Monday November 24, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
14o C
10o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Outside the ivory tower

By Alexis Papachelas

In days such as these, it becomes evident that there are two types of minds out there – the independent and the partisan. And they are worlds apart.

Independent minds are sensitive to the signals coming at them from various directions, regardless of whether these are from society or the financial markets.

The partisan mind, on the other hand, is limited to a microcosm that becomes increasingly narrower each time the country enters a period of elections, experiencing the political polarization that accompany them.

Party officials are usually more interested in the opinion of the 2-3 percent of the hard core of supporters than in the view of the man on the street. The average citizen tends to be used as an object of sarcasm and scorn among senior political advisers. “These people have no idea Mr President. If you pay heed to what they are saying, we will be destroyed,” they will whisper into the ear of the party leader or prime minister.

Such comments are uttered on a daily basis and, in the end, they have the effect of pushing mainstream views to the fringes of the political agenda. Leaders are under intense pressure, they have very little time in their hands, and they are often forced to adopt a bunker mentality.

During periods of extreme polarization such as these, sensible words become a rarity and the ability to appreciate meaningful advice is lost in a fog of confusion. For example, a statement regarding the need for national consensus might be welcomed by the wider public, which favors this kind of political language. However, experts and spin doctors typically counterargue that a conciliatory statement could be interpreted as a sign of defeatism. “We must polarize the climate and galvanize our fighting forces,” they say.

The biggest mistakes are made when leaders are under the influence of aides that have reached the top echelons of power. They can be found within political parties of all stripes. Some leaders try to rise above these courtiers. Some even try to keep the same mobile phone number for years in the hope that an ever wider group of people will now how to get in touch with the leader, thereby improving his interaction with citizens. A good leader is concerned about becoming an out-of-touch denizen of an ivory tower.

At the end of the day, this is one of the biggest challenges that those going into politics face. How can a leader manage to maintain a balance of power inside his own party without losing his or her touch with the man on the street?

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday May 20, 2014 (22:09)  
Extremism from a bygone era
No call for more games
Is Europe paying attention?
A reasonable agreement
Greek air traffic controllers say they will join Thursday´s general strike
Greek air traffic controllers said on Monday that they will take part in Thursday’s general strike, which is likely to lead to disruption at the country’s airports. The strike has been calle...
Livestock breeders to protest in central Athens on Tuesday
Greek livestock breeders are due to protest in central Athens on Tuesday in the hope they will be able to secure a meeting with officials from the Agriculture Ministry. The farmers are due t...
Inside News
ILO calls for urgent action in Greece to create jobs, tackle social problems
The International Labor Organization (ILO) called on Monday for a change in policy in Greece to boost employment and prevent a social crisis. In its “Productive Jobs for Greece” study, which...
Draghi urgency for ECB action gets final reality check
Mario Draghi is about to find out just how urgent his call for action has become. One week after the European Central Bank president vowed to revive inflation “as fast as possible,” policy m...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Olympiakos ends PAOK´s unbeaten run in Basket League
Olympiakos put an end to PAOK’s unbeaten run in the Basket League with an emphatic win at the Peace and Friendship Stadium, leaving Panathinaikos as the only team with a perfect record so fa...
INTERVIEW
Tokyo hopes to change the world
The 2020 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo will serve as a springboard for the rebuilding of Japan’s image and economy following the triple blow of the earthquake, tsunami and nuc...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Greek air traffic controllers say they will join Thursday´s general strike
2. ILO calls for urgent action in Greece to create jobs, tackle social problems
3. Livestock breeders to protest in central Athens on Tuesday
4. Draghi urgency for ECB action gets final reality check
5. Greece to scrap need for permits in some 900 professions
6. Greek government sees Paris meeting as ´last phase´ in troika talks
more news
Today
This Week
1. Scientists expand excavation of ancient Amphipolis
2. Greek officials to meek troika chiefs in Paris to break review stalemate
3. EU said to plan 21 billion-euro risk-sharing fund for investment
4. Biden informs Anastasiades about content of talks with Erdogan
5. Countdown to missed opportunity for EU economy
6. Police seek to name man who opened fire with AK47 at Piraeus bar
Today
This Week
1. Double quake on Atalanti fault line rattles Greek capital [Update]
2. Biden heads to Istanbul amid tension over Cyprus EEZ violation
3. Anti-junta uprising anniversary to be marked amid tight security
4. Every age has its collaborators
5. Carlsberg takes control of Greek brewer Olympic Brewery [Update]
6. Give Greece a chance
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.