Political preferences of citizens of West Galicia on parliamentary elections in Poland towards the post-communist cleveage

: 7-14
Received: January 10, 2018
Accepted: April 20, 2018
Lviv Polytechnic National University

The article is dedicated to the study of political preferences of the citizens of historical West Galicia that is in Poland and which consists mainly of two regions - Lesser Poland and Subcarpathian Voivodeships. The main constraint that determined the elections in Poland and other post-socialist, post-soviet countries was the Post-Communist cleavage. These Post-communist cleavage based on the divide between the parties originating from the communist regime, and those with roots in the former opposition to these communist parties. The meaning of "Galicia" and its peculiarities as a region were examined. The author showed that in the results of the parliamentary elections in West Galicia prevailed rightwing and Post-Solidarity political parties. The main premises of such support for Post-Solidarity parties were: the high level of religiousness of local population, the strong influence of the Catholic Church, traditional and individual agriculture, the low level of urbanization, traditions of anti-communist resistance, the tradition of the people's movement, belonging to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, very strong regional identification. Voters in the areas of former West Galicia voted for the parties of their side of post-communist/non-communist division till elections in 2005. This was facilitated by the rivalry on the axis SLD - Post-Solidarity groups, especially if the latter were more united. In 2001, this division begins to disappear and is associated, firstly, with the breakdown of AWS and the division in the SLD, and the entry of new actors on the political scene of Poland. Secondly, new political issues and new challenges emerged. Nevertheless, the post-communist division survived in a changed form, because it became a matter of the historical policy of the political party Law and Justice, which is currently a dominant party in the political spectrum of Poland. West Galicia remained a region of Post-Solidarity forces, and mostly right-wing, however, the post-communist party SLD won the parliamentary elections in 1993 and in 2001 throughout Poland.

Antoszewski A. (2004) Patterns of political rivalry in contemporary European democracies. Publishing house of the University of Wroclaw. Wroclaw.

Grabowska M. (2004), Post-communist division. Social basis of politics in Poland after 1989, Publishing House Scholar. Warsaw.

Grabowska M., Szawiel T. (2001), Building democracy. Social divisions, political parties and civil society in post-communist Poland, PWNPublishing House, Warsaw.

Grzymala-Busse A. (2001) Coalition Formation and the Regime Divide in East Central Europe Comparative Politics, Vol. 34, No. 1, Retrieved from: https://people.stanford. edu/amgbusse/sites/default/files/cp_01 .pdf

Election Resources on the Internet. (n. d.). Retrieved from: http://www.electionresources.org.

Raciborski J. (1997) Polish elections. Electoral behaviors of Polish society in 1989-95. Warsaw.

Kowalczyk, K., Sielski, J. (Eds.). (2005). Civic Platform of Poland (p. 122-130). Polish parties and parliamentary groups. Torun.

Kowalski M. (2000) Electoral geografy of Poland. Spatial differentiation of electoral behavior of Poles in 1989­1998, PAN IG and PZ, Warsaw.

Kubicki, P. (2012), Galicia, between the region and the myth, (p. 92-107) (in :) Pawlowska A., Z. Rykiel (ed.) Region and regionalism in sociology and political science, Publishing house of the University of Rzeszow, Rzeszow.

Lopata M. (2017) Political Preferences in Elections to Sejm in Lesser Poland and Subcarpathian Voivoships in Comparison Humanitarian Vision, Volume 3, Journal of Lviv Polytechnic National University, No 2, pp. 85-93. https://doi.org/10.23939/shv2017.02.085     

Wolek A. (2014). Schools o Polish Democracy: elections and politics. Centre of Political Though. Krakow.

Sokol W. (2003). Political parties and party systems in Poland during 1991-2001 (s. 19-198). Modern parties and party systems. Issues ofpolitical theory and practice, Lublin.

The Election Commission. (n. d.). Retrieved from: http://parlament2015.pkw.gov.pl/.

Zuba K. (2012). Polish political scene: continuity and change. Publishing hous of the Sejm. Warsaw.

Flis, J. (2014). Illusions of the choice. Social imaginations and institutional frames in elections to the parliament and senate. Publisher house of the Jagiellonian University. Krakow.