Voter ma­nip­u­la­tion

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY AN­GE­LOS STAN­GOS

State­ments that are not­made in earnest, prom­ises that are not in­tended to be kept, procla­ma­tions that are soon for­got­ten and, of course, ac­cu­sa­tions against ri­vals have be­come stan­dard prac­tice in pre-elec­tion cam­paigns, es­pe­cially in Greece and par­tic­u­larly when those vy­ing for power have also put their own po­lit­i­cal sur­vival at stake – as is the case with Alexis Tsipras right now. Ev­ery­one knows that the po­lit­i­cal land­scape the day af­ter the polls will be shaped by the per­for­mance of the for­mer prime min­is­ter and his main ri­val for the top spot, New Democ­racy chief Evan­ge­los Meimarakis. These elec­tions, how­ever, will not just de­ter­mine which party comes first in the vot­ers’ pref­er­ences. They will also de­ter­mine what shape the next gov- ern­ment will take, given that the only pre­dic­tion that can be made with any cer­tainty right now is that it is highly un­likely any­one will win an out­right ma­jor­ity. Ul­ti­mately, they will also de­ter­mine what will hap­pen to Greece, which is hang­ing by a thread and which still has a long way to climb be­fore it be­gins to see any signs of sal­va­tion. Given these fac­tors, logic dic­tates that no party can – and nor­mally no party should should want to – take on the task of pulling the coun­try out of its dread­ful predica­ment all by it­self. Nev­er­the­less, Tsipras ap­pears bent on con­tin­u­ing to be­have in the same ir­ra­tional way he has done so far. Maybe be­cause he is ad­dicted (the only time he be­haved ra­tio­nally was when he signed the new bailout deal), or per­haps be­cause he re­mem­bers that putting a spin on this ir­ra­tional be­hav­ior is what got him into power in the first place. He mustn’t for­get, though, that it was this mad ap­proach to gov­er­nance that landed the coun­try in the cur­rent mess. And the onus rests on his shoul­ders alone. In this re­spect, both Tsipras and his peo­ple should try to avoid the pop­ulist rhetoric that has done so much dam­age in the past and the bla­tant con­tra­dic­tions in re­spect to the mem­o­ran­dum that he signed and the rea­sons for which he did so. More im­por­tantly, they need to stop say­ing that SYRIZA, or what’s left of it, will not co­op­er­ate with any of Greece’s pro-Euro­pean par­ties if need be af­ter the elec­tions. Such talk only cre­ates the im­pres­sion that the only party Tsipras is will­ing to co-gov­ern with (again) is In­de­pen­dent Greeks and its leader Panos Kam­menos. This could all be put down to pre-elec­tion pos­tur­ing, to the quest to bring as many flee­ing SYRIZA vot­ers back into the fold, but only if we had not gone through what we’ve gone through in the past seven months. How­ever, ex­pe­ri­ence it we did, and now we know that the Greek left is ruth­less and ba­si­cally in­dif­fer­ent to the fate of the coun­try as long as it gets its hands on power. The aim of the new SYRIZA un­der Tsipras is to black­mail vot­ers into cast­ing their bal­lot in fa­vor of the left­ist party by in­di­rectly sug­gest­ing that SYRIZA needs to win so that it can form a gov­ern­ment.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.