Association founded by Ferdinand Lassalle. 1864 saw the founding of the International Workingmen's Association known as the First International. It brought together socialists of various stances and occasioned a conflict between Karl Marx and the anarchists led by Mikhail Bakunin over the role of the state in socialism, with Bakunin rejecting any role for the state. Another issue in the First International was the role of reformism. Although Lassalle was not a Marxist, he was influenced by the theories of Marx and Friedrich Engels and he accepted the existence and importance of class struggle. However, unlike Marx's and Engels's The Communist Manifesto, Lassalle promoted class struggle in a more moderate form. While Marx viewed the state negatively as an instrument of class rule that should only exist temporarily upon the rise to power of the proletariat and dismantled, Lassalle accepted the state.
Lassalle viewed the state as a means through which workers could enhance their interests and transform the society to create an economy based on worker-run cooperatives. Lassalle's strategy was electoral and reformist, with Lassalleans contending that the working c
1993 Polish parliamentary election
Parliamentary elections were held in Poland on 19 September 1993. In Sejm elections, 52.13% of citizens cast their votes, 95.7% of those were counted as valid. In Senate elections, 52.1% of citizens cast their votes, 97.07% were valid. The elections were won by the left-wing parties of the Democratic Left Alliance and the Polish People's Party, who formed a coalition together. Obwieszczenie Państwowej Komisji Wyborczej z dn. 23 IX 1993 r. Monitor Polski. Nr 50, poz. 470, sprostowanie – M. P. Z 1994 r. Nr 2, poz. 8 Obwieszczenie PKW z dn. 23 IX 1993 r. M. P. Nr 50, poz. 471. P. Z 1994 r. Nr 2, poz. 8
2011 Polish parliamentary election
A parliamentary election to both the Senate and the Sejm was held in Poland on 9 October 2011. The previous election, in 2007, resulted in a Civic Platform–Polish People's Party government. All seats of both Houses were up for re-election. Prime Minister Donald Tusk's Civic Platform won a plurality of seats and Tusk became the first Polish prime minister to be appointed for a second consecutive term since the fall of communism. Both the Civic Platform and its junior partner, the Polish People's Party, agreed to continue their governing coalition after the election; the election was for all 100 seats of the Senate. Candidates for Deputies are nominated either by the electoral committees of the various political parties and or by individual voter committees; the process of election for the Sejm is through party-list proportional representation via the D'hondt method in multi-seat constituencies, with a 5% threshold for single parties and 8% threshold for coalitions. The election was the first one to take place under a new Election Code which altered the electoral system in the Senate election from a plurality block voting to the first-past-the-post voting, with one member to be returned in each of the 100 single member constituencies.
There were 25,993 precincts for 30,512,850 voters. The date of the election, October 9, was set by the President of Poland, Bronisław Komorowski, announced on 4 July; the latest possible date for the election to be held was 30 October 2011, four years after the previous election. Prior to the announcement of the election date, the most dates were thought to be 16 October or 23 October. Although the governing coalition had a strong majority, it was suggested that the elections be brought forward to the spring, to avoid the campaign interrupting Poland's Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of the year; the idea was supported by the Democratic Left Alliance and Poland Comes First, but opposed by Law and Justice. The Civic Platform favoured an election date of 23 October. Since the State Electoral Commission decided that 30 October falls too close to the national holiday of All Saints' Day, elections are always held on Sundays, 23 October was the latest possible date to hold the election.
In the end, Komorowski decided on 9 October. The idea of holding the election over two days instead of the usual one, to increase turnout, was raised. An election over two days would have cost 130–140 million złoty, compared to 90 million for a one-day election; the single day election option prevailed. Civic Platform, the largest governing party under prime minister Donald Tusk, was seeking reelection. Opinion polls over the past four years had consistently shown the PO to have the largest level of popular support among Poland's political parties. PO was seeking either to win majority government in its own right, or to continue its coalition with the smaller Polish People's Party. During the election campaign, prime minister Donald Tusk ruled out the possibility of a coalition with either Law and Justice or Palikot's Movement. Law and Justice Law and Justice, is Poland's second largest party as of 2007, was the leading party of government from 2005–2007. PiS's greatest difficulty this election, was not only that it trailed PO in popular support, but that if it were to outpoll the PO, it might have had difficulty in finding other parties willing to enter into a coalition with it.
Jarosław Kaczyński had publicly denied the possibility of allying his party with the post-communist SLD and relations with the PSL were tense. This tension was exacerbated following PiS's spokesperson Adam Hofman's statement during the election campaign, in which he attacked PSL members in an abusive manner following the airing of the People's Party newest electoral TV ad. Democratic Left Alliance Poland's strongest left-wing party, the Democratic Left Alliance had struggled since 2005 to regain its position as one of the countries two largest parties; the SLD indicated its potential interest in being a coalition partner with PO following the election. Polish People's Party The Polish People's Party is an agrarian-rooted party, it was the minority partner in a coalition government with PO. Although some opinion polls showed popular support for PSL to be dangerously close to the 5% electoral threshold, in the past PSL performed a little better than opinion polls indicated, it is seen as a coalition partner for every party that happens to need such.
Palikot's Movement Palikot's Movement the Movement of Support, is a breakaway faction of the PO that followed MP Janusz Palikot after he had been expelled from the party for his "scandalous" remarks on late President Lech Kaczyński. The RP is distinctive on Poland's political scene in that it is the first party in the country's history that puts strong emphasis on its program's anticlerical features along with appeals for putting an end to the anti-abortion policy and introducing civil unions for same-sex couples. In terms of economy, the RP blends leftist and rightist ideas. Poland Comes First A new party on the Polish political scene, Poland Comes First, emerged as a splinter group from PiS, following the Polish presidential election, 2010. PJN's future parliamentary representation was uncertain, given that most opinion polls showed support levels for PJN to be below the 5% electoral threshold; the party had suffered an const