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Law and Justice wants a referendum on migrants. Comments of politicians and experts

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Law and Justice wants to hold a referendum on migrants on election day. Adam Bielan argues that this is a cheap plan, but not everyone agrees on this. It turns out that the combination of elections and a referendum is primarily aimed at achieving political gain. Material of the magazine “Polska i Świat”.

Change of staff, change in government, changes on the campaign front – Law and Justice he is looking for a topic that will turn voters’ heads. At Nowogrodzka Street, there is a belief that anti-immigrant slogans, combined with a referendum, are a good idea.

– This is the mechanism from which the Union officially departed in 2018, adopting the principle of voluntariness, and this is the mechanism to which the Union returned exactly two weeks ago – says the MEP of the Republican Party Adam Bielan.

Bielan: If the referendum takes place on election day, it will affect the course of the campaignTVN24

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Questions about the cost of the referendum

A new old member of the PiS staff revealed that the plebiscite would take place on the same day as the elections to the Sejm and Senate. – We have elections, that is, the possibility of organizing a referendum that will be extremely cheap, very low cost – he assures.

This is an interesting view, the calculations are unknown, but the narrative is developed. “Security has no price,” says Rafał Bochenek from PiS. – However, when it comes to costs, they are really minimal compared to the costs of parliamentary elections in Poland – he adds.

A referendum as a tool for managing emotions – especially in a parallel parliamentary campaign – is invaluable for PiS, but it is certainly not cheap. According to the data of the National Electoral Office, the 2019 elections cost almost PLN 225 million.

Jaroslaw KaczynskiPAP/Marcin Obara

The last nationwide referendum held in Poland took place in September 2015. He announced them in the presidential campaign Bronislaw Komorowski. To attract the electorate of a loving referendum Paweł Kukiz and lost. A few questions, a turnout of 7.8 percent, a non-binding result and 70 million spent, an additional 1/3 of the cost of the election.

Problems with organizing a referendum during elections

Now it would allegedly be cheaper, although, as the former head of the National Electoral Commission explains, this is an illusion. – It will not be cheaper, but more expensive – believes Wojciech Hermeliński. – First of all, separate committees will have to be established. If the legislation does not change, two separate divisions of the commission will have to be established – he explains.

The act on the referendum says that the lists of voters will be the same and it is only a matter of printing the lists for signature twice, but everything must be double – urns, rooms and composition of the commission – and this means additional gigantic costs.

For example, completing the full staffing of the commission is a challenge even with a single election. – Often these are roundup people, because there are not many volunteers. This is hard work, notes Wojciech Hermeliński.

– There may be technical and organizational obstacles to this, so it is necessary to investigate whether it is possible – says Marcin Horała, Deputy Minister of Funds and Regional Policy.

This awareness in the ruling camp rarely breaks through, and there are more difficulties – even the hours of voting, because according to the Electoral Code, elections take place between 7 am and 9 pm, and the act on national referenda says about 6 am to 10 pm. Logistically, it is therefore difficult to carry out, and this is not the end.

Politicians on the idea of ​​holding a referendum

Campaign spending must be strictly and meticulously controlled. This is what parties are accounted for. This means at least one specific account called the election fund. But if, at the same time, PiS wants to conduct a referendum campaign on the topic that it has invented, then the referendum fund comes into play here – a horse with a row to those who will separate the activities of one campaign from the other.

Non-associated senator Jan Maria Jackowski wonders if “there will be no gray area between one campaign and another”. Also Piotr Zgorzelski z PSL believes that “it’s all one big peas and cabbage”.

– Law and Justice likes chaos and mess – believes Tomasz Trela ​​from Nowa Lewica. – It’s about hodgepodge, it’s about covering everything else – adds Katarzyna Kotula from Nowa Lewica.

A referendum is convened by the Sejm if it passes a resolution by an absolute majority in the presence of at least half of the deputies. The next session of the Sejm in early July. And it is already known today that the obligation to relocate Poland may not apply – after all, the EU regulation is only a draft.

Main photo source: PAP/Marcin Obara

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