Dear Friend! Dear Voter!
You have just in front of your eyes the text, with which you may make many positive changes happen both in yourself alone, your direct surroundings and around else. So read it carefully and think twice over its contexts so as not to miss a historical chance given to us for better tomorrow.
This text is an innovative project of the Code of Political Ethics, neosemantically called by me as its author Politethical Code. With your support it will be able to contribute significantly to the changes of the system of the power execution functioning in our state so far – the system, as to which a majority of us, members of the Polish society, have a number of remarks. Maybe you do not believe the words you are reading now, but believe that due to your recommendation this is how it is going to be.
The project of the Code of Political Ethics is not a draft of the act yet which may be brought to the Seym (Parliament) for procedure in the legislation process. It also contains provisions which require changes in the RP Constitution which may not be initiated with a citizen project, but only through the proper entities. However it seems that the proposed draft of the Code constitutes a significant introduction to take up a legislative initiative in the scope of changes in Republic of Poland Constitution and introducing the political ethics as the normative principles applicable in a legal order and properly sanctioned.
Due to the high importance of the issue, I propose for the good of the social case to separate from the discipline, called ethics, its new sub-area called politethics, the task of which is to define ethical standards applicable for all politicians in everyday public activity and expressing them with the formula of the Politethical Code as well as, as a result of the above-mentioned, the analysis of public activities and conduct of the people of politics in confrontation with the politethical standards legally adopted.
We all are witnessing civilization changes on our globe. The global scientific-technical infrastructure developing in a thunderbolt pace is not followed by the development of socio-political relations, which causes more and more common social objection to the out-of-date form of directing society, including ruling it. A galloping scientific-technical progress, in which communication is real, due to the growing popularity of faster travelling as well as virtual one, due to the fast data transmission, poses suddenly in opposition to each other contrasted societies of the rich West and the countries of the Third World, differing with their historical development, degree of richness, demographic index or religious-cultural and language separation. Such a sudden impact of the different civilization societies, quite ordinary in fact to their developmental patterns, may not ad hoc result in automatic process of mutual assimilation. The phenomenon is accompanied though unfortunately by a quite common conviction of the citizens of the states of the Third World about the intention to subordinate the societies which are poorer in development by those economically stronger and this raises in these poorer societies natural fears and anxiety about the shape of such a global fusion. The entirety of this global phenomenon is followed with intolerant conviction of both sides of this civilization conflict about one’s own rightness and relentless in its popularization raises mutual aggression. This is why the world became, from the socio-political point of view, dangerous and may lead to self-destruction. The only real rescue for the whole competing mankind is just to come to senses which is expressed by the noble British scientist Prof. Hawking. He calls the mankind to get rid of mutual auto-destructive aggression and replace it with empathy, as it is not too late, thus to throw out the traditional stereotype of thinking, in accordance with which in the human world the ever-lasting fight goes on for domination of the stronger over the weaker or the conflict of the evil with the good. Hawking clearly seems to call on the conscience of the whole mankind, their emotional intelligence and instinct of self-preservation. And if these warnings come from an extraordinary scientist who takes care of the further fate of the human kind proposing preventive space exploration in search for any living planet being the alternative for our existence, the situation must be really very serious also from the scientific point of view. We live though in a material world, which may be subject to real destruction by even a moment-lasting irresponsibility of a bad condition of the human spirit, rapted in its virtual dream about their power. And this all due to the politicians’ fault, both of the rich West and the poor Third World, which commonly present the attitude in the discussed issue of preservative conformism avoiding necessary civilization reforms. The politicians of the highly civilized countries should show more empathy and understanding for those who do not catch up with the civilization development of the societies of the poorer zone of the world. In turn, the governing elites of the states of the Third World willingly using the scientific-technical achievements of the western world, commit a social-political “sin of ignorance” towards their societies, not conducting reformation activities in the countries which are important for the possible fusion with the West in the future. All world politicians should be provided, for the above reasons, with the universal Politethical Code sanctioned with international law, which would order a global political scene and restore at the same time a peace and harmony to our world due to common supervision of the world societies over their politicians.
