Oddly enough, this creates an occasion for hitherto neglected topics to come into the fore. The issue of animal rights, or rather of the complex relations between humans and animals, appears to be quite important. At least, it enables one to really distinguish between the two main rivals. One of them lives with a cat, while the other is a devoted hunter. As it can be seen on the banner profligated by the (hitherto unknown) Animal Protection Party:
I KILL ANIMALS BECAUSE I LIKE IT. VOTE FOR ME!
The fact of Komorowski's killing animals for pleasure is being raised not only by animal rights activists, but also by some of his right wing opponents. The pro-Kaczyński "Rzeczpospolita" published at least two cartoons about the hunting candidate (both by Andrzej Krauze). One of them displays a "Honorary Committee of support for the Hunter" in form of a row of hanged animal corpses, while the other represents voting as a unanimous action by a herd of frightened-to-death animals.
The other side raises the issue of human-animal relations as well. Last Sunday, on the inauguration of the Honorary Committee of support for Komorowski, Professor Władysław Bartoszewski (Poland's former minister of foreign affairs) made an allusion to Kaczyński's being a bachelor: "If Poland is to be degraded to the Rwanda's or Burundi's level of world's attention, it would be the best reason to vote for a man who has the experience in raising fur-bearing animals, but does not have the experience of being a father." This is a wonderful example of how racist, homophobic, and speciesist formulations may still pave their way into the mainstream of respectable political discourse. Though I would not bet it helps.
Anyway, it is fascinating to watch how new topics emerge as a means to make a difference between the two otherwise so similar rivals. I am going to watch it carefully. And as you may have already guessed, I would be more than happy to cede my vote to one of my cats this time...
P.S. Today's news (Thursday, 19 May): Komorowski gives up hunting. Good news. Maybe animals cannot vote, but it seems they sometimes do count.