Q&A :: The silent majority
PR dla Zagranicy
Have Poles lost faith in their capacity to make free choices or is their silence in elections an expression thereof?
Poles in Lublin, south-east Poland, vote in the EP elections, 25.05.2014 Photo: PAP/Bartłomiej Zborowski
Under communism, Poles learned to care little for voting, as they saw meager power in their voices. Once the country became a democracy in 1989 – voter turnout skyrocketed to 60 percent and has since dropped to 40 percent and below. In the May election to the European Parliament 80 percent gave up that right.
While much has been said about the remoteness of Brussels from voters’ lives, the majority of Poles regularly steer clear of election booths.
“This absence [from the political process] is also an opinion,” says political analyst Bartłomiej Biskup, from the University of Warsaw.