Poland is now in a particular situation. Since regaining freedom in 1989 we were not able, as Poles, to integrate with world-view tolerance and unify with socio-political consensus, confirming at the same time a traditional opinion about the feuding Polish nation and, God save us, in the future as well and the common saying “wise Pole after damage”. To tell the truth, we are developing economically and to a lesser extent in a cultural aspect as well, but this is not enough so that without the national consent reached, we could be able to strengthen a stable nationality, in its borders and resistant to external threats. This will not be guaranteed fully even by the membership in the European Union and NATO. Unfortunately, the already long-term lack of national consent gives our potential external enemies evident proof of our social and political weakness. This phenomenon, being already certain Polish historical tradition, may be effectively stopped, establishing an ethical code to our political life, which not only would be binding for the politicians in ethical terms with each other but also would consolidate the entire society with its impact on the politicians. No other state needs it so much than ours.
As neither national patriotisms are able to unify the societies with each other, nor world religions can pacify the dangerously negative social moods, the whole hope in political ethical regulation. This is politics which rules the world and if it is ethical, the perspective of civilization destruction of our planet will go away. One should thus do everything to establish the ethics for all political positions as soon as possible. As it cannot be made in political persuasion and calls for good political will, the only rational method to make the politics ethical is to establish the ethics from the will of all Nations with the commonly applicable law, the provisions of which will be contained in the national politethical codes.
Each of us will certainly agree with the statement that politicians should be social representatives from so called “top class” thus aware of their prosocial mission, honest, empathic, content-related prepared in the scope of the activity declared by them, knowing people’s pains and needs, clearly assessing reality and first of all being able to think ahead and strive to multiply man’s common good constructively above their own. In fulfilling these laudable intentions, everyday they should be accompanied with proper attitude and ethical action. Are nowadays politicians like this? Could politics and can it be ethical at all? Being directed with common stereotypical conviction, you will certainly answer no, that politics has always been and will be “dirty” and there is nothing to be done to change it. But this does not have to be like this any longer. This can be changed but try just to believe it because it can be done only with your effective help! You just have to have a new look at the whole issue, free from any schematic conviction about no possible symbiosis between politics and ethics. A new wind of modern social emotionality is needed here, supported with the possibilities of huge opinion-shaping megamedia, Internet, which is able to “gather” in a thunderbolt pace millions of individual human hearts in one social ideology of desires and claims, if only they will unify around one idea of common social good. Demanding ethical attitudes and activities from politicians is undeniably such an idea. And this is not exclusively about politicians commonly known as members of parliament, senators, senior officials or high-rate members of political parties but generally about all politicians active in political area without exception, thus also field activists, self-government activists, gathering to local power frequently expecting to be referred to defined benefits of their own, even in the form of daily allowances. Nobody must explain how unethical is collecting the daily allowances every month by a member of the local council not for the effect of one’s own involvement in the work for the local environment but only for the participation itself in the sessions of the local council. And these are politicians being at power on all levels, their activity and decisions made, on whom our daily life depends to a significant extent! Being aware of the fact, seeing how our political system is imperfect, let us try to do something to make something good happen around us in this respect! Our society, entangled in the difficulty of dealing with everyday problems, needs social peace and political order for its harmonious development, to which all these desires superior for us cannot be expected in the context of common unethical attitude which accompanies political activity during these times, especially non-pardon inter-party strife and sometimes also the execution of power. What to do then to change the harmful habit of the reality surrounding us?
