Swing of the pendulum

Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Sun Dec 19 07:47:08 MST 1999

Poland's former Communists, the " Democratic Left Alliance" are holding
their congress this weekend

''The nation which constantly relives its past becomes helpless toward the
future,'' Leszek Miller declared as the convention opened Saturday,
stressing that his party has young members ''in all districts and almost
all municipalities..."

Though the party's youth faction has only 6,500 members, it is attracting
more and more young adults weary of lectures from Catholic priests and
ruling Solidarity party politicians whose ardent anti-communism is wearing

Many thought the communists would simply fade away, but their revamped
party has emerged as a vibrant, pro-European, secular counterpart to
Solidarity's sometimes numbing conservatism.

Though it currently is confined to an opposition role and has no posts in
the government, opinion polls suggest its popularity is surging winning 38
percent approval, compared with 20 percent for Solidarity. Solidarity's
ratings, meanwhile, have plunged to the lowest of any government since the
communists were toppled in 1989.

Dogged criticism of the Solidarity bloc's economic reforms regarded in the
West as remarkably successful has won the party many adherents among the
unemployed and others on the low end of a widening income disparity. The
leftists also have capitalized on irritation with the powerful Catholic
Church's efforts to introduce religion in public schools, limit the right
to abortion and ban Sunday shopping. "

Source: - Boston Globe, 18th December

Louis Proyect
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