Wednesday September 3, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
29o C
23o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
A question of math

By Pantelis Boukalas

There are stratagems used in the process of political confrontation that must be as old as democracy itself, dating from when citizens first earned the right to choose between at least two candidates. Over the years, and because they have been overused, these stratagems have devolved into mere habits or knee-jerk reactions, a part of the political routine, a tradition that is passed down from one generation to the next, but each time a bit more eroded. Nevertheless, even though these machinations have proved to be of very limited effect in the majority of cases, those who espouse them remain plentiful and of course include those who every so often propound the need for change in the way that political battles are conducted.

So, among the usual and expected tactics of sparring politicians is for party leaders (regardless of how small their grouping is) to start off by saying that the salvation of the country rests in his hands. For reasons of tact, the party or political movement has already been identified with the nation beforehand. Therefore, using simple math, if the party equals the nation and the leader equals the party, then the politician equals the nation. And the party leader making such bombastic claims can be great or small if we take recent history into account. Meanwhile, when this equation is put to use it is usually aimed primarily at the people inside the party itself, sort of like a tacit threat: Dont doubt me, dont judge me, because I may go down, and if I go down, so will the party and so will the nation, and so ultimately will you and any office you may happen to hold.

That said, there are only a few instances where the fate of a nation followed that of a leader and it was normally not good when it did happen. Those who claim themselves to be great, unique and irreplaceable are usually just another cog in the machinery of history. They are not driving the train, whatever they may imagine or their vanity whispers to them in their dreams.

The second strategy often applied in a political confrontation is bombarding the people with dilemmas and threats. This, of course, is the work of party propaganda machines who come up with dilemmas in the form of bait to be thrown out into the public and see who bites.

The political process, nevertheless, remains complex and dynamic, and the factors that influence which way an undecided voter will ultimately lean are also large in number and often contradictory. Because the human mind is a complex thing and is always exploring different paths, studying and checking each one. So, however simplistic or extortionate the rationale at party headquarters, the mathematics of society will always be superior because it is not limited to simple arithmetic.

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday May 6, 2014 (10:36)  
Politicized archaeology
Moderating expectations
EUs three big problems all linked
A great president
Report points to suspicious clinic charges to EOPYY
A quarter of all the expenses submitted last year by private health clinics to EOPYY, the countrys largest healthcare provider, have been deemed suspicious and in need of further investigat...
New rector seeks to introduce ID checks at University of Athens
One day after his swearing-in ceremony was marred by protests against budget cuts and the expulsion of thousands of so-called eternal students, the new rector at the University of Athens, Th...
Inside News
Helexpo sell-off plan to be ready by mid-October
Helexpo, the state company that organizes major exhibitions such as the Thessaloniki International Fair, is in the last stages of drawing up its privatization plan. Sources say that the prop...
Maniatis talks energy with Washingtons man in Athens
Energy Minister Yiannis Maniatis held a meeting yesterday with US Ambassador in Athens David D. Pearce to discuss possible natural gas supply problems that Europe may face this winter due to...
Inside Business
Grateful Saviola thanks Olympiakos, joins Verona
Former Argentina international Javier Saviola has thanked Greek champions Olympiakos for the "beautiful moments" during his season-long stint in Greece as he left the club to join Serie A ou...
SOCCER
Greece defender Papadopoulos fires parting shot at Michel
International defender Avraam Papadopoulos suddenly quit Olympiakos on Monday to join Turkish club Trabzonspor, and fired a parting shot at Olympiakos manager Michel putting the blame on the...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Helexpo sell-off plan to be ready by mid-October
2. Maniatis talks energy with Washingtons man in Athens
3. Task force to examine cases of extreme taxation, customs issues
4. Hotels hike prices by 10 pct in H1 of 2014
5. Pension system nears breaking point
6. Report points to suspicious clinic charges to EOPYY
more news
Today
This Week
1. Politicized archaeology
2. Rain and storms with hail expected in many parts of Greece
3. Reforms to dominate Greek talks in Paris, debt relief talks later, says source
4. New committee formed to assess progress of deregulation in closed-shop professions
5. Moderating expectations
6. Greece needs private debt overhaul, Piraeus Bank CEO says
Today
This Week
1. Thessaloniki mayor Boutaris sworn in wearing yellow star amid Golden Dawn protests
2. The battle against progress
3. Strong undersea quake occurs off island of Milos, felt in Athens
4. Hardouvelis, ECB executive discuss bank program, stress tests
5. Greek quest for debt relief faces hurdles in Paris
6. Prospect of Greek grand prix back on the agenda; huge investment needed
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.