The politicians should be changed. They themselves will not reform, so this can be made only with a specific ethical order sanctioned legally. The penal code applicable in our legislation system does not adjudicate about unethical nature of an activity, but only about its possible consequences in the form of breaking the law. In the meantime, we should learn how to perceive the unethical conduct of a politician, especially the one who executes the power over us, just in the category of breaking the law – ethical law, interpreting unethical political activity as a social crime. An unethical politician – is a social criminal! This is how we should accept this fact in front of our conscience, and if so, as the Nation, executing the power, in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, through our representatives, we have the conscious right to perceive unethical politicians as social criminals and judge them by means of drafted Politethical Code! Politicians deserve the special treatment like this in the context of the ethical law due to the undeniable fact that the fate of the whole Nation depends on their moral responsibility for their political deeds, having an influence also on our whole social life. One should connect ethics of political attitudes and activities with political morality.
Depending on the degree of offence, an unethical politician should be judged with the law of the Politethical Code which decides about his temporary suspension in his current political activity or, in an extreme case, about his lifelong exclusion from it. The State Tribunal, or, alternatively, the Social State Tribunal adopted by law, should be the one to adjudicate in cases of infringements of the Politethical Code with reference to the politicians of the highest rank and in relation to other politicians – common courts or , alternatively, the Rotary Social Voivodeship (Provincial) Tribunals adopted by law. The draft of the Politethical Code foresees in the composition of the State Tribunal (or Social State Tribunal) and in the judge compositions of the common courts (or Rotary Social Voivodeship Tribunals) participation of a social factor in the form of lay judges selected at random from among members of the society in different election age, including the parity of sexes. The twelve-person jury created in this way will allow for making an assessment of the politicians’ conduct by the society, assuring at the same time a practical social supervision over political activity in the state. Infringing the principles of the Politethical Code could be considered at the name petition of each citizen of the Republic of Poland in election age. Such a petition with a justification should be submitted not later than 1 month from disclosing a case of infringing by a given politician the principles of the Code. Anonymous denunciations as socially unethical will not be considered.
We all see how the everyday political life looks like. Politicians delegated by us as a result of elections to execute political power, stick to it in order to take a delight in it rather than to serve us, although they do not admit it in public. Politicians are as they are because we as the society allow it. Not always they represent us with dignity, perverting themselves with the given power or executing it unskillfully, losing energy for political strife. Both these activities do not serve us as a good model, especially for the young generation, annoying us and causing that we ourselves are not the society we would like to be, aside from the fact that we just avoid politics, admitting to the opinion that it cannot be reformed. In this conviction we are leading our life, resigned in political terms and not voting in large numbers in general elections. In this respect we should try to realize that there is a solution which in our common citizen effort is able to “re-enchant” this charmed circle of our imperfect political and social reality. The method to achieve this is to introduce the principles of ethical conduct and behavior, which have to be forced on politicians by us to be able to return them to health in our circles. Therefore we should support the common idea of ethical reforming of our political system so that the whole system – democratic only by name – could have not only a political face, often strange for us, but also, or first of all, that it could have, humane, social one. For the realization of this ambitious purpose, we need an ethical code for politicians, so that the rulers could be with and not above us, or somewhere on the side, or against us, as well as that the ethical relations could connect the politicians permanently with each other and due to this also us with them.
Only then the system called democratic will be such not only by name. The requested change will not be an utopia, as many of you think so now, if we put it definitely forward as our common goal. Its basic element, appearing as a sign of the times in a way, is the Code of Political Ethics requested here, called Politethical Code.
Due to the fact that the draft of the Politethical Code presented below was created in its early stage in consultation with a philosopher and lawyer by only one person educated philologist and not by a team of specialists consisting of a political scientist, criminal law specialist, social psychologist, sociologist or philosopher ethicist, it continues to be a development project and certainly requires further specifications and perfections as well as elaboration in a broader circle of professionals of a part concerning sanctions for infringing the provisions of the Code and the procedure connected therewith. Its idea is however right in all areas and its realization is a matter of real urgency, because our political and social reality is just sick and needs immediately a panacea to its pains, namely a new legal regulation with ethical nature which will recover our reality from political and social illness.
The attempts to touch the ethical issue with reference to politicians were made already by some experts on the topic (recently, the proposal included here of “the Ethical Code of Politician” was presented by Prof. Hartman on his blog), but they were rather a kind of shy call to politicians than specific project aspiring to formal sanctioning of it in the Polish law with the power of votes of millions of citizens.
