Poland: Tusk’s about-face on migration tests his credibility, but a third of voters will accept whatever he says

Donald Tusk’s criticism of the ruling party on migration policy may be hypocritical and reminiscent of the behavior of a dodgy car salesman, but he is believed by many voters and his tactics could prove successful, writes Marek Pyza

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: Marek Pyza

The leader of the main opposition liberal Civic Platform (PO) has accepted the advice of a controversial former leader of a political party and businessman Janusz Palikot.

The advice was that to win an election you have to lie, lie and lie again. 

The latest example comes with Tusk’s remarks on migration, in which he criticized the conservative government for accepting mass immigration into Poland. It’s a total about-face for him given his previous positions on the issue, but for him, it is par for the course.

He was prepared to accentuate his faith when it suited him and to abandon all mention of it when he wanted anti-Christian votes of the left, even bringing himself to support abortion on demand.

He was once an exponent of tax cuts, but once he entered office, he raised them.

Tusk tried to befriend Putin but now pretends that he was always warning against him.

He opposed social transfers and saw his party hacks stigmatizing those in receipt of them, only later to demand they be increased.

Tusk has often talked of love when he and his party base their campaigning on stirring up hate.

He has been so inconsistent that he should have no credibility left, but he gets away with it because a large part of the electorate, around a third, are prepared to swallow anything he says. 

The latest polling research carried out by the “Social Changes” agency confirms this. It shows a staggering degree of gullibility within part of the Polish public.

The research shows 22 percent of Poles believe that unemployment is higher under the present government than under its liberal predecessor, when in fact unemployment is at a record low.

Another 31 percent think that migration away from Poland is higher under the present government too, with 59 percent of PO voters actually blaming the present government for the mass exodus of young people from Poland. 

It seems that whatever Tusk may say, a third of the voters will believe and support him. The message simply has to be repeated often enough by him and the liberal media. This makes him a difficult opponent. He is like a boxer who keeps punching below the waist, biting his opponent’s ear, and yet, one in three of those judges scoring the fight simply chooses not to see these illegal moves.

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