The Strange Death of Solidarity

The return of former Communists to power via the ballot no longer shocks the world. So the victory of the Democratic Left Alliance party in Poland’s recent elections is no surprise. The rest of the story, however, is of wide interest. The parties that governed Poland since 1997 not only lost, but saw their entire representation in Parliament wiped out. Several new political blocs appeared. This chaos on the Right and Center in the aftermath of Solidarity’s defeat is not just a Polish story; it tells us much about all the democracies east of the Elbe.