Poland: Confederation party’s rising star rules out coalition with ruling conservatives or liberal PO

One of the Confederation party leaders, Sławomir Mentzen. (Source: Twitter@SlawomirMentzen)
By John Cody
6 Min Read

Sławomir Mentzen, one of the leaders of the right-wing Confederation party, has said that he is in no hurry to govern and feels that his party’s time is yet to come

Mentzen was interviewed by portal Interia.pl. The interview is one of many he has given as of late as interest in the Confederation party is growing as a result of its rise in the polls. 

The young politician admitted that he wanted the other liberal and left parties to unite on one opposition slate, as such a coalition would mean that anyone who did not want to vote for the ruling conservative Law and Justice (PiS) or the liberals would have to vote for Confederation. However, he was adamant that Confederation did not want to ally with either the conservatives or the liberals.

“At this moment in time, neither of them are worthy of a coalition with us,” said Mentzen. He added that Confederation had its own program and after the election would see who would agree to realize it.

He categorically denied that his party was talking to the ruling conservatives or the liberals about a future coalition. He said he wanted nothing to do with either Law and Justice (PiS) party leader Jarosław Kaczyński or Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro. Mentzen said his party was in no hurry to form a coalition with anyone.

He said that his party was one made up of young people and Mentzen himself is 36, which means the party has time to realize its goals. Mentzen claimed that getting over 10 percent of the vote and a wedge of 40 deputies in the Lower House of Parliament would be a satisfactory outcome for his party. 

Mentzen denied that he was anti-Semitic or homophobic but confirmed the party wanted to radically reduce taxation and was skeptical about the European Union’s policies. He denied that his party wanted Poland to leave the EU. He said he favored the free movement of people, capital, goods and services but opposed “green madness,” which would increase the cost of living in Poland and threaten its industry and agriculture. 

The Confederation leader was clearly unwilling to talk about his own conservative views on issues such as bringing up children or abortion. He said that the important thing for Poles was the threat posed to economic well-being by EU directives, high taxes and red tape. 

Mentzen denied that Confederation was sympathetic to Russia and opposed to the war. He pointed to the fact that his party had supported Ukraine and that it hoped it would win the war with Russia; however, he would not talk about the anti-Ukrainian opinions voiced by a prominent Confederation deputy, Grzegorz Braun, or the pro-Putin views of the veteran libertarian Janusz Korwin-Mikke

Mentzen confirmed that his party would concentrate on its social media campaigns, as he was rarely invited onto either public or commercial TVN. Asked about where support was coming from for his party, he admitted that it was mainly young people from urban areas and that it had little or no support among pensioners.

He put that down to the fact that they do not use social media much and watch TV stations where Confederation is not invited, but admitted that he had no specific offer for older voters.

“I respect seniors but have no offer for them, don’t have anything in common with them, don’t understand them and don’t really have contact with them,” he said.

He denied his party had a problem with women voters, even though polls point to support among men being almost three times that of women for his party. Mentzen argued that issues such as abortion are of little interest to people.

“Women pay high taxes, have to wait a long time for health services and have problems with bureaucracy. How many abortions does a woman carry out in her life? Taxes she pays each month, VAT every day,” Mentzen said. 

He added that Poles did not want to discuss abortion, John Paul II or relations between church and state, but were concerned about the EU banning internal combustion engine cars and forcing Poles to renovate their homes. 

Mentzen criticized both the conservatives and liberals for promising more social spending and subsidizing mortgages. He said that any subsidies for mortgages would only increase housing prices and that the answer to the problem of affordable homes lay in increasing supply by reducing the costs of planning and construction. He concluded that market forces rather than state control or ownership were the best way to achieve economic development.  

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