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Has the BBC finally worked out what 'liberal' means?

The first paragraph of a report on the Polish election win for Civic Platform:

"Poland's liberal opposition Civic Platform party has won a massive poll victory, ousting Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski's conservatives".

If I did not know better, I would be thinking, this is BAD news.

However, here are some extracts from Civic Platform's, erm, platform:

* flat tax (15% for personal income tax (PIT), corporate income tax (CIT) and VAT);
* privatization of the remaining public sectors of Polish economy;
* privatization of health care;
* decentralization through allocating a larger portion of the budget for local governments;
* direct elections of mayors and regional governors;
* higher education reform with equal rights for private and public universities;
* expanding the teaching of economics in secondary schools;
* halving the number of MPs in the Sejm from 460 to 230 and depriving them of parliamentary immunity from prosecution;
* first-past-the-post electoral system instead of proportional representation;
* labour law reform to reduce the power of trade unions;
* independence over monetary policy by the National Bank of Poland.

Good manifesto, isn't it? Lifted from the usual place. Try as I might, I can't see our own dear Lib Dems, the US Democrats, or any members of the soi disante Liberal International signing up for that set of policies.

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Blogger Ed said... 4:25 pm

I confess that I saw the "breaking news" line that said the liberals had won and my heart sank but that is a seriously good raft of policies!!

Can we have them here?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 4:31 pm

Ed - think of it as a public service announcement. BTW, your blog is showing up as members only, with a virtual velvet rope blocking the entrance. Might I come in, please?  

Blogger Ed said... 5:46 pm

I thought I had sent off the golden ticket already, but shall do so again.  

Blogger hatfield girl said... 7:29 pm

The woman standing right behind the Leader of Civic Platform in the photo is the former (hyper-liberal) governor of the Bank of Poland, currently mayor of Warsaw. The BBC merely missed out the word 'hyper'.  

Blogger Tristan said... 7:38 pm

FPTP is not particularly liberal - it enables concentration of political power. I want weak government, proportional representation does that.

Expanding the teaching of economics in secondary schools isn't either - government should not be dictating what is taught.

LibDems would definitely go for the decentraliation (Thatcher's bad legacy is the centralisation she oversaw), if we had any private universities aside from Buckingham I'd hope they'd support treating them equally, I wouldn't hold my breath on that though.

Independence of the national bank - well that was LibDem policy before Brown pinched it.

Reducing the number of MPs and removing immunity would be something the LibDems would do too - and something the Tories probably wouldn't do (I don't think they ever would have either).

Labour Union reform - thankfully we don't need it so badly (thankyou Maggie). Some LibDems woulod support it.

Of course the direct election of governers and mayors would be LibDem policy too.

Personally I'd sign up to all that except FPTP.

I also note that the Social Liberals in Poland also propose a flat tax, although at 18%, and Liberal International members elsewhere support flat taxes too.

I don't see even the Tories supporting it in the near future for these shores unfortunately. Too much social 'democracy' and people thinking government must provide for us unfortunately.  

Blogger Tristan said... 7:44 pm

I also note that LI member Reform (Estonia) advocates:

* 0% corporate tax on re-invested income and elimination of the dividend tax.
* cut flat income tax rate from 22% (in 2007) to 18% by 2011
* opposes VAT general rate increase (current VAT rate is 18%)
* wants to end conscription

Pretty liberal really. LI also praises Ayn Rand and Mises.  

Blogger Ian said... 8:59 pm

"I want weak government, proportional representation does that."

Does it, bollocks.

PR, as the model proposed by the LibDems, solidifies the institutional practises of political parties and totally demolishes the independent candidates, plus it brings in the possibly of government appointments who no-one actually voted for, it is a system of democracy touted by those who profit from the power of a democracy, only the reverse of PR, a non-partisan system, would give a true "weak" and highly accountable government.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 9:00 am

Tristan - A fine intervention. It would seem - again - that our mutual libertarianism trumps our party allegiance on a range of issues.  

Blogger Steve_Roberts said... 10:07 pm

PR means that power cannot be removed from the party leaders, even when they lose the election because they will be in the coalition - all the more so because the leaders control the party lists and can ensure the 'right' candidates get elected. FPTP involves a much higher degree of uncertainty for party leaders, and therefore allows voters more power  

Blogger Praguetory said... 5:09 pm

Appreciate this post. I think "liberal" in Beeboid speak translates as the ones they wanted to win.  

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