Daily Archives: December 27, 2008

The Kaiserreich and Polish elections

This map was posted a few days/weeks ago on StrangeMaps.com and other places on the interwebs. Quite an interesting division. The map superimposes the borders of the old Kaiserreich on the results map of the 2007 Polish Sejm election. PO, Civic Platform, is a centre-right party and generally the most liberal and pro-Western. PiS, Law and Justice, is ultra-conservative, nationalistic, and populist. The other parties, which win anywhere from 8 to 15%, are less significant. LiD, Left and Democrats, which doesn’t exist anymore, was a coalition of mainly European social democratic parties with a small social liberal party (Democratic Party-demokraci.pl). PSL, Polish People’s Party, used to be a socialist party, but is now a centrist/Christiandem agrarian party. Other parties not on this map include the LPR, League of Polish Families, a ultra-conservative Christian right (and slightly anti-semitic party) party; and Samoobrona, a leftie nationalist and very populist party. Also a bunch of hypocrites (see the EU membership referendum in 2003). LPR and Samoobrona did well in the 2004 EU elections and 2005 Sejm elections, but were wiped out in 2007.

The divide between PO and PiS is quite interesting, especially when compared to the Kaiserreich. The PO generally wins the formerly German areas (now, don’t get fooled, there are very little Germans actually left there, save for a bit in Silesia) while PiS wins the formerly Russian areas. PiS seems to do best in the rural, settled areas, such as the old Polish lands around the Vistula. And also the old Hapsburg Galicia (they seem to have done especially well there).  Galicia seems to be the region that prefers xenophobia and Bible-thumping the most. The very scary LPR also did best in the east in the 2004 EU elections. The west is much more urban (look at a railway map of Poland, you get the same pattern) and the population is much less settled, quite a big percentage of the people there got dumped there post-war. PO is the generally pro-business party, so they also do well in the most economically liberal areas, such as Warsaw, which was part of Czarist Russia and not the Kaiserreich. Western Poland benefited the most from the post-Communist reforms.