OPINION

Straight to the future

The political scene is now in pre-electoral mode, with exchanges of fire between the two major parties and a welter of rhetoric to impress the public, which the two major parties believe are intently watching their struggle. Nothing indicates that this mood will abate in the fall. On the contrary, everything points to the likelihood that the campaign tide that has already begun to flow is unstoppable, by decision of the Simitis government. It is clear that the prime minister, stymied by problems he is unable to resolve and accusations of executing a lackluster policy, has abandoned any real attempt to defend his government and is trying to focus on the future – to say, in effect, that even if a four-year term has been wasted, let’s talk about the next one. The political leadership is now promoting the idea of future events as reality – an electoral law that will apply in the future, plans for «real convergence» as of the next four-year term and increasing references to major foreign policy issues that will probably be resolved in the coming years. This tactic is interesting in that it is not lacking in originality – the prime minister is virtually telling people that if his government has not satisfied them in its current term, they should think about giving him the chance to do so in the next one. In other words, let’s not talk about was not done or should not have been done, but rather talk about what are in effect promises. The strategy also includes an aggressive stance toward the main opposition party for daring to seek power and refusing to admit that although PASOK might have wasted its latest term, it still is the only party with the right to make the most credible promises about the future. It remains to be seen if this cunning tactic will profit PASOK; to a great extent that depends on how the New Democracy party reacts to it.