Recently, EAPL has been much discussed. Politicians and political scientists are constantly commenting on our every move and announcement. Such attention is flattering. It is high time political elites began to consider the Electorate Action of Poles in Lithuania as a worthy political entity, although their comments are still larded with scepticism, irony and a certain air superiority. Sometimes they say we should be grateful that we were admitted to the ruling coalition instead of dictating conditions and making demands.
We want to remind that being in the coalition was our conscious choice, just like inviting us was a conscious choice of the three ruling parties. Although the coalition was created on the basis of equal partnership, our calls for observing its agreements were strangely considered as hostile and called blackmail or even thought to be dictated by the Republic of Poland. It is comforting that eventually common sense prevailed and the coalition partners agreed with our arguments and began to support our initiatives, although even now not all understand our position. For instance, the decision on signing the regulation (which we consider crucial) on facilitating exam conditions for this year’s graduates of minority schools made by the Minister of Education and Science was received with hostility. Some people complain that facilitations for graduates of Russian, Belarusian and Polish upper secondary schools discriminate schools with Lithuanian educating language. No one mentions the fact that before the reform children from minority schools had had a different curriculum than their colleagues from Lithuanian schools, and yet they had to pass the same exam on the same conditions. And no one called that discrimination. Thus, a question emerges: what will put an end to these double standards?
It is true that Mr. Paviržis made a lot of effort to calculate the number of seats obtained by the party in particular years during particular elections, however his conclusions that we gradually loose constituency, are not true. For example, during the 2008 parliamentary election of the Republic of Lithuania EAPL obtained 59237 votes (4.79%), whereas in 2012 this number rose to 79840 (6.08%). It is not the party that looses the population’s trust. It is the state that looses population due to emigration. Cities are disappearing. Out of five major cities in Lithuania, only four have remained. Since Lithuania’s independence, its population has decreased by 15%. Another question arises: what could be the reason for emigration? Under which government did the process intensify? The left wing points to the right and the right wing points to the left.
Undoubtedly, one might accept the narrow mathematical premises of Mr. Paviržis, an engineer with a 40-year political practice, although we are much more interested in what he thinks of other, more important numbers. For people’s trust in the Seimas, government, courts and justice in Lithuania does not exceed 10 per cent.
Where does politics begin? It begins with election promises. According to some estimates, the ruling parties realise only 7% of their election promises – this is the price of global democracy where promises made to voters change into promises to business organisations which in turn make them to international financial institutions, banks and presidents. In these cases, such promises usually contradict each other.
But let us come back to October 2012 when social democrats emphasised the importance of a human being. After 3 months they merely advocated the introduction of Euro, a process which has been very much accelerated in accordance with the Soviet principle of “catch up and overtake” (Latvia). Therefore, promises made to the society during elections may undergo major changes later on. The yesterday’s and today’s promises are greatly affected by the political situation.
Nonetheless, 7% of realised promises is unsatisfactory. This is unacceptable, for promises made under oath of office cannot be realised in 7%, because in the process of such realisation a single promise will also be realised in 7%.
The outcomes of the last election show that EAPL, trust-wise, can compete with the aforementioned basic state institutions. Why? EAPL never breaks its promises and always observes prior agreements.
We never underestimated the Alliance of Russians, with which we ran for election. The differentiation of EAPL and the Alliance of Russians’ input into mutual success is aimed at implementing an old method which only weak politicians still use in democratic conditions. We have been cooperating for several years to our mutual satisfaction, which is why a representative of the Alliance of Russians has obtained a seat in the Seimas.
To conclude, we (particularly I) have great respect towards those who abide by the Testament and the Ten Commandments, especially in the sequence indicated in the Bible. Those who try to stay away from processes they do not understand are also worthy of respect. However, Mr. Paviržis forgot the following rule in his reference to the eighth commandment: “Judge not lest ye be judged.”
It is not only he who aspires to Christian values, but also other members of the social democratic wing. Nonetheless, words do not necessarily mean actions. For instance, Marija Aušrinė Pavilionienė is also an avid eulogist of values and rights of sexual minorities, but she cannot understand that regulations which contradict the law violate the rights of children from minority schools. Are children’s rights less important than homosexuals’ rights? Is double-standard morality more important than common logic?
Tłumaczenie Aleksandra Christ w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Aleksandra Christ the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.