The world has gone insane but you already knew that
Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan has caused a very mild backlash from Communist China.
As you can imagine, while the visit was taking place, hundreds of thousands American soldiers arrived together with hundreds of planes and weapons to help strengthen the Taiwanese military. Oh, excuse me, that’s been delayed, but after provoking mainland Communist China, the USA is definitely not going to throw it to the wolves like NATO did with Ukraine. (No, I am not saying NATO started the conflict, I am not Pope Francis, but NATO could have anticipated Russia’s response and should do more to help Ukraine).
But as I have said before, at least Taiwan might have Japan as an ally. While Ukraine’s biggest (real) ally is Poland. Poland does not have military might similar to Japan (yet).
But when the horses are fully trained, Putin will have to run before the Polish riders!
Taiwan has the advantage of the sea and Japan’s senate elections (I call upper houses in all countries senates even when I know their actual name) preserved the two third’s majority in the upper house for the pro-constitutional amendment faction. The LDP never achieved the needed two thirds majority in both houses during its decades of dominant party rule (even when it won more than 60 % of the seats and came so darn close), but now due to other parties having gained seats that are less pacifist than the social democrats have been, there is a real chance to finally fulfil Abe’s dream.
Some advice, give Taiwan air support. But please, nothing with nukes. Let’s not replay the Cuban missile crisis please. Let’s also be stupid enough to believe economic warfare will crush China.
But about Poland. Rule of Law in Poland has tweeted Wojciech Sadurski’s proposal that it is not just the 3 contested so called double judges on the Constitutional Tribunal who are illegitimate, he argues the entire Tribunal is illegitimate.
While moderates have argued the 3 double judges should be replaced with the 2015 nominees if the opposition wins next year, that would still leave 12 judges nominated by the Right-wing government who could rule various law proposals unconstitutional. Law and Justice has acquired great influence on the Tribunal simply by winning the elections twice and that would be an obstacle for the opposition for a couple of years after the election.
So what was his solution? Admitting that having all members of the constitutional tribunal nominated for 9 years terms by a simple majority in the lower house is a terrible system which can quickly make the court partisan and which is something the EU should have called Poland out on before allowing it to join? Nope.
Instead the entire Constitutional Tribunal must be purged. That’s right, if what he calls the ‘democratic opposition’ wins the upcoming 2023 parliamentary elections, they should kick of all the judges Law and Justice has nominated since winning the parliamentary and presidential elections in 2015.
His claim that the entire Tribunal is illegitimate serves to justify this of course. But why is the entire Tribunal illegitimate? Well because the judges excepted the so called double judges and adjudicate with them. Even though those 3 judges were nominated and sworn in when 3 judges had already been (pre-emptively) nominated by the previous outgoing Sejm (under a new law it had passed for that purpose). The 3 Liberal nominees would replace judges whose term would only expire just before the new Sejm (with a democratic mandate) would take office. Granted that law had been ruled partially unconstitutional and 2 other judges who had been nominated alongside the 3 Liberal ones, were illegitimately nominated, yet Liberal judges on the Constitutional Tribunal found that this didn’t taint the nomination of the other 3. They also held that the President was obligated to swear them in. But that part wasn’t operative but basically dictum. And the new Sejm had meanwhile voided the (not sworn in) nominees and nominated new ones who were sworn in. But apparently the previous nominations couldn’t have expired and their being sworn in was a formality that still HAD to happen making the new nominations invalid.
That was the reasoning of the opposition. One which only ended up being embraced by the ECHR recently. But apparently it was so clear cut that all the new judges constitutionally nominated by the democratically elected Sejm are tainted to the point that the opposition should remove them if they win. It is almost certain that even if the opposition wins, it won’t acquire a two thirds majority.
For a simple majority in parliament to hold Constitutional Tribunal judges to be guilty of crimes and purge them on that ground and then replace them with their own nominees… it sets a rather bad precedent.
But remember how Viktor Orbán won the elections in 2010 fairly and achieved a supermajority?
Then the pro-EU opposition said that even if they didn’t win a supermajority themselves, they’d enact a new constitution through an unconstitutional referendum. They threatened to ignore the Constitutional Court and the ECHR decisions? Rule of law didn’t matter when it favored Orbán (as the result of a democratically achieved supermajority).
Real Liberals, whether Classical, or Modern, Progressive or Conservative, must respect constitutionalism and the rule of law also when this favors Reactionaries or Conservatives sometimes. If a Conservative party wins a supermajority an enacts a Reactionary constitution, that’s democracy.
Now, I could have sympathized if they had wanted to sidestep the constitution in as much as Orbán’s party had used their supermajority to nominate a prosecutor who simply won’t investigate corruption from Fidezs. Maybe an extra/unconstitutional impeachment could have been held against him for betraying his office? Maybe an extra-constitutional special investigative body to deal with corruption (though appointed non-political prosecutors and independent pre-Orbán judges with no political biases either way (and NOT opposition politicians) would have been essential.
But opposition leader also wanted to legalise gay marriage which was unconstitutional. If a democratically elected Conservative supermajority legally enacts a new constitution banning same sex marriage this can only be legitimately reversed through a democratically elected Progressive supermajority. That is what constitutional democracy entails.
The opposition threatened with a coup. I cannot repeat that enough. But Orbán won for a fourth time with the greatest share of the vote since the democratisation of Hungary. A Far-Right party made it into parliament and ironically, they’re the only ones who respect the constitution.
Let that sink in, Orbán and Far Right ultra-Conservative ultra-Nationalists are the ones who respect the rule of law in Hungary the most. Scary though isn’t it?
But back to Poland again.
Now all I can hope at this point is that Law and Justice actually wins a majority for the third time. The same government ruling 3 times in a row would be unprecedent, especially one party (list), for Poland. It would prevent these crazy attacks on the rule of law (under the guise of restoring the rule of law). While I oppose various decisions made by Law and Justice, extensive judicial reforms were necessary and they stepped back from many of the worst reforms. Support for judicial reforms also came from Kukiz which was the third largest party in 2015’s elections. The opposition just wishes to undo the influence Law and Justice had as a result of winning 2 parliamentary and 2 presidential elections.
Poland and Hungary would be solidified as a block of countries in the EU that while being multiparty democracies, have a dominant party system (even though they have currently drifted apart over the question of how to act with regard to Russia). Perhaps this is what the region needs and what allows them to develop consistent security policies as happened with Japan under the LDP during the Cold War.
In all honesty, the Polish government might commit voter fraud to win the next election and they still wouldn’t be as dirty as the EU’s treatment of Poland or Tusk’s opportunism which has been a disgrace to Liberalism and Centrism. The government probably could do it and get away with it. The police and military police, the secret service (which already helped it hack opposition phones during the last parliamentary elections), the prosecutor’s office, the state-owned media and mostly importantly the Supreme Court chamber that deals with election disputes and the electoral authorities.
The EU has not only failed to support Poland as it welcomes Ukrainian refugees, it is actually still trying to undermine the current Law and Justice government and supporting Tusk’s opposition (which has a history of being soft on Russia). Tusk himself used to pander to more Conservative voters. The EU is even taking advantage of Poland having split with Orbán just over his Russian stance and appears to be waiting till after the parliamentary elections at the end of next year.
Even as NATO is preparing and to welcome new members the EU wants to welcome Ukraine invoking further ire from Russia they are doing little to help Poland or Ukraine on a military or economic level nor defending the rule of law in Ukraine.
Meanwhile far worse violations of the rule of law and democracy in Ukraine are still being overlooked.