Παρασκευή 19 Απριλίου 2024
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Editorial Ta Nea: The power of the political centre

Editorial Ta Nea: The power of the political centre

The contemporary dilemmas in the West are not so much right vs. left, but rather progress vs. conservatism, stability vs. adventurism, and liberalism vs. populism.

In one sense, it would appear that Greece is still governed by main opposition SYRIZA, which this time around has not allied with the now defunct Independent Greeks party, but rather with centre-left PASOK.

At least that seems to be the conclusion drawn from a GPO poll published today in the weekend edition of Ta NEA, which indicates that the predominant political force in Greece is the “Left/Centre Left”, which garners the support of 36 percent of respondents.

If one were to add to that voters who identify themselves as centrists, one would get a majority of slightly over 55 percent.

Yet, this impression is illusory for three reasons.

Firstly, traditionally [in the post-junta regime change era] Greeks felt that they were leftists, said they were centrists, and voted right-wing.

Secondly, it is the vote of centrists that determines the outcome of general elections.

Among voters who describe themselves as centrists, New Democracy has the lead, as 40 percent of them prefer ruling New Democracy, compared to 25 percent that veers toward centre-left PASOK, and just 10 percent that expresses support for SYRIZA.

That is why the prime minister has turned his attention to moderate voters and is attempting to fashion a technocratic, “rational” image of his government.

Thirdly, ideological labels in our era do not carry much substance.

The contemporary dilemmas in the West are not so much right vs. left, but rather progress vs. conservatism, stability vs. adventurism, and liberalism vs. populism, and New Democracy appears to enjoy an advantage in its approach to all of them.

Take, for example, the political skirmish over the construction of a new library at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, where the “pro-library” camp is pitted against the “sledgehammer camp”, which wants to destroy it.

One might also take note of the clash over the Russo-Ukrainian war, regarding which the government has implemented the West’s strategy of offering political, economic, and military support to the victims of the invasion, whereas the main opposition party appears to be charmed by Orban-style arguments.

In order for it to seek power, alone or in a coalition with an ideologically kindred party this time around, SYRIZA will have to move toward the centre of the political spectrum.

The internecine warfare that broke out recently within the party, however, indicates that such a move is not in line with its character.

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Παρασκευή 19 Απριλίου 2024