Since the Law and Justice party (PiS) took a majority leadership in their government in October 2015, they have been trying to make a lot of changes, which has been going in the direction of autocracy, possibly even communism, because of the theme of laws completely being government-controlled. These changes include bringing new public media executives to their public news stations and trying to pass a completely pro-life bill, while already being one of the strictest abortion providers in the world. But are these just the ways of modern conservative-ideological political parties? Or is it more than what meets the eye?
Poland’s government runs similar to the United States, especially their branches of government. The ideology of having citizens having personal freedoms is also something the United States and Poland share. Even though the government is run by a very conservative political party with Christian values, many of these changes don’t follow traditional Republican values (at least in the United States) of personal privacy from the government.
If Poland mostly mirrors the United States way of government, then technically, Poland is a country who has freedom of speech, considerably. By textbook definition, this freedom extends to the media.
But there is a problem here. It’s not entirely so, especially since the new public media executives have been appointed this past January. Yes, the government isn’t directly airing heavy propaganda to its people (yet), but it’s highly likely that these appointees aren’t going to bite the hands that fed them a job.
For the most part, Polish people in the United States either aren’t aware or don’t care too much about any of the problematic political situations that are happening in Poland.
While the Polish mainstream media only really criticizes opposing views about Poland (unlike its general European counterpart), its citizens are starting to do just the opposite. The people of Poland are starting to take notice, and mocking other Polish media sources for being critical of the government. Among these people Piotr Wyszatycki, a citizen of Poland, who tweets below.
— Piotr (@Wyszatycki) April 6, 2017
Additionally, there are many different in-person protests from Polish citizens, including those from the ever-decreasing Labor Unions, about these different laws being made. The government criticizes these protestors–like some United States government leaders–as being anti-Liberal.
The protest that has captured the most attention was the arguably most restrictive abortion law in the world. A PiS-pushed bill, it was expected to pass without much trouble last fall. However, due to an international uproar, it became the first major upset of the PiS ever in its history as a party.
However, as online and in-person protests happen, the government is still passing the more restrictive bills on various activities, including political gatherings . The citizens are getting more worried, but how much more can protests do to stop the PiS on its own?