The Polish Opposition Is Exposing The Ruling Party’s Hypocrisy On Russia & Muslim Immigration
There’s a chance that PO’s efforts to expose PiS as hypocrites on these sensitive issues could bear electoral fruit, but it’s too early to tell. In any case, this represents the opposition’s most forceful pushback against the ruling party’s narratives thus far.
Poland’s ruling “Law & Justice” (PiS) party has attempted to present the upcoming elections on 15 October as a pivotal moment for the country’s national security by fearmongering that the opposition “Civic Platform” (PO) is German-controlled, soft on Russia, and wants large-scale Muslim immigration. While PO has struggled to defend itself from the first accusation, it’s pushing back against the last two by exposing PiS’ hypocrisy towards these highly sensitive issues.
To that end, the opposition-dominated Senate just voted to set up its own so-called “Russian influence commission” to counteract the one established by the ruling party earlier this summer. Euractiv reported that this newly created body will investigate “PiS politicians’ possible connections with Russia and importing coal and LNG gas from Russia amid the war in Ukraine”, while its predecessor will focus on the deals that Poland clinched with Russia during PO’s prior tenure.
Seeing as how the West condemned PiS’ commission shortly after it was announced, it therefore follows that it might do the same with PO’s for consistency’s sake, albeit perhaps somewhat milder due to its ruling liberal-globalists’ ideological preference for the opposition that was explained here at the time. Nevertheless, by trying to expose PiS’ hypocrisy on this issue, PO hopes to demoralize the ruling party’s conservative-nationalist base in parallel with convincing on-the-fence voters to back them instead.
The same motive is at play in attempting to expose its double standards towards large-scale Muslim immigration. PO leader Donald Tusk, who used to serve as Prime Minister from 2007-2014 and then President of the European Council from 2014-2019, tried turning the tables on PiS back in July when he claimed that the ruling party is really the one that’s plotting to facilitate this. Notes From Poland translated the remarks that he made in a viral video on social media at the time:
“We are watching the shocking scenes of the violent riots in France and right now Kaczyński is preparing a document that will allow even more citizens from countries such as Saudi Arabia, India, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Qatar, the UAE, Nigeria or the Islamic Republic of Iran to come to Poland.
Kaczyński has already brought in over 130,000 citizens from such countries last year – 50 times more than in 2015 [the final year that PO was in power]. Why does he simultaneously attack foreigners and immigrants and want to let them in by the hundreds of thousands and from such countries?”
As the aforementioned outlet noted, he was referring to PiS’ now-suspended bill that would have fast-tracked work visas for 400,000 people next year from predominantly Muslim Global South countries across Afro-Eurasia, which was halted shortly after Tusk’s video due to the outrage that it provoked. The Social Insurance Institution then defended the proposal by claiming that Poland needs 2 million immigrants across the next decade, or 200,000 a year for ten years, to counteract society’s ageing.
That’s not the end of the story, however, since speculation began swirling in early September that high-level corruption might have been responsible for PiS’ scandalous proposal. According to Notes From Poland, Deputy Foreign Minister Piotr Wawryk – who some claim authored that bill – was recently fired after an investigation revealed that he might have been complicit in an alleged scheme whereby migrants from these same majority-Muslim Global South countries paid $5,000 for Polish visas.
PO is therefore demanding an investigation and maximally exploiting these rumors in their attempt to portray PiS as hypocritical on this issue. It’s so sensitive because Poland used to be one of the world’s most ethno-religiously homogenous societies after World War II prior to last year’s large-scale influx of Ukrainian refugees. Those new arrivals are civilizationally similar Christian Slavs, however, unlike the civilizationally dissimilar Muslims from developing countries connected to PiS’ bill and alleged scheme.
It's unimportant whether readers sympathize with average Poles’ concerns on this subject or condemn them as bigoted since the point is that it’s a major issue for the vast majority of voters. Considering this, there’s a chance that PO’s efforts to expose PiS as hypocrites on the sensitive issues of large-scale Muslim immigration and Russia could bear electoral fruit, but it’s too early to tell. In any case, this represents the opposition’s most forceful pushback against the ruling party’s narratives thus far.