What’s in a name?

Greece’s pro-reform Left was always able to take pride in the fact that it was a rich source of new ideas and policy proposals. However, the last few years seem to have given us more reasons to take a negative rather than a positive view of the parties at this side of the political spectrum. A perfect example is Friday’s policy discussion by Synaspismos Left Coalition. A standard procedure and a political event with objective value, this time most of the debate focused on the self-aggrandizing concern of what the party’s name should be in the future… which would have been more understandable had there been proposals for a radical name change. The party’s title retains its core «Left Coalition.» The argument was whether to also distinguish that it was a party «of progress.» Some party officials preferred to replace «progress» with «ecology» in the title, others opted for «movements.» So, in order to avert any major fall-out, Synaspismos leader Nikos Constantopoulos proposed a compromise with «Synaspismos Left Coalition of Movements and Ecology.» What would have transpired had there been a third strong preference within the party (for «renewal,» for example) does not even bear thinking of… However, the party did escape the trap of defining itself as one of «progress» in which case it would have been the Synaspismos «Left Coalition of Progress, Ecology and Movements» which abbreviates to SAPOK (an anagram of PASOK).