To govern, big parties need to work with the center, not the extremes

To govern, big parties need to work with the center, not the extremes

It poses risks to the country that the leadership and top officials of main opposition SYRIZA leave open – even if indirectly – the possibility of cooperation with the leader of the MeRA25 party and former SYRIZA finance minister Yanis Varoufakis.

SYRIZA is not a small protest party. It is the country’s second largest political force and could potentially be the next government. What it says and – even more so – what it does or will do will have an impact.

The short-term goal of some may be to ascend to power, but ultimately what matters is to govern the country effectively.

Any participation by Varoufakis in a future coalition government, even if he cannot impose his policies, will not allow such an effective governance. This is the only common sense conclusion, and the markets seem to agree.

In the same way, it is absurd for some in the main opposition to talk about a minority government. Disappointed by the fact that, according to the polls so far, SYRIZA will not be able to form a coalition government with the partner of their preference, socialist PASOK, they envision a government that will not have a parliamentary majority. What will this mean in practice is an inability to govern something obviously disastrous for the country on many levels.

At the same time, it is also confusing and problematic when the leader of the party insists on a government of the parties that won the election and other top officials leave open the possibility of governing even if they have emerged as a second party. Here the problem lies in the unclear message. That is why attacking the idea of a government of “losing parties” is something that does not make sense and is unconvincing.

Doesn’t the Constitution allow the second and third parties in the elections to form a coalition government if they achieve a parliamentary majority (if the first party failed to do so) and indeed with a percentage (they will need almost 47% of the vote with the current system) that would approach the huge percentages of late premier Κonstantinos Mitsotakis in 1990? Of course it does.

The second and third parties can very well govern, but not with the addition – direct or indirect – or support of Varoufakis.

If a majority government cannot be formed by the second and third parties there can be no other scenarios. They will have to stay in the opposition. It’s that simple.

In today’s political reality, the only option for both major parties is to seek common ground in the political center, not the extremes.

The direct or indirect cooperation with MeRA25 on the one hand, or a total or partial one with the nationalist Greek Solution on the other, do not constitute a solution. They create problems.

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