When Poles vote

It is fair to say that [Poland's recent] elections were different from the dreary rigged farcical demonstrations of socialist democracy in action which take place throughout the Soviet bloc. General Jaruzelski allowed two candidates to compete for each of more than 400 seats (all, of course, subscribing to the program of the Patriotic Front for National Rebirth). If his figures for the turnout, and the number of unspoilt papers are honest ones, then he must be satisfied, although not voting still carrie s risks for Poles. If nothing else, however, the General can use the official figures to assure the Soviet leadership that he and his policies are growing in acceptance. He may be hoping that the West too is impressed. He shouldn't bank on it.

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