As poland voted for a fresh president on sunday, my twitter feed became inhabited by a surreal mixture of folks. some had very good opinions towards relative merits of jam and custard. other people just appeared determined to show the entire world their particular foot.

My daughter wished custard for break fast. we told her it was embarrassing and advised some tasty jam sandwiches, one internet individual informed his followers. [walking barefoot] is really so great, tweeted another, incorporating a picture of this lady vivid red toenails for good measure. it can be therefore healthier and beneficial for your whole country.

Welcome to the strange option reality of polands election day bazaar, where pre-internet-era electoral principles confront the anarchy of social networking. poland features rigid guidelines prohibiting governmental agitation on polling day and a day before. banned acts consist of urging support for an applicant, holding governmental rallies and posting viewpoint polls.

But social media gleefully dodges these guidelines. in the place of urging individuals to straight back prospects, users share the advantages of a lot of different food which can be in some manner linked to all of them. and in place of posting leaked exit polls or partial results, they post shopping lists with rates representing the candidates alleged vote share.

President andrzej duda attained his pseudonym, custard, after a former teacher said he had already been likewise saccharine as a child. his main opponent, rafal trzaskowski, the centrist gran of warsaw, became jam after state media whipped up a storm over a two-year-old tweet of his, about searching for the protect versus going to a military parade.

At the same time, the truth that far-right candidate krzysztof bosaks surname sounds like the polish for going barefoot (na bosaka) provided his followers an obviously irresistible opportunity to treat society to close-ups of their toes.

The upshot is a blatant, albeit colourful, mockery of electoral guidelines. everyone understands what exactly is occurring but studiously pretends they just do not. the carnival will duplicate itself when you look at the 2nd round run-off between custard and jam next sunday. and a lot of poles appear happy with the situation: a survey last year discovered 58 percent wanted to keep consitently the guidelines, with only 24 per cent towards scrapping them.

The main reason the charm seems to be the principles supply a short respite from polands overheated politics. the advantage for the electoral silence duration is it calms politics down, stated anna rakowska-trela, professor of constitutional law at the university of lodz. thats the primary point.

Some components of the quiet duration clearly sound right and rules around exit polls and political reporting on election day occur in many other countries in europe. banning rallies and any political activity near polling channels reduces the chance of clashes between competing political tribes and threat of voters being threatened or even prevented from voting.

However the arrival for the internet has actually rendered some of the various other principles impractical to enforce. polands guidelines only apply on its territory. so poles living abroad tend to be liberated to campaign for applicants online or post viewpoint polls, and their particular compatriots home are liberated to read their particular posts. if you have a law that you cannot enforce, you then should abolish it, states lukasz lipinski, editor-in-chief of, a news site. thats one of the fundamental tenets of penal law.

This seems like a fair approach in terms of campaigning is worried. those wedded to their 24 hours of pre-electoral peace and quiet can remain off the internet. but viewpoint polls tend to be trickier. as polands election-day bazaar shows, furthermore almost impractical to prevent online users publishing exactly what are presumably limited results. the news headlines when you look at the bazaar is oftentimes therefore contradictory that it is difficult to argue it clearly sways voters.

Enabling the publication of exit polls while voting remains going on, but would open the way in which for alot more apparent types of manipulation. russias electoral fee supplied a timely reminder of the on wednesday. five hours before the last polls closed, the limited link between president vladimir putins referendum on switching the constitution had been introduced. the message to voters ended up being clear: polls can be open nevertheless matter is closed.