Low expectations

Low expectations

Flood-stricken farmers from Central Greece who were asked in a focus group why they would vote for ruling New Democracy again when they have not received the full compensation they are entitled to after two deadly storms destroyed their livelihoods last year, replied “he will give it to us little by little.” As for Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, they expressed optimism that “he will bring whatever funds he can” from the European Union. An elderly woman at a public hospital, hearing a lady beside her complain about the long wait, stoically replied, “we are all waiting from him,” meaning that we should show gratitude to the good doctor and not resent the conditions in the national health system.

A man determined to support the leader of the main opposition when pressed by his friends to take a stand on his wealth declaration antics, simply said that Stefanos Kasselakis is the only one who can threaten Mitsotakis’ political dominance. He lashed out against the prime minister for not taxing the record profits of Greek banks and energy companies. A friend who will vote for socialist PASOK, says that it is the only party that allows her not to be ashamed of her vote, because it has on its European ticket candidates with the basic necessary knowledge to be MEPs.

In June 2023, approximately 2.1 million voters out of 5.2 million (a 53.7% participation) voted for New Democracy in the general elections, while in the upcoming European elections it is estimated that 800,000 fewer voters will head to the polls, which means that abstention may be higher than participation. In other words, the winner of the election might collect 1.7 to 1.8 million votes and the second party 600,000-800,000 votes. In other words, the majority will be formed by the minority and, in fact, grandparents will have decided for their grandchildren, since the average age of the voters is expected to be very high.

It is clear that, in a democracy, the first party is first only because it prevailed and not because it really represents the majority. And, of course, those who do not go to the polls serve those who do, because they boost the importance of their vote.

But the quality of the election result, the fact that the winner of the election will be a social “loser” and that they will have emerged from a condescending vote not associated with hope or trust, will affect the dynamics of the next day.

Ernest Hemingway wrote in “The Sun Also Rises,” when one man asks another how he went bankrupt: “Gradually, then suddenly.” This is almost always the case. He who is carried away by a success due mainly to the failure of others, does not realize the boat is full of water until it starts to sink.

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