Friday, 15 October 2010

Positive Politics

A completely unspectacular news item provides, for me at least, a clear demonstration of the positive thinking of Polish politicians compared with those I remember from the UK. A item on 'candidates-line-up-for-warsaw-election-bid' shows what all the candidates want to do. Its all pretty positive stuff, with absolute consensus on various combinations of building up infrastructure, and improving services and quality of life. There's none of the UK obligatory candidate promising to cut the (by definition) bad public expenditure and (by definition) wasteful public servant jobs.

Thankfully, amongst what seem to be the serious ambitions of most of the candidates, there is at least one of those absolute delights of Polish politics, a complete eccentric (or nutter if you prefer). Janusz Korwin-Mikke is well known for his amusing and extreme ideas - I saw him described somewhere as a Publicist and Politician, with self-publicising seeming to be primary whenever I hear about him. Unfortunately, his 'improve Warsaw traffic by eliminating trams', looses my support. Trams were my primary method of getting around in Warsaw, with the main problem being that I never knew whether to get off the tram on those rare occasions when they broke down. Everything was normally sorted out in 10 minutes or so: quicker than going to the nearest bus stop and waiting for the bus. No London-style extremely long wait for the next bus with space, etc.

I also liked 'Katarzyna Munio is planning to introduce bus passes for cars with at least four passengers', which had me envisaging cars driving through the doors of Warsaw buses. Then I realised its just a journalistic howler - I think she wants to allow full cars to use bus lanes.

The sad bit to me is Czeslaw Bielecki claiming to be an independent candidate whilst being on the PiS political party list of candidates. I hope they sort themselves out soon. However, since he wants to 'eliminate traffic jams', he may be a bit of a nutter (eccentric, sorry) too.

What about reducing public sector debt? Well, I haven't seen Warsaw's balance sheet and if Korwin-Mikke, who quotes Milton Friedman - the arch-enemy of government expenditure, doesn't (have the guts to?) demand it, then neither do I.

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