POLAND: The Somewhat Free Election

Statesmen often act in a Machiavellian manner, but could a whole people be Machiavellian? Could Poland knowingly vote a Communist government into power, not because it likes or wants Communists but because that way it avoids trouble with the Soviet Union? This was the question some 18 million Polish voters, free from secret-police threats and reprisals for the first time in 19 years, had to answer this week.

Coming to power last October on a wave of popular resentment against the Soviet Union, Party Secretary Wladyslaw Gomulka had been forced to promise that the postponed Polish general election would be "free"...

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