The secret election

The European Union's sixth largest country is having an election today. There is sure to be a change of government. Yet the matter seems to be getting little coverage.

Poland - for it is she - has a smaller population than Spain by only 1 1/2 million. Furthermore demographics show that Poland's population will soon overtake Spain's as Poland has more young people and Spain has more seniors.

The current government, run by reforming ex-communists who backed the US in Iraq, has more or less collapsed and the parties that support it are trailing badly in the polls. The main ex-communist party, the SLD, would have had a chance of holding the Presidency next month if Aleksander Kwasniewski were not term limited, but in today's Parliamentary election the party is sure to be thrashed.

The election will be won by a coalition of two broadly conservative parties - one more market oriented and the other of social conservatives - both of which are just as pro-American as the outgoing coalition. We can reasonably expect that the pace of reform will accelerate, taxes will be cut and the flat tax will be given serious consideration.

Perhaps Angela Merkel will be watching the fate of Poland's conservative parties with some envy.

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