Poland’s Election and its Global Implications

Kaitlyn Kim

Staff Writer

Poland is going through something that may transform Europe– and surprisingly, it’s the 2023 election that may have changed it all. In America, the sentiment involved in elections often involves an innate feeling of helplessness. Many would go as far as to say that voting is inherently pointless due to beliefs of a rigged and irrelevant system being in control. While this may be true in America, Poland has shown that the power of voting can truly cause change. 

First session of the newly elected Polish parliament in Warsaw

The First Session of Poland’s Parliament (Photo Courtesy of Reuters)

On October 15th, 2023, Poland had held their 2023 parliamentary election. Although Polish politics aren’t as divisive as America, the results still caused cultural shock: the Law and Justice Party, Poland’s dominating conservative party, was overthrown. Or, at least partially. 

Based on the exit polls prediction, the Law and Justice Party has both won and lost. While the Law and Justice Party got more seats than any other party in the election, it still had fewer seats than in the previous election, thus not having enough to be able to lead a government that can pass laws in the legislature. 

Essentially, this huge turnover resulted in a large potential change, not only for Poland but for any country participating in the EU. The changes that can potentially spawn from this can be either major political and/or ideological switches for the Polish government. 

Although it is relatively confusing to understand, the Law and Justice Party has not been completely overthrown. Unlike in American politics, there doesn’t need to be a definitive party switch in order for change to occur. Poland is a member of the EU, which stands for the European Union. The EU consists of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden. This totals 27 of the 44 European countries. Poland’s position in the EU means that the potential change in policies can greatly impact the union as a whole, especially in regard to immigration and economics. 

Imperial borders still shape politics in Poland

Map of Poland’s Parliamentary Election Results by Region (Image courtesy of the Economist)

The Polish election is relevant because it opens the door to change. There could be a potential transition in terms of government. Still, nothing can be promised, similar to how President Joseph Biden’s election did not ultimately turn America into a liberal country. The shift in government parties is important when the country aforementioned is involved in a greater collection of nations, and in October 2023, that country ended up being Poland. 

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