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06.06.2003

Polish Election

Over in Poland, a nail-biter of an election. People are voting in the referendum to join the European Union.

The outcome of the vote isn't in doubt, but what is in doubt is whether the voter turnout will exceed 50%, making the referendum binding. Things don't look good right now - after a full day of voting, the turnout is 17% and change (here's a little map).

A failure to reach the 50% mark won't necessarily mean that Poland can't join the EU. The parliament can still step in and make it happen. But it would be a huge embarrassment for the country, and an indictment of the political system.

In a nutshell, Poland is a largely agrarian country, and some painful reforms undertaken right after the fall of communism have stalled halfway through. There has also been a depressing amount of corruption, bickering, and populist pandering from both the right and left. Hence the widespread voter apathy on display this weekend.

Cross your fingers, please, and hope that we're just a nation of procrastinators. Voting ends on Sunday night.

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