PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS IN POLAND AFTER 1989
 
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Katedra Nauk Politycznych Akademia Ekonomiczna w Krakowie
Publication date: 2020-01-28
 
Studia Politologiczne 2002;6
 
ABSTRACT
The text deals with the subject of presidential campaigns in Poland after 1989. The first three parts provide a short description of the 1990, 1995 and 2000 campaigns. The fourth part provides a comparison of the 1995 and 2000 campaigns, with the focus on their marketing side. The 1990 campaign was omitted, as it did not meet the definition of a marketing campaign. Special attention is given to such matters as the engagement of advertising specialists and image creators. The usage of various means of campaign advertising used in both campaigns is also described. The 1995 and 2000 campaigns are also compared from different aspects, such as how professional they were or their inability to use marketing methods to their favour, as well as how effective they turned out to be. The problem of campaign financing is also mentioned, both in terms of the strategy of campaign spending as well as legal regulations in this respect. An interesting aspect, clearly common to both these campaigns, is pointed out, i.e. – in somewhat simplified terms – the fading in importance of historical divisions and the absence of approval for negative campaigning. In the conclusive chapter, the author points out that presidential elections are the only form of collective political activity in Poland, where attendance exceeds 50% and is markedly higher that in parliamentary and territorial self-government elections. She also indicates the growing importance of the phenomenon of personalisation or presidentialisation of politics. This is closely connected with the increasing “marketisation” of election campaigns and is conductive to increased voter activity, but then also simplifies political debate, bringing it down to a mere “beauty pageant”. A negative aspect of the personalisation of politics, in the case of Poland, was also the ongoing depreciation of ethical standards with respect to politicians, proof of which is a form of social schizophrenia. Thus, on the one hand, society is inclined to harshly criticise political elites, and shares the view that politicians to a greater degree than „simple mortals” should abide by the law and moral standards in public life, on the other hand, decisions made by the public indicate that in practice it pays little attention to the degree in which politicians meet ethical standards. This particular pragmatism which expresses itself as the lowering of ethical expectations towards politicians can become dangerous and without doubt cannot bring about the demanded improvement in the quality of public life.
ISSN:1640-8888