Over the years, DJ! has kept an eye on priest-ridden, misogynist Poland. Mostly, we've been appalled, but this week there's some very interesting and hopeful news.
In Sunday's election, ten per cent of Polish voters went nuts and voted for the Palikot Movement.
There is a picture, drawn by Polish cartoonist Marek Raczkowski: a crowd of people demonstrating in the street, carrying aloft a big banner that simply reads "FUUUCK!''. This is exactly how many young, well-educated, open-minded people felt on their way to the polling booth last Sunday. And these Poles voted for Janusz Palikot, whose recently created Movement party ended up coming third, with 10% of votes. His success is without a doubt the most thrilling story to come out of these elections. So who is this man, and why did 10% of Polish voters back him?
Palikot's Movement is the first political party in our country that has not been afraid to open up a debate about such sensitive subjects as a secular state, civil unions for heterosexual and homosexual couples, in-vitro fertilisation reimbursed by national health insurance, or a modern drug policy.
Thanks to Palikot's Movement, we now have the first openly homosexual politician in our parliament, Robert Biedron, and the first transsexual woman, Anna Grodzka. It almost feels like the day when the first black president of the United States was elected. One of the first things Biedron said after hearing the election results was: "A few years ago neighbours from my town used to throw rocks at me when I went jogging, because I was gay. And now Poles have chosen me to be their deputy. This is unbelievable. Our country is changing!"
Palikot wants to decriminalize marijuana, liberalize Poland's idiotic abortion laws, institute civil partnerships, and get the fricking Catlick Church out of politics.
He's a bit of a character.
The eccentric Palikot first conquered our hearts when he was Civic Platform's deputy a couple of years ago: during a now infamous press conference, he waved a plastic vibrator and a toy pistol around in order to call attention to a cover-up about a young woman who had been raped at a police station. Another time, he brought the bleeding stump of a bull's head onto a popular TV show, as a "mafia gift". Palikot has imagination and courage, and has earned enough from his previous career so that him and his family do not depend on the deputy's salary.
In my opinion, there is one conclusion we can draw from Palikot's victory: 10% of Poland's voters are willing to wave their metaphorical pink vibrators at the political establishment. Their vote was Poland's equivalent of camping on Madrid's Puerta del Sol or occupying Wall Street. Next, they want to hear some serious political solutions.
I dunno about that last bit, but Prime Minister Donald Tusk's party was re-elected with only a plurality. He needs votes in parliament. Will he continue to go with the misogynist pro-Catlick gang he has been working with? Or ally himself with the dildo-wavers?
Stay tuned. Poland just got interesting.