This article was originally posted to Independent Political Report (IPR) today.
By Krzysztof Lesiak
The answer to that question increasingly seems to be yes. The Facebook page for the movement to create a Libertarian Party in Poland (Partia Libertariańska) has already garnered over 4,300 likes. Currently Poland has a party called Kongres Nowej Prawicy (Congress of the New Right) which promotes classical liberalism. They have garnered over 29,000 Facebook likes, and in the 2011 parliamentary elections in Poland secured over 151,000 votes, or 1.06% (interestingly enough, this was the same percentage of the vote the LPUS got in the U.S. Senate elections in 2012). Their leader is Janusz Korwin-Mikke, longtime free-market Austrian school economics advocate and 4 time presidential candidate (in the 2010 presidential elections he received his best showing percentage wise ever, garnering 416,898 votes for 2.48% of the vote). He has been dubbed by several media sources as the “Polish Ron Paul”, and he has frequently referenced to the 3 time presidential candidate and former U.S. congressman on his blog and website, as well as in public interviews. Besides the Kongres Nowej Prawicy, there is also the Unia Polityki Realnej (Real Politics Union), which was founded by Korwin-Mikke but he abondoned it to form his current party. They are now very small, however, and when they ran on a joint coalition with a socially conservative Christian party, Prawica Rzeczypospolitej (Right of the Republic), they received a mere 0.24% of the vote in the 2011 parliamentary elections.
However, the Libertarian Party of Poland, when officially registered as a political party, will become the first genuinely 100% libertarian political party in Poland. In Poland, a very socially conservative country, currently 70% of the people are opposed to gay marriage and 55% also oppose civil unions. Kongres Nowej Prawicy and Unia Polityki Realnej both hold some traditionally conservative views on social issues, as both are explicitly pro-life and against gay marriage (however, they support marijuana legalization). The Libertarian Party of Poland, from its website, gives its members jurisdiction over matters like abortion and gay marriage, and frequently posts links and references to the LPUS. There biggest issue that they are promoting, however, if a free-market economy. Currently, the biggest 6 political parties in Poland all either support crony capitalism or outright economic socialism.
According to an interview with Jacek Sierpiński (who openly calls himself an anarcho-capitalist), one of the founders of the Libertarian Party of Poland, conducted with the news website Salon24, the party is planning on registering as a formal political party in spring of this year. In the interview, his says that Congress of the New Right and Real Politics Union are not genuine hardcore libertarian parties. He calls them conservative-liberal parties that are closer to traditional Polish conservatism and that place a rather significant emphasism on Christian values (Poland is one of the most religiously homogeneous countries in the world, with 95% of the population being Catholic). He says many libertarians in Poland do not want to be lumped in with the right-wing or conservatism in the country. He cites that the Congress of the New Right actually wants to increase defense and military spending as well as expand the police force in the nation, as well as mandatory service in the nation’s armed services for all 18 year old and up able bodied males. He also says the Real Politics Union wants to protect states secret and isn’t big on transparency. He adds that the party wants to censure pornography. He mentioned that the Real Politics Union’s alliance with the Right of the Republican, a very socially conservative Christian party that he labeled as being “anti-freedom” repelled a lot of libertarians from this party. Sierpiński also criticized Janusz Korwin-Mikke, Congress of the New Right’s present leader. He said Korwin-Mikke could be a potential barrier to the Polish Libertarian Party’s potential collaboration with the Congress of the New Right. He also mentioned that he is an “infoanarchist”, meaning he does not believe in copyright laws and views them as incompatible with true liberty.
Sierpiński further said that the Polish Libertarian Party would neither be a Christian or anti-Christian party, but would rather be neutral in this regard. He stressed individuals will be able to live their lives any way they see fit as long as they are not infringing on the rights and liberties of other people. The party supports all types of gambling, drug legalization, no censorship of pornography, legalization of prostitution, religious liberties (he said the owner of a pharmacy would be able to not sell any contraceptives). He elaborated by saying that the party supports gay rights, and will oppose the banning of gay parades (in 2004, Lech Kaczyński, president of Warsaw, did not authorize a gay pride parade to take place in his city. Kaczyński later became president of Poland). He also said he wouldn’t oppose parades against homosexuality and in favor of traditional marriage. He said the party has no official stance on abortion, explaining that that libertarians disagree on this issue. He added the party supports euthanasia. He further stated they are against the Polish state financing religion classes in high schools as well as some Catholic universities. He added the party stresses Internet freedom, and once again called himself an “infoanarchist”.
The Libertarian Party of Poland Website is below (you can Google translate the whole website if you’re interested):