Many young Poles look critically at what is happening, but do not intend to vote in the upcoming parliamentary elections. Numerous social campaigns encouraging voting are trying to change this. As part of one of them, an alarm clock was placed in front of the Palace of Culture in Warsaw with the slogan from the 1989 elections: “Don’t sleep, or you will be voted out.” In turn, young activists organized a silent disco in front of the Sejm.
On Friday evening, a silent disco party took place in front of the Sejm. The event organizers reminded that on October 15 – instead of headphones – take a ballot and choose not music, but those who will rule Poland. – This is our generation, these people aged 18-29, these are the people who vote the least often. It is often the case that we are simply disappointed with politics, says Wiktoria Jędroszkowiak, a climate activist from the East Initiative, organizer of a silent disco in front of the Sejm.
For several months, activists of the East Initiative have been doing everything in various places to strengthen young people’s sense of agency and encourage them to participate in elections, because according to the results of the “Debutants ’23” study, only 43 percent of young people who will be able to vote for the first time are convinced that he will exercise this right. – This means that the country in which we will live will be the country that our parents and grandparents will create for us. And they, as we know, have a slightly different perspective – says Ewa Kulik-Bielińska, director of the Stefan Batory Foundation.
Every vote matters
According to the initiators of the “It’s Your Choice” campaign, Poland should also be decided by more women, because according to data from the Batory Foundation, women constitute the majority of those eligible to vote. Yet they vote less often.
– Women tell me in my office that they are afraid for their lives in delivery rooms, that they are afraid of getting pregnant, that they are forced to give birth to children with fatal defects. And they don’t know what to do with it. This is the moment when they can vote according to their conscience for those people who will restore their rights – emphasizes Professor Marzena Dębska, a specialist in gynecology, obstetrics and perinatology.
Those who for some reason do not intend to vote are encouraged to do so by, among others, doctors, people from the world of culture, business and art as part of the “Don’t sleep, you’ll be outvoted” campaign. – Every vote matters and I am really asking everyone: go to the polls – appeals designer Gosia Baczyńska.
“Don’t sleep or you’ll be outvoted” is a historic slogan from the 1989 elections. At that time, the turnout – although record-breaking – was only 62 percent. Now the slogan is back as part of a campaign encouraging participation in the upcoming elections. – Each of us takes some small part of responsibility for ourselves and others. Therefore, voting is one of such obligations – says Professor Mikołaj Cześnik, director of the Institute of Social Sciences, SWPS University, Stefan Batory Foundation.
As the election alarm activated on Friday reminds us, we should all decide on October 15 what country we will live in.
Main photo source: PAP/Marcin Obara