Do you see another way to repair the so called “political life” in our country? I do not. The current system of party courts and parliamentary reprimands imposed on ethically lighthearted members of parliament by the parliamentary commission of ethics is entirely ostentatious. There is nothing strange in it as it was created by the politicians for their own needs, due to which it is immoral, because the politicians are judges in their own cause. Politicians should be settled by the society, from which they come from. And the periodicity of settling them by the election system defined by the Constitution should not be considered to be sufficient here. The society must also have the possibility of ethical control of politicians everyday guaranteed by the Constitution! This is exactly what the project of Politethical Code presents for your consideration, Dear Friend and Voter.
I dare say the acceptance of the code should contribute to the modernization process of our imperfect democratic system, to the benefit of citizens. For instance, it would most likely lead to the higher voter turnout in elections of all types. A citizen would feel ethically connected with their state and his self-esteem would raise, due to the politicians acting ethically. Thus, he would vote for the ethically best candidates and not accidental ones, from the lack of choice or own recognition. And this would be a healthy symptom of patriotism of the 21st century and a proper example set for the young members of our society.
All politicians must be clear on one point:
People do not like the State because of their unethicality.
In the survey of CBOS from January 2015 “two thirds of those surveyed would assess bad the work of members of parliament, the work of senators is criticized by every other person surveyed”. In my opinion a real index of social dissatisfaction with Polish political activity is even higher. Politicians are bad or even very bad associated to an average Smith who not only does not like and does not appreciate but also does not wish them well for what they are doing, interpreting in their unethical activity a direct reason for the unwanted fate. Let us follow this on a few examples of Internet entries, even from only one day 16.01.2015:
-zero- “I have no words from those from Wiejska street [translator’s note: Wiejska – the street in Warsaw on which the Polish Parliament building is located]
-krzys- “…somebody hit the point with the apes on the photo (on the photo in the benches of the Seym the apes are visible instead of members of parliament – author’s note]. Nothing to add – our Seym. Barely a dozen of apes would be presented as men, the rest apes in fact.”
-vinet-”Each Pole in whom a part of patriotism left [no lie], should feel disgust for the present elites which treat us as a means for the career – of their own..”
-marqs- “This is some kind of paranoia. Whom do we maintain from our taxes? This is a mockery. What are we paying them for? Why is the patience of the nation exposed to such a serious attempt? What intellectual level do they present? Towards some of them using a definition of intellectual level is an abuse. As it reached 1000 below the sludge. The pitcher goes so often to the well… What alternative do we have as voters?”
-dawid- “Boorishness of the corrupted politicians. Every night I dream that I am shooting at their back during riots as the dogs… this is what they deserved”.
-111- “sad… for our money, where does this caste of the “officials” eat…? Where did they grow up? I have no words to define the representatives of the society…?
-jan5554- “It will be necessary to shoot at politicians. I do not see another way out. They do not make a green island from our country but the African continent…”.
The Internauts in their previous comments tore the politicians to pieces for: lack of prosocial empathy, lack of good manners, using lie and innuendo, vulgar language full of mutual aversion or even hatred, irresponsibility of conduct, braking the word made in public, abusing their rights for personal benefits, short-sighted and not perspective thinking, at last lack of consequence of their actions and words.
To help this improperly conducted political activity, you have Dear Friend and Dear Voter, a Politethical Code in front of you.
It will give us, the citizens of our country, a social force of arguments and towards the politicians, it will take them away the argument of force in unethical attitude of governing us. Thus let us unify our human desires in one citizen goal – let us demand ethical attitude of ruling!
The code presented here will change positively your, my, thus our “European-Polish” reality, forcing on all active politicians the obligation of ethical conduct and behavior. Let us vote for it and inform others about this! Currently active politicians will subordinate to the code or give the place to their successors, gifted with nobility of actions, which is demanded by the drafted code.
