Thursday, October 13, 2005

I Could Vote For This Man

Peter Gentle, at The Beatroot, gives us information about some unsuccessful candidates in Poland's first round of Presidential balloting. This caught my eye:
Take for instance someone who is now becoming a veteran of presidential election contests, Janusz Korwin-Mikke, who used to stand on the "Real Politics" platform, but now just stands on the Korwin-Mikke Platform platform.

If I said to you that Mr. Korwin-Mikke is the type of man who always wears a bow tie, then you will get an idea of the sort of person he is. He's an intelligent, self-styled political maverick. He has some crazy ideas, which, once you think about some of them, at least, start to make a peculiar kind of sense.

He was a dedicated and brave anti-communist activist from the nineteen sixties onwards, managed to get himself arrested several times, and spent sometime in jail during the martial law period.

Towards the end of communism he set himself apart from the mainstream opposition with his Real Politics Union. He is for a low, almost non-existent tax economy, and onetime stood outside the finance ministry eating his tax-returns form. He is vehemently against the European Union (EU), the rules of which he sees as being less liberal than the old Soviet Union. 'Brussels is run by a bunch of 'Euro-Masons', he says. He favours Poland leaving the EU and joining NAFTA, the North Atlantic Free Trade Association. That Poland is nowhere near the North Atlantic is not a problem for him.

Always the contrarian, he thinks that Poland should not interfere in the politics of Belarus, and President Lukashenko - someone usually thought of as a foreign relations pariah - should, indeed, be left alone.

The man is a mass of contradictions, in fact. Some of his views are hyper-modern, but others are from a different, forgotten age. For instance, he has some chauvinistic views about the role of women today, and is a member of the Polish Monarchy Club - which think that we should search for the rightful heir to the Polish throne.

He is also a champion bridge player.

His election slogan in the presidential elections this time - he has stood twice before - was the simple: I'm as fed up as you are! On Sunday, he polled 1.4%.