Alliance of the Democratic Left (Sojusz Lewicy Demokratycznej, SLD)

Alliance of the Democratic Left was officially established in May 1999. However the roots of this party are in the fall of the communist regime in Poland and the transformation of the former communist party Polish United Worker’s Party into the social - democratic Social Democracy of the Polish Republic (Socjaldemokracja Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej, SdRP). From 1991 SdRP entered electoral coalition with a number of leftwing parties and movements under the name SLD. The coalition won general elections in 1993 and formed a government with the agrarian PSL which also obtained the right to nominate the prime minister. After two years Waldemar Pawlak had to resign and his government was replaced by the second SLD - PSL government, this time led by SLD politician Józef Oleksy. However the new prime minister was accused of cooperation with the Soviet secret service and after several months he also resigned. The third SLD - PSL government, led by Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, survived until the general election of 1997. In this race SLD gained more than 27% of the vote, but even such a high number was not enough to form a government and for four years SLD remained in opposition. The general election of 2005 resulted in a major defeat for SLD, which received just a little bit more than 11% of the votes. The leadership of the party resigned in response to this fiasco and Wojciech Olejniczak replaced Józef Oleksy as the leader of the party. For the early general election of 2007, SLD joined forces with other left wing parties, namely UP, SdPl and Democratic Party, coming together under the leadership of Poland's former president, Aleksander Kwaśniewski. However the coalition of the left named Left and Democracy was not as successful as its predecessors, gaining just 13% of the votes. After the election the coalition quickly disbanded in 2008.

  2009 2014
Election gains
Votes 12.34% 9.44%
Seats 7 5

Election manifesto 2005

The SLD manifesto for the 2005 election, besides other issues, confronted the rising wave of nationalism in Poland and the politics of identity. SLD did not refer to the Polish nation in its manifesto and rather made reference to different social groups or citizens within Poland. In 2005 the Socialists considered it important to address the issue of the political exploitation of Polish history, and the artificial construction of myths and legends about Polish fate. The 2005 manifesto, therefore, condemned the falsification of history by some elements of Polish society and its political use. To put it in their own words, they fought against nationalistic imaginations. SLD saw a great danger arising from the influence of a nationalistic interpretation of history in the national education system. It wasn't just simple nationalism that was perceived as a problem, but SLD was also concerned by the influence of religion and especially the Catholic Church on the political system as well as society as a whole. For socialists it was sufficient to build the country on the principles of civic secularism that would prevent religion from colonizing the political and cultural life of the state. SLD was a strong supporter of Poland’s membership of the EU and, moreover, of its further integration. SLD was, for example, in favour of the European Constitutional Treaty and the common European security and defence policy. Similarly the socialists warned against Polish isolationism. SLD did not entirely reject the value of patriotism and national pride, but it did not want to force it upon the citizens of Poland and it rather suggested that such things be experienced. SLD's view was that Poland should become a modern European nation through contact and integration with the rest of the continent, and in this manner become respected.

Election manifesto 2007

The examined manifesto was dedicated to liberal values. In general terms it called for the observance of human rights within the state legislature and tolerance in society. Particularly it again stressed the importance of gender equality but it also addressed issues associated with excluded communities and individuals, and supported policies against the segregation of the disadvantaged and handicapped.

Just as it was against the imposition of religious values and morality on pupils in schools, the LiD manifesto also rejected the construction of historical animosities and grievances between Poland and its neighbours. For socialists, history and its relics were of no relevance in the contemporary Europe which faced its own problems.  Poland should be open towards Europe and especially towards its neighbours. To build a modern state, the manifesto supported European integration. In accordance with its values it also stressed the importance of solidarity with countries outside of Europe. This manifesto clearly rejects the assumption that exclusively defined national interest and nation are of moral value.