Democratische lessen te leren in Polen?

Democratische lessen te leren in Polen?

Toen we een paar weken geleden zelf in Polen waren viel op dat in de campagnes voor Europa de (liberale) oppositie niet echt een eigen boodschap had om te melden maar vooral de campagne voert met kritiek op de regeringspartij. Omdat wij geen politicologen zijn zullen we zelf hierover geen betoog schrijven, vooral omdat op de site van de New York Times een interessant opiniestuk staat met de titel Want to Save Europe? Learn From Poland. Geschreven door activisten uit deze oppositie. Wat ons betreft een aanrader voor iedereen die op zoek is naar een positieve boodschap.

Een kleine selectie van enkele zinsnedes uit het artikel:

These days, many people view Poland as a warning story for Europe: a country rapidly moving away from liberal democracy.


It’s true that democracy has suffered under Law and Justice. But there’s another story about Poland that needs to be told, one about how liberals are learning to fight for democracy. There is no guarantee that Law and Justice will be defeated in this year’s elections for the European Parliament and the Polish Parliament, but change is happening.

Les 1: werk samen

If politics really is, as Law and Justice (red. de regeringspartij) still likes to posit, “us vs. them,” it’s worth remembering that there are more of us. [...] This isn’t easy. Every party entering the coalition must agree to painful compromises

Les 2: Neem tijd om een democratische agenda op te bouwen

If there is one thing that illiberal politicians invariably seem to be good at, it is grasping that in the age of social media politics is entertainment. [...] the liberal opposition started to learn how to do politics at two speeds. Yes, it’s important to keep fighting Law and Justice on the internet by responding to their provocative posts.(It has also become clear that social media can work in liberals’ favor: A recent documentary on YouTube about pedophilia in the Catholic Church in Poland went viral (red. ruim 21M views op 22 mei) and is challenging the government.) At the same time, it is essential to think in the longer term. Sometimes you need to turn your phone — and your politics — on “airplane mode,” take a break from refreshing your feeds and really build a democratic agenda.

Les 3: Vertel een positief verhaal

If liberals want to win elections, they have to learn how to tell stories that give voters a sense of optimism and purpose — not stories that promise to revert to the status quo before the illiberals arrived on the political scene.

Hun slot paragraaf stipt precies het punt aan van onze inleiding; Niet inzetten op een negatieve boodschap waarin de tegenstander wordt zwart gemaakt:

The lesson for the rest of Europe is here: be creative in adapting to the new challenges of 21st century politics. Illiberals traffic in fear and nostalgia; liberals must offer hope instead of cultivating defeatism. In the fight against illiberalism, a new liberal vision is slowly being born. As the great Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska once wrote, “It is a pretty sentence, but true.”

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