The Politethical Code will not only change the politicians. It will also free positive values embedded in ourselves. It will help to create an aware system of values and individual possibilities of choice of the civil society, in which a citizen and his needs will be respected by those executing power and aspiring to it. Feeling the power of the Politethical Code above him, every reasonable politician will think twice over the ethic nature of his decisions which he had intended to make on his or our behalf, for fear of losing position held by him in politics.
Vote therefore for accepting the Code of Political Ethics! Its lack is just the cause of ideological disloyalty of many politicians and an encouragement to abuse a political position at the expense of the common good.
The politicians, being at power now, certainly will not be willing to help the realization of our reasonable idea and will probably mock and sabotage this project. And so we need to do it ourselves, independently of our educational level, wealth indicator and personal worldview, by means of a massive grass-roots pressure, expressed on the list of support on the website www.kodekspolitetyczny.pl. We can wait no longer.
Politicians, originating from among us, should be for this reason under our constant control, namely permanent social guardian custody, thus not only during the electoral process, but constantly in our daily life! These are not haughty overlords or powerful kings governing us with unchecked power, but social activists representing outside our social interests. This is how it should be, as it is we who are the constituents within the constitutional order of the rule of law, but we use our power in a very clumsy way, because only during election time, and it is not nearly enough! In addition, the electoral regulations that are binding in Poland are not socially just, as they favor large parties and on the party lists so called “tops” created by party leaders. Therefore, so far the only instrument of the possible social supervision over politicians does not fulfill its assumption on this matter. Why? Because it was defined by the ruling elites to their needs and to their complete satisfaction. We have to change this so that the provision of Article 1 of the Constitution, providing that “the Republic of Poland is a common good of all citizens” and Article 4, it. 1 in the wording: “The superior power in the Republic of Poland belongs to the Nation”, in fact confirmed a really superiority of the Nation over the state power on a daily basis and not only “on election holidays” with a controversial electoral system in addition. This rule can be assured for all of us to a significant extent by the Politethical Code itself. Let us demand jointly, with the power of our nationwide pressure, to have it introduced into the Polish law next to the Penal Code! Let us force politicians to accept the Politethical Code with the power of our votes! Remember, that a politician without ethics is like a drunk driver – he should not but he drives, creating in this way a social threat.
The draft of the Politethical Code is edited with the aid of a lawyer with the language appropriate for all legislative initiatives not always commonly understood, therefore I provided an adequate comment to it, in order to facilitate its proper perception by every adult citizen of our country.
You should basically agree with the idea of the project, because its author is the same member of the Polish society like you, perceiving systemic shortcomings of our social and political reality due to which we are connected by a common social interest of making significant changes as well as similar expectations towards the political class which focuses in practice of its activity essentially on the art of ruling the society instead of on the mission to serve it.
Executing power is to be a citizen honour to lead society and not a political yoke to dominate it. Compliance with this reasonable rule requires however a constant social supervision over the current political activity. The Politethical Code which we are striving for should guarantee it as a new regulation – legally sanctioned and applicable to all politicians without exception.
Initially some less well known political activists were familiarized with the draft. In fact they should care about doing something new and valuable in order to be noticed by the society in a broader horizon of the Polish political scene but, as you probably know, Dear Friend and Voter, these activists quite sceptically or even ironically assessed it as unreal, too idealistic, and even unnecessary. Nothing strange because in the event of a large-scale social pressure the Politethical Code could be incorporated into Polish legislation. Its provisions in a significant manner would change the principles and habits of conducting any political activity, bringing into it a new political quality, ethical values of doing politics and executing power – so needed by us. Due to the Politethical Code from among righteous representatives of our society, including those staying away from the politics so far, a new political elite will appear so long awaited by all of us.
For probably the vast majority of today’s politicians the project will turn out to be too inconvenient to be desired to support without larger resistance, as it imposes in its assumption on each politician a suitable straitjacket of ethical standards applicable for him every day in his political activity. Active politicians will not be thus generally interested in its existence. For its future implementation it needs massive social grass-roots pressure which with the effective assistance of the media will force the political establishment to accept it. Honouring the Politethical Code everyday by politicians will change in all of us previous negative conviction about politics as necessary evil or specific art of governing the instrumentally treated society. The code will also help to create a natural link of ethical political class with the society. This class could be defined in this way as a social elite, because it will group together in the system of executing power and conducting political activity, consistent with the provisions of the ethical code, the most valuable human units, gifted with pro-social mission and spirit of community.
As the author of the Politethical Code in this stage and a careful observer of our Polish reality, I am deeply convinced about its reasonability and importance, and even missionary nature for the political transformation of our democratic state. The Politethical Code should achieve what many of us could dream of so far. As it may contribute to the national process of gathering around superior ethical values, playing a leading role in further development of the Polish political stage and indirectly affecting also better functioning of ourselves who are a part of the society.
If, after familiarizing with the project, your heart and your mind will prompt you that the project of the Code of Political Ethics should be supported for our common good, because it is socially needed for us as bread and water, leave your mark of support on the website www.kodekspolitetyczny.pl for our common idea!
Supporting the project of the Politethical Code by you is a chance for a better future. Casting a vote for the project now is not binding in fact yet, as its idea assumes intervention in the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland which may be changed only at the legislation initiative brought by 1/5 of the statutory number of members of parliament, Senate or President of the Republic of Poland. From a legislative point of view, the implementation of the Code is therefore extremely difficult to conduct. Nonetheless, in this moment it is reasonable to collect votes of support with the survey nature in order to recognize any social demand for the proposed change. Only a mass support for the idea of the project may raise hope for the possibility of its future realization. One should be directed by the conviction here that there are no impossible things. Also in this case. From the legal standpoint of the substance of the democratic rule of law, the Constitution must be at the service of the citizens, and not the other way round. This rule requires thus from time to time an amendment due to the changes taking place in our socio-political reality conditioned by a broadly understood civilization development. Any success of the draft of the Politethical Code expressed in mass multi-thousand support of Internauts for its idea could result in another stage of procedure. It could be namely put to the vote by roll call, preparing thereby the project for taking specific legislation acts.
The politicians who are governing us must be ethical within the new ethical law projected with the idea of the Politethical Code so that we could feel that we are respected by them and we could trust that our everyday input into the development of the homeland is not lost by them. Our voting is to serve this basic goal. Therefore each vote cast for the project is needed very much. When on the list of support there are hundreds of them already, there will be thousands as well and then we will be able to force proposed changes.
Remember that Internet is a powerful opinion-forming medium! By means of a virtual entry you can cast a real vote! When on the list of support there are thousands of them, there will be millions as well and then we will be able to become unity!
You do not believe it! Recall the times of “Solidarność” which had to get organized in much difficult conditions because then there was no Internet, satellite TV or mobile phones and even then it won. Social solidarity has no price, because it is powerful. Only the community of interests is needed for this, being the sum of emotionality of millions of hearts, and this is here!
Twenty five years ago, NZSS “Solidarność” brought us freedom and change of the system, but immediately lost an idea of socio-political unity, allowing the new politicians to act in old, unethical, political style, treating the society as a subject, ha, even in no subject mode. “The exceptional” deviation from the rule practiced every day by the modern politics is for it since then an electoral “emergency condition” in which the society becomes seemingly for a short time a citizen object treated seriously by the politicians, a temporary constitutional sovereign, frauded with so called “election sausage”(eng. pork barrel) and asked to election polls in the gesture of the patriotic obligation reminded towards the Homeland. It is time to bring on end to this political hypocrisy!
Fortunately, beyond the politics for some years now we have been having a proper symptom of common joint activity, which in our ethical mission may serve us as an example building our self-confidence and solidarity. Due to a single charismatic man, on every second Sunday of January Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy plays for our common health, bringing tangible help for suffering physically. Let the beautiful idea of WOŚP, raising in social solidarity millions of Polish hearts be and accompany us in making the mission come true, so needed for the national spirit.