Visoka rast in delovna mesta: Kaj več še lahko naredi vlada, da ne izgubi volitev?

Nedeljski zasuk Poljske ostro v desno je bil za večino opazovalcev presenečenje. Poljska je najbolj uspešno prebrodila finančno krizo, dejansko krize sploh ni čutila. Ne samo v EU, pač pa tudi med vsemi OECD državami je v času krize rasla daleč najhitreje in stalno ustvarjala nova delovna mesta. Tuskova vlada, v svojem bistvu liberalno-konzervativna, je v krizi hitro spremenila intelektualni kurz in s povečanim proračunskim primanjkljajem, povečanimi javnimi investicijami ter zmanjšanjem ovir za poslovanje spodbujala rast. Rast je šla predvsem v korist sredinske polovice prebivalstva (srednji trije kvantili prebivalstva po dohodkih), katerih dohodki so se med 2007 in 2014 realno povečali za 28%.

Toda pragmatična Tuskova “državljanska platforma” je vseeno izgubila volitve na celi črti. Kaj več bi lahko vlada še naredila za volilce, da ne bi izgubila volitev?, se v Project Syndicate sprašuje Jacek Rostowski, minister za finance in podpredsednik vlade v letih 2007-2013. Navaja različne razloge, od naveličanosti nad vlado, da se je vlada premalo hvalila z zaslugami, da se je z ukrepi poskušala preveč prikupiti volilcem, da je bila preveč pragmatična itd. Toda v bistvu nima dobre teorije, zakaj so si poljski volilci nenadoma po madžarskem vzoru zaželeli skrajno nacionalističnega vodstva.

Moja skromna teorija pravi, da je bila to posledica dogajanja v Evropi. Prvič, neučinkovitost EU pri reševanju krize, predvsem v Grčiji ter zavračanje kakršnekoli potencialno povečane solidarnosti z “južnjaki”. In drugič, val muslimanskih imigrantov proti Evropi, kjer je samo Victor Orban “pokazal učinkovito obrambo pred nezaželenimi prišleki”. Zgodovina nas uči, da v takšnih časih (dejanske ali namišljene) zunanje nevarnosti državljani radi “poiščejo varnost” v okrilju skrajnih desničarjev.

Tudi zato nas ne sme presenetiti nenadoma prebujeni Janez Janša in besno tvitanje njega in njegovih vernikov glede begunske problematike in (domnevne) neučinkovitosti slovenske vlade pri obvladovanju situacije, pa tudi pozdravljanje zmage desničarjev na Poljskem. Slovenska skrajna desnica si pripravlja teren. Never waste a good crisis…

How can a government with the best economic record in Europe (indeed in the entire OECD) be humiliated at the polls by a Euroskeptic, nationalistic, and economically illiterate opposition – one deemed unelectable only a year ago? That is the question many Poles, and friends of Poland, are now asking, following the defeat on October 25 of the Civic Platform government. If creating jobs and boosting incomes can’t get you re-elected, what can?

At one level, Poles are aware of this, with large majorities describing financial conditions in their own families, workplaces, and social environments as either “good” or “very good.” The dissonance is that equally large majorities also describe Poland’s economic situation and the “direction in which the country is moving” as either “bad” or “very bad.”

And yet the disconnect between this reality and the Poland “in ruins” or “on the verge of catastrophe” perceived by many voters was too strong to ignore. Even Kopacz admitted the contrast between the “public affluence” that everyone sees and the “private penury” that many feel persists (at least relative to Germany, the preferred benchmark for Poles).

Although the problem faced by Kopacz and Civic Platform was specifically Polish, it contains a universal truth: to win, politicians must define the context in which they operate. During Tusk’s premiership, the government was perversely reluctant to claim credit for Poland’s economic success. Tusk praised Poles themselves for their hard work, but neglected to emphasize that without the government’s effective macroeconomic policies, that work would have been wasted. He never even reminded voters that the government’s choices in managing the fallout from the 2008 global financial crisis – which were neither obvious nor easy, because they required rejecting the EU’s austerity consensus – was the right one.

By 2014, the government was perceived as being so pragmatic as to be almost value-free. That perception naturally raised the suspicion that self-interest had become Civic Platform’s main motivation. As the party’s narrative became an endless litany of the good social things it had done (or was about to do), Poles came to view the campaign as a cynical attempt to buy their votes – and to do so with their own money. Even the fact that these promises, though plentiful, were mostly inexpensive (certainly compared to those of the opposition) was not used to convey a commitment to fiscal responsibility.

Elections are a choice, not an auction between competing lists of promises, with victory simply going to the highest bidder. Civic Platform lost because it failed to explain to Poles its own view of that choice. It hardly mattered that the opposition’s program lacked credibility: Civic Platform had already become the architect of its own defeat.

Vir: Jacek Rostowski, Project Syndicate

One response

  1. Jože, odlična tema. Stvar, ki bi jo moral analizirat vsak politik (in ekonomist, ki je vpet v politiko).

    Poljski razvoj je impresiven, ima pa tudi nekaj specifičnosti , ki se jih ne da kar tako ponoviti v drugih državah. Gre predvsem za razvoj Varšavske borze, ki je omogočila izjemne prilive kapitala, Varšava je pa postala nesporen finančni center Vzhodne Evrope (varšavska borza je večja od dunajske, budimpeštanske in vseh ostali VE borz skupaj, po številu IPO pa je pred franfurtsko).

    Ta razvoj so zelo pametno omogočili poljaki, ki so delali v tujini in s svojim znanjem omogočili vse to. Imel sem priliko spoznati nekaj ključnih akterjev in se večkrat sestati z njimi. Ne samo znanje, presenetil me je zagon in pa domoljubje teh ljudi (ki se ga pri nas že skoraj sramujemo). In pa to, da jim je politika pustila delati. Njihovih izkušenj se ne da direktno prenašati (navsezadnje ima ta model tudi precej nevarnosti) se pa da marsikaj naučiti iz njihovega odnosa.

    Je pa res , da se Poljske pretežno na osnovi ekonomije ne razlagati. Neki drugi, zgodovinski in emocionalni elementi so tukaj bistveno močnejši kot pri drugih državah.

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