As regards political stability, we must not forget that this chiefly presupposes strong governments, with a clear mandate and democratic legitimisation.

By Lefteris Charalambopoulos

Greek politics were historically shaped by strong governments.

They were governments that enjoyed a strong parliamentary majority and at the same time represented large social and political groupings, from the centre-right and the centre-left, depending on the political confluence of events.

Our country does not have a tradition of coalition governments.

The times that we had them were not the best, as was repeatedly evidenced in the past decade.

Democracy does not entail a popular vote with the type of government decided after the fact through inter-party bargaining.

Democracy means the ability to make a particular political pole the strongest, so that it can govern stably and be recognised by society as the ruling party.

This objective should be facilitated by the electoral law, obviously without skewing the will of the electorate.

That goes hand-in-hand with the ability of a government to declare early elections.

I do not believe that things are better when early elections cannot be held, as that would mean that governments that have lost all legitimacy will remain in power.

Nor do I believe that it is undemocratic for a government to decide to hold early elections in order to secure a fresh mandate. It is a democratic outlook.
I do not believe that voters are not in a position to judge, as they are not children and cannot be manipulated. They are perfectly able to judge and choose.

If they wish to punish a government, they will do so unmercifully, and no machinations can save it.

If they want to offer a second chance or a renewed mandate, again they will know why they are doing so.

Voters know very well how to reward and punish, because they do not read the policies of parties in their platforms. They experience them in their daily lives.

As regards political stability, we must not forget that this chiefly presupposes strong governments, with a clear mandate and democratic legitimisation.

The country has the right to know whether and to what degree each government truly enjoys the trust of the people, and each government needs to know whether it has popular